Suspect Confesses to Killing Black Bear in Amite County, Mississippi

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On December 19, 2011, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks received an anonymous phone call that a bear had been killed in the Busy Corner Community of Amite County. In a joint effort with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, MDWFP was able to identify the shooter and obtain the bear, which had been previously tagged.

MDWFP investigating officers, Jimmy Hutson and Don McDaniel, from the MDWFP Law Enforcement Bureau, and officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked diligently to identify the suspect. John Wayne Baxter, 37 years old from the Busy Corner Community, signed a confession and will now face charges in Federal court.  

The bear that was illegally killed in Amite County was originally captured and tagged in December of 2010 in Coastal Louisiana by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The bear was 30-40 pounds and extremely malnourished at the time of capture so it was decided to send the bear to the Appalachian Bear Rescue recovery facility. After four months of rehabilitation, the healthy 104-pound bear was returned to Louisiana in April 2011 and was released at the Red River Wildlife Management Area, just across the Mississippi River from Wilkinson County.

"The loss of this bear is a setback to all those who have worked so hard to protect a resource that was once on the verge of extinction in Mississippi due to this same type of senseless act," said Brad Young, MDWFP Black Bear Program Leader.

For more information regarding black bears in Mississippi, please visit our website at or feel free to give us a call at (601) 432-2199.