Erie County man charged in black bear killing


ERIE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Commission officials recently announced Kevin Michael Hicks, 40, of Little Creek Road in Erie, was charged with unlawfully killing a black bear.

Charges were filed on June 9, before District Judge James J. Dwyer III in Erie. Hicks was charged with unlawfully killing a bear as he failed to meet justifications provided for by law that allows for the “killing of game or wildlife to protect person.”

If convicted of the first-degree summary offense, Hicks faces penalties of between $1,000 and $1,500, and possible restitution costs.

“The offense occurred on June 2, at Hicks’ residence in Summit Township around 9 p.m.,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Larry Smith. “The Game and Wildlife Code is very specific in stating that killing wildlife in self-defense is only permitted when the facts support that a human is endangered to a degree that the immediate destruction is necessary. Based on the investigation, the facts of the case do not support that standard.”

Respect bears

Resident black bears are found throughout northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie County. Bears need not be feared, but they must be respected. Spring and early summer are the times when bears are on the move to locate food and establish new territories in conjunction with the breeding season.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission website,, has an excellent brochure titled “Living with Pennsylvania Black Bears.”

Go to the “Self-Help” tab; follow to “Your Property and Wildlife” to “Living with Black Bears.” The brochure provides educational and helpful tips on co-existing with this valuable Pennsylvania resource.


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  1. If a bare is at my place i will not just let it do what ever it want,ok. If one is after my livestock I will shoot it!Protected or not people have a right to protect thier property,family and livestock.I guess shoot it n burry it don”t let anyone know about it.Thats what we had to do with Mountain Lions in Oklahoma, till they started takeing down horses then things got changed real quick!

  2. I live where this happened. There were no livestock involved. And no self-defense involved. The way I heard it, the guy saw the bear, went back into his house for a gun, then went back and shot the bear. The bear was doing no harm. And, please, if you want to be taken seriously, learn to spell.

    • Give me a break. You don’t live by me. I do have livestock and so does my neighbor. I have kids and my nieghbor has a mentally handicapped child. And as shown on t.v. bears go on back legs when attacking and that is what this one did. Then we found out after we call the game that they do that to see better. But even he had to look it up. after the fact.

  3. Bears do not go on their back legs before they attack. Someone needs to be educated on bear behavior. I don’t know the circumstances of this event other than what was in the article, but if the kill was warranted the officials would have been able to tell.


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