Hunter who shot mother bear near cubs loses license

FILE PHOTO (AP/Toby Talbot)

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COLFAX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An experienced hunter from Ottawa County who shot and killed a black bear while her cubs were nearby is losing his hunting license.

Derek Hassevoort of the Zeeland area pleaded guilty to unlawful taking of a bear in Oceana County District Court Monday.

Hassevoort shot the sow in the woods of Oceana County’s Colfax Township on Sept. 23. While Hassevoort had a valid license and shot the bear in season, state law dictates he cannot shoot a sow who is accompanied by her cubs.

State officials say Hassevoort took the bear to a DNR station in Baldwin for inspection. There, he told workers there were no cubs nearby when he shot the sow. However, a tip to the DNR led to further investigation, and the hunter later admitted there were cubs with the sow when he shot it, DNR officials said.

Courtesy photo of the black bear sow that was killed by a Zeeland hunter.
Courtesy photo of the black bear sow that was killed by a Zeeland hunter.

A judge Monday sentenced Hassevoort to five days in jail and probation. As part of his punishment, Hassevoort must also pay $1,500 in restitution to the state.

He will also lose his hunting license for the rest of this year and the three following years.

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