Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 14, 2013

He wasn’t a poacher, but shot the bears in self-defense

I am writing in response to the Jan. 4 article written by Mike Sawyers titled “LaVale man charged with killing bear out of season.” (Page 1B)

The man in question, Charles Frederick Evans Ill is my nephew, and I feel the need to add some facts that were not printed.

The article makes my nephew seem like a cold-blooded “poacher.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. This young man has never intentionally hurt anything or anyone in his entire life. He is a kind-hearted person who goes out of his way to put a smile on the faces of the people around him.

What the article failed to mention was that the bear that he killed was actually chasing him. He ran from all six (not four) bears, and only shot when he realized that he would never outrun them.

The mother bear was 18 feet away from him, still running at full speed, when he turned and shot. This distance was measured by the Natural Resources Police officers that responded to the call that my brother placed to them. If my nephew is a “poacher,” he must be the dumbest poacher on earth to essentially turn himself in.

After the mother was shot, the other bears continued to charge, the second one was then shot. Some of the bears that charged that day were in fact cubs. However, there is no proof that the second bear was a cub, as it was never found.

The investigation lasted for five hours, with my brother and my nephew and the others in their hunting party staying the entire time. They actually helped the NRP try to find the other bear. They called the NRP to report the shooting and stayed to offer any assistance.

Does that sound like any of them were out there that day with the intention of killing bear out of season?

My nephew was told the day of the incident by the NRP officers that the mother bear would have only run at him and knocked him down. Really? Then what? Would she have kissed him or shook his hand? I think not.

There are reports from across the nation every year that demonstrate what a mother bear will do when startled or when she feels her cubs are in danger.

The outcome is not pretty. My nephew shot out of fear and the need for self-preservation. I would have done the same thing, as would anyone.

So although the article makes my nephew seem like a “poacher,” I would much rather read an article without all the facts, than read the obituary of this loving father, husband, son, and nephew.

Kelly Self

Cumberland

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