This makes me SO incredibly angry!!! Begin Rant…
First, bear sightings in our area (this happened in Missouri only 45 minutes from us, original articles by News-Leader and Wide Open Spaces) are on the rise, which is amazing for our rebounding black bear population. Because of these increased sightings the coverage from news stations, radio talk shows, and social media, everyone in our area is fully aware that bears are once again here in Missouri.
This man, Chris Keown, claims that he was scared, totally understandable and 100% believable statement. But then Keown says the bear was NOT aggressive and ran off when he tried to take its picture and then shot the bear in a ditch across the street from his home. Keown claims that he took the paws and meat because ... wait for it ... he's a HUNTER and knows how important it is to use every part of an animal. What nerve!!! NO SIR, as a HUNTER it is your responsibility to know which animals are protected and native to your area and when those specific hunting seasons are held. FYI: Missouri doesn’t have a bear season nor do we have Grizzlies, another excuse for justifying his shot because the movie 'The Revenant' was still fresh in his mind.
Keown also states, now fully aware that bears are a protected Missouri species, that "He'd do it again," because "What are you supposed to do?" OMG, you know exactly what to do because you (Mr. Keown) have recently learned from Mo Conservation Agents... YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST LET IT GO! As in when the bear was frightened and ran from you, he most likely he would have just moved along!!! Congratulations, your FIFTH conservation violation was a slap on the wrist, barely left a sting and only costing you a $99.50 fine and $103.50 in court costs. Ugh!!!
~ Sarah Cox
August 2nd 2016