John Caplinger, a Jackson County resident, shot and killed a black bear in a tree. He told N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officials that he was scared for his children. The bear had been in his yard and had bitten into a bucket of chicken feed and dog food. According to wildlife officers that was not enough reason to kill the bear, he was not in the process of harming anything when Caplinger shot it. Caplinger shot the bear with two rounds from a .20 gauge pump shot gun.
Caplinger was charged with taking a bear during closed hunting season. If convicted, he must pay a state-mandated bear replacement fee of $2,232 and faces a fine of up to $2,000 plus court costs. His firearm was seized and he has a court date in July. Wildlife officials say if there is a bear in your yard, go inside and wait until the bear leaves. Make sure all bear attractants are put away properly. From The Asheville Citizen-Times .