No charges filed in Mercer County bear incident


FRANKLIN. Pa. — Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that, based on its investigation, no charges will be filed against James Moore for killing a bear Oct. 9.

“This is an unfortunate incident that resulted in the loss of a valuable wildlife resource,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Lawrence Hergenroeder, who conducted the investigation.

“My investigation determined that Mr. Moore shot the 149-pound male black bear once with his compound bow and arrow, striking it on the right side as it was proceeding down a gas line road that would have taken it immediately in front of Mr. Moore and his daughter. The bear was about 10 yards away when shot by Mr. Moore.

“Mr. Moore indicated that the bear was popping its jaws and, along with the bear moving toward him and his daughter, caused him to fear for their safety. The bear did not respond to Mr. Moore waving his arms or yelling, so he shot the bear and immediately called the Game Commission Northwest Region Office.

“Based on the facts, I believe that Mr. Moore was in fear for both his safety and that of his daughter. Therefore, I will not be filing charges.”


Following Moore’s call to the Game Commission, Hergenroeder was assisted in locating the bear carcass by Northwest Region Law Enforcement supervisor Clint Deniker, Mercer County WCO Don Chaybin, Deputy WCO Ryan Ruditis, as well as WCO cadets Matt Chipego and Chris Bergman, who are assigned to the Northwest Region for field training.

“Despite the unfortunate nature of this situation, we were able to use this investigation as a teaching opportunity to help prepare future WCOs for duty as full-time Wildlife Conservation Officers,” Hergenroeder said.

Hergenroeder noted that the black bear population continues to expand in western Pennsylvania, and that there were five bears struck and killed on the roads in Mercer County so far this year.


As Pennsylvania forests mature and become more desirable for black bears, people need to learn more about them and how to co-exist with bears.

For more information on living with Pennsylvania black bears check out the Game Commission website ( Put your cursor on the “Self-Help” tab in the menu bar, then put your cursor on “Your Property and Wildlife” in the drop-down menu listing and click on “Living with Black Bears.”


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