Judge bans bear poachers from hunting, entering US forests

September 13, 2019 GMT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has banned two men found guilty of bear poaching from hunting anywhere or entering any national forest for two years.

U.S Attorney Douglas Overbey’s office says Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton found 59-year-old Keith Bernard McJunkin and 31-year-old Levi Zachary Wilson guilty last week of baiting bears inside the Cherokee National Forest.

McJunkin was ordered to pay $1,600 in fines and Wilson was ordered to pay $1,100. Both were also sentenced to two years of probation.

Prosecutors say the two were part of a group of hunters from Tellico Plains who baited and trapped bears inside the national forest in July and August 2018. Three other men have already pleaded guilty to hunting bear over bait.