Michigan Bear Hunting “Help” Convictions Overturned by Appeals Court

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The charges stemmed from a 2010 incident in which the two men used their hunting dogs to help Todd Yoder, an American Indian, kill a black bear. The kill happened outside of Michigan’s regular Sept. 17-25 season, but because Todd Yoder is an American Indian, treaty obligations allowed him to hunt out of season.

The court ruled that the two men’s convictions should be overturned because according to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources order, out of season bear hunting is only prohibited with a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow.

Below is an excerpt from the Court’s opinion, released on Wednesday:

The statutory provision and the DNR order at issue do not prohibit an unarmed individual from assisting someone with the lawful taking of a bear, nor do they prohibit someone from taking a bearwithout a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow.

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