State Takes Man's First Bear

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Mark Burdzy Jr., 28 is an avid hunter and grew up hunting and loves being in the outdoors. Burdzy Jr is also a corrections officer. He had a Tuesday off from work and spent it out hunting for black bear in Royalston, Massachusetts.

Burdzy Jr was stoked when he shot a black bear. He took it to his father's Burdzy Sr's house to dress it, in Royalston. Burdzy Jr said he took it to his father's whole because he did not want to attract coyotes to the area by the tree stand, and he didn't want to ruin the bear's hide since he planned to have it mounted. After dressing it out he took it to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife field office in West Boylston to have it tagged.

The Environmental Police called and left a message to talk to him, then showed up at his house. They accused Burdzy Jr of shooting the bear illegally on the Sunday before, but Burdzy Jr was at work that Sunday. Then the police said Burdzy's father had shot it. Burdzy Jr said his father was physically unable to shoot a gun at the time. The Environmental Police asked where the gut pile was from the bear. Burdzy Sr said it was at his house, and that he had later moved it to his work location for disposal.

Burdzy Jr then got a call from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, telling him the Environmental Police had seized his bear and he may not get it back. Burdzy Jr had to hire a lawyer to find out anything about the bear. The lawyer found out that a gut pile and bait station was found two miles from where Burdzy Jr shot his bear. It is illegal to bait bears for hunting in Massachusetts.

All the enjoyment of Burdzy's first bear is gone, all he wants is the bear back. He says he is telling the truth, as a corrections officer he would have a lot to lose if he broke the law. “This has gone from being the best experience of my hunting career to the worst,” he said.

Since then, Mr. Burdzy Jr. said, he has not heard from the Environmental Police and has hired two lawyers to help him with the case. He said the police have been shown photos of the bear taken in the wild by tree cameras, but they still are not satisfied. From


hunter25's picture

Well it looks like everybody

Well it looks like everybody has pretty much covered the story itself and the confusion surrounding it. It sounds like somebody had a grudge against this guy and was looking for a way to cause problems. As has been stated a simple dna test should clear things up quickly. I know here in Colorado the game wardens take a sample right away whenever something seems like it may be a little off to get to the truth quickly. Hopefully this will get straightened out and the man man will be able to get his bear back quickly as it sure is a nice one. And hopefully the story is true as he tells it.

niceshot_smitty's picture

That is just wrong for them

That is just wrong for them to do this to a legal hunter.  They are not giving this person a chance in hell to deffent him self.  I just hope when this is said and down that he gets his bear back if they can find it.  i have seen stuff like this and when the person is all cleared of the charges they can't find the trophy.  i really feel for this guy...

deerhunter30's picture

I do not think that they had

I do not think that they had any reason to take this bear. There was no proof what so ever that he was hunting that bait pile.

I would say they would have to have some good evidence to even take something that was not theirs to take.

This man finally gets his first bear and they want to come in and ruin for the man. Hopefully his lawyers get his bear back and everything turns out alright for the guy.


numbnutz's picture

I think this is crap, like

I think this is crap, like someone else said its up to the police to find the proof that there was wrong doing. I too would sue the police dept. Its not impossible to move an animal out whole as i have done it several times on deer. heck I have even took a cow elk out of the woods whole with the help of 4 people and a winch with the elk. but it can be done. I really think the police are in the wrong and should be held accountable for there actions. I hope this guy purses a law suit and put these currupt cops in there place. I'm all for law enforcment but i have serious issues with power hungry cops who try to ruin peoples lives.

ndemiter's picture

it is the burden of the state

it is the burden of the state to provide evidence he is guilty. not the burden of the citizen to provide he is innocent.

one dna test on the supposed gut pile in the woods, and the bear hide will tell if the bear was poached or not. the state should have sampled the dna first.

if i was in the same situation, i would sue the state for infringements upon my constitutional rights, personal damages and make them pay me enough to go on another bear hunt that is fully guided so i could enjoy myself.

i hate reading this kind of stuff. the government has gotten too big for their britches.

COMeatHunter's picture

Hopefully we'll see how this saga ends

I feel for this guy, but I also would agree with other commenters that the whole thing is a bit fishy. I hope we see another news post with the results of the investigation and how it all turns out.  You'd think taking the bear to the DOW office right after gutting it, they would easily be able to tell if the kill was fresh or days old.

VTbowhunter's picture

Sucks to be in this situation, I am sure.

Hopefully everything pans out for this guy.We( wife 5 kids and i) never field dress our game in the woods! too easy to hang and gut over a trash can. with the coyotes howling every night on the way out of the woods, its better not to spike attr Looking forward to a conclusion.action. story seems feasible, however why were the enforcement agents involved to begin with.?

groovy mike's picture

Man that would stink, but it does sound suspicious

Man that would stink, but it does sound suspicious. As said -  I wonder too why they started investigating this guy It does sound suspicious.  A bear is EXTREMELY hard to bring out whole - it CAN be done with an ATV etc, but the story is suspicious.  Given the  other evidence I would doubt the story too.  Still the guys seems eager to prove his innocence and it is plausible.   Hopefully he isinnocent and gets his bear back.  You want to give eveyone the benefit of the doubt.   Good luck to Mr. Budzy.

bear hunt gone wrong

not guilty cops are animal lovers

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Granted, a bear like that

Granted, a bear like that would be really tough to move if it hadn't been dressed out yet, but it's very plausible.  I had a friend growing up, who never cleaned their deer in the woods.  They would throw them on a 4-wheeler, and then they would drive them to their house that happened to be on the edge of a river.  They would clean the deer on the riverbank, so that they could just wash the guts intot he river.  Much cleaner, and the fish took care of the rest.

As was mentioned, I wonder how they started investigating this guy anyway?  Outside tip?  The unfortunate thing about those "annonymous tips" are that it could be someone with a grudge, just messign with the guy.  If he is a legit hunter, this could really mess him up.  You can already see that's it's taken the enjoyment away.

Hopefully he is vindicated in the end, and the officials that took the bear are taking care of it, in a freezer or something, so that nothing is wasted upon return to Mr. Budzy.

SGM's picture


I cannot open the attached article to read but was wondering how the “Environmental Police” knew this was an issue? Did someone call a “tips” hot line or something? From what I see there is something very fishy about this whole deal since they accused the hunter, then the dad and seen to have no proof a crime was committed. Will be interesting to see what come of this.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Reading the article here


Reading the article here the first thing I said to myself was - okay simple solution is to take a DNA test from the gut pile found by the bait station and then DNA from the bear and see if they match.  Then I opened the story link and read they are doing just that.

I agree I think by reading this as written the guy is not guilty.  This "Environmental Police" (never heard them called that before) I think are fishing for an answer.  I have moved many animals prior to field dressing as well.  I have also skinned and butchered deer at home.  So I think bringing a first bear home to gut it (most likely with his Dad's guidance) is normal.  The only thing that reads questionable from the full article is that Dad was in no condition to fire a rifle or shotgun "at this time" - on the weekend (maybe drinking beer and watching football) but he did assist in retrieving the bear on Tuesday.  Maybe the condition is medical or physical and not important. 

Anyhow, it is the guys first bear and a pretty nice one at that.  I hope the DNA testing is done effficiently and all is found to be legal so he can move forward and get it mounted then hang it proudly.




GooseHunter Jr's picture

Justb reading this article I

Justb reading this article I think I have to beleive the guy he has alot moe to lose than his hunting privledges if he is lying.  He makes perfectlky good sense to me why he moved the bear before he gutted the animal.  Hopefully everything will work out for the hunter in the end and he will get his back bear and be able to really enjoy the fruits of his labor.  Good luck to him!