Monday, December 18, 2006

Colorado man faces charges over illegal bobcat hide, other wildlife violations

Pete Fowler
Vail, CO Colorado
December 14, 2006

SILT - George Bauer, 45, of Silt, will appear in court Monday to face charges originating from an incident in which authorities say he illegally killed a black bear by using bait. He was arrested during a search of his residence and held on marijuana-related charges.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife received an anonymous phone tip that led to the investigation. The agency obtained a search warrant and on Sept. 28 investigated his property on Log Mesa, 13 miles south of Rifle near Beaver Creek. Officers found a 55 gallon drum full of various fruits, meat, grease and a whole chicken in a clearing on the property, the Division of Wildlife case report states. Officers also reported finding bear tracks, a can half full of grease, blood on rocks and trees and a "gut pile" nearby.

Hunting black bears with bait is illegal in Colorado.

The next day, wildlife officers obtained a search warrant for Bauer's Silt residence. The case report says Bauer arrived and answered questions.

"He stated it took a couple of weeks," the case report says, "He stated he then walked up in his tree stand and shot a bear. ... Bauer said he wanted the bear that he killed and that he 'had a thing for him' and that 'yeah, I killed him.'"

During the search, wildlife officers also found more than one ounce of marijuana in seven separate bags and smoking devices, ,the case report states.

Bauer was arrested by the Garfield County Sheriff's Office on charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of more than one ounce and less than eight ounces of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, the case report states. He posted bond of $6,250.

In addition to the marijuana charges, Bauer was issued a summons for unlawfully taking possession of a black bear, unlawfully hunting a black bear by using bait, unlawfully using wildlife as bait, unlawfully failing to care for and provide for human consumption of edible portions of the black bear, unlawfully failing to have a bobcat hide sealed by the Division of Wildlife, unlawful possession of a bobcat hide, unlawful possession of mule deer antlers with an enhanced penalty for their size, and unlawfully failing to notify the Division of Wildlife within 48 hours for a roadkill permit.

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