Lapeer County pair to be charged in shooting of bear Thursday, January 27, 2000 CARO - Authorities plan to charge two Lapeer County residents, a woman, 34, and a man, 25, for killing a black bear in October. The man shot the 175-pound bear on private property northeast of Vassar in Tuscola County, said state Department of Natural Resources officials, The woman lied about the crime to investigators, claiming she shot the animal, investigators allege. "Once she found out she was going to be charged with the crime, she came forward with the truth, which was that she had not shot it," said DNR Conservation Officer Jason S. Haines. It is illegal to shoot a bear at any time in Tuscola County, whether a hunter uses a firearm or bow. Illegally killing a bear carries a mandatory penalty of 5 days in jail, with a maximum of 90 days. Conviction also requires payment of a $1,500 fine to the Michigan Fish and Game Protection Fund and automatic revocation of the person's hunting license for a period of years. Haines declined to identify either suspect, but said he expects they'll be charged during the next several weeks. The suspects had permission to hunt deer on the private property, but the land owner alerted authorities after the bear killing. The criminal charge against the woman "will stem more from her cover-up of this whole thing," Haines said. The man said he was sitting in a tree stand about 10 feet off the ground when he shot the bear, striking the animal in the side with an arrow that passed in and out of the bear's body. "The bear was shot with the first arrow about 6 p.m. Oct. 7 but they did not go and try to find the bear," Haines said. "When they went out the following morning, they located it. It was apparently still alive but in very poor condition and it definitely wasn't going to live." Another man, a Tuscola County resident, fired a second arrow into the bear's side "to basically end its suffering," Haines said. The conservation officer said he doesn't believe the Tuscola County man will face any criminal charge for killing the animal. "In the long run the bear couldn't have survived the first shot," Haines said. "When the (male suspect) shot it, he was out hunting by himself and I think he wanted to get extra people before he tried to locate a wounded bear out in the woods by himself. We just plain don't have a lot of bears to deal with in Tuscola County."