Cadets from the Public Safety Training Academy learn how to skin a bear that was shot earlier Wednesday morning. (KCAW Photo/Cameron Clark)


A Sitka man shot and killed a bear that was threatening his dog early Wednesday morning (6-14-17). Wildlife authorities later located the dead animal in a ravine 100 yards from his residence off of Halibut Point Road.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Biologist Stephen Bethune assisted troopers to find the bear.

“It was probably a 400 pound bear or so, I’m estimating a 4 to 5 year old male. It was in good health, but it did have some scarring and looked like it had been in a few scraps in its days,” he said

The dog owner fired a semi-automatic rifle at the bear shortly after 5:30 a.m., prompting a neighbor to call the police and report four gunshots. Officers quickly responded to the residence on Bahovec Court and assessed the situation.

“The homeowner didn’t have garbage out or any attractants on the property that would have brought the bear. It’s just right in prime bear corridor,” Bethune said.

According to police, there are no charges pending because the man was within his rights to shoot. It’s called a DLP, or defense of life and property, which includes pets. In this case, the homeowner did a lot to avoid being in this situation in the first place.

“The homeowner had taken pretty extensive pains to clear some of the woods adjacent to the house to make it less hospitable to bears,” Bethune said.

The bear’s carcass was carried from the woods by cadets from the Public Safety Training Academy. They’ll use it as a wildlife training tool, skin it, and return the salvaged meat to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, which in turn will transfer it to the Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center.

According to Bethune, the hide and skull will eventually be sold at the Hide and Horn auction in Anchorage.

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