Alaska hunter and son sentenced for killing bear, 'shrieking' newborn cubs on camera

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File photo(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 23, 2019 at 1:25 PM AKST
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Two people found guilty for illegally killing a black bear mother and two newborn cubs have been sentenced, including both jail time and hefty fines.

The "poaching incident," Alaska State Troopers reported, dates back to April 14 , 2018. Then, Andrew Renner, 41, of Wasilla, and Owen Renner, 18, also of Wasilla, were hunting on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

According to troopers, the Renners shot and killed a black bear sow along with her two small cubs. Those bears, authorities said in a report, were part of a bear study being conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as well as US Forest Service. For killing the bears, and then lying to officials about it, the two were sentenced by an Anchorage judge on Tuesday.

In a release issued by the Department of Law, Andrew Renner was sentenced to five months in jail with two months suspended, pay a fine of $20,000 with $11,000 suspended, forfeit his 22’ Sea Sport ocean boat and trailer, 2012 GMC Sierra pickup truck, two rifles, two handguns, two iPhones, and two sets of backcountry skis which were used in the offenses. His hunting license was revoked for 10 years.

Owen Renner was sentenced to suspended jail time, community works service and required to take a hunters safety course. His hunting license was suspended for two years.

Both defendants were ordered to pay $1,800 restitution, the amount set by statute for killing black bears.

The sow was collared and a motion-activated camera was reportedly set up by researchers at the den. That camera was set to record audio and video and troopers said it captured the entire incident.

"The video shows A. Renner and O. Renner skiing up to the den and then O. Renner firing two shots at the denning sow. A. Renner then kills the shrieking newborn bear cubs and discards their bodies away from the den," AST wrote in its report.

Two days after the shooting, the two men were seen returning to the site, picking up the spent shells, and disposing of the dead bear cubs.

According to troopers, Andrew Renner then brought the sow bear skin to ADF&G in Palmer, saying he killed the bear near Granite Bay in Prince William Sound. He told investigators that he never saw any cubs.

Troopers confiscated the vessel, vehicle, and hunting rifles used in the hunting and transportation of the bears as part of the investigation.