A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

A sign warning of a June 28, 2021, bear attack is placed at the head of the Kenai River Trail on Skilak Loop Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)

Federal wildlife officers seek information about early-May black bear poaching

Officials think the poaching happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing

Federal wildlife officers are seeking poachers who killed a black bear earlier this month within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

According to a refuge Facebook post, the poaching of a bear was reported around 10:30 a.m. on May 7. The poaching, they write, happened near the east entrance of Skilak Loop roughly 2 miles from Jims’ Landing, near the Lower Kenai River Trail.

Officers and a canine visited the scene and found blood and other remains along the side of the road. The post says they think the bear was shot from the road, gutted and transported away in a vehicle.

Witnesses, the post says, described the bear as being 100-200 pounds and not afraid of vehicles or people. A small red or maroon vehicle “was seen with the bear in the back.”

There are some opportunities at certain times for legal black bear harvest on the refuge, with baiting applications opening in the spring that allow for permitted use of a single square-mile area for black bear baiting. The post notes that the area where the bear was taken is closed to hunting.

Anyone with information about the poaching is asked to contact federal wildlife officers at 907-260-2854.

For more information about the refuge, find “Kenai National Wildlife Refuge” on Facebook.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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