Bait for fishing is legal; bait for bear hunting suffers a $1500 fine
Maryland Natural Resources Police reported that three hunters were charged with bear poaching on state land in Garrett County and another hunter was charged in Allegany County by Maryland Natural Resources Police officers.
Shirley Louise Miller, 52, Lana Elaine Howard, 49, and Brian James Marsh, 82, all of Lonaconing, were charged with hunting bear with the aid of bait and hunting/baiting on state-owned land. In addition, Miller was charged with littering on state land. Marsh also received a warning for placing a permanent tree stand on state property.
Acting on a complaint, officers on Wednesday went to Savage River State Forest off Lower New Germany Road and found corn and apples on the ground near the location where Miller shot the 135-pound black bear on Oct. 26, 2015 at 7:50 a.m. Howard was the permit holder and Miller and Marsh were the sub-permit holders.
The bait was consistent with what was found in the digestive tract of the bear that was checked in at the Mount Nebo station on the opening day of black bear season.
The bear was seized and donated to a food program.
A court date has not been set. The maximum fine for hunting over bait is $1,500 and the maximum fine for hunting/baiting on state land is $500.
James Bruce Froelich, 58, of Cumberland, was charged Oct. 29, 2015, with killing a bear with the aid of bait.
An officer on patrol found several tree stands, one of which was baited with carrots and a deer carcass tied to a tree, off Williams Road in Cumberland. Froelich acknowledged shooting the bear on Monday shortly after 6 p.m.
Froelich is scheduled to appear in Allegany District Court on Dec. 22. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $500.
HOW TO SAFELY COOK BEAR MEAT Black bear meat can be a carrier of Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii, the parasites that cause the diseases trichinosis and toxoplasmosis in humans. Proper cooking techniques can ensure that your bear meat is safe to eat. Like pork, the proper cooking time for bear meat is 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes per pound. Internal cooking temperature should reach 160 degrees for 3 minutes or more before consumption. Cook until there is no trace of pink meat or fluid paying close attention to areas around the joints and close to the bone. Freezing meat does not always kill these parasites. Connoisseurs of bear meat suggest freezing, canning or eating it within a week after the kill as the flavor becomes stronger with age. Trim fat from the meat especially well and, as is the case with all meat, good wrapping and sealing is recommended.