Following a joint investigation, ECO's caught an opening day bear poacher in Ulster County.

On September 28, Environmental Conservation Officers charged a New Jersey man with several misdemeanors. The 63-year old man was charged for hunting a black bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile, firing a weapon within 500-feet of a residence, and unlawfully taking a black bear.

The charges in question originated from an investigation in the Town of Wawarsing in Ulster County. A complaint led officers to a location where they discovered a bear shot on the opening day of the early bear season with the assistance of bait piles.

Behind a residence on the property at the location, officers discovered molasses, corn, and sardines that were stashed away, according to a press release. Officers contacted a Lieutenant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for assistance, and he was able to seize the bear hide at a local taxidermist and turned it to officers to use as evidence in the case.

The New Jersey man was faced with the evidence officers had compiled against him, and he eventually confessed to the crimes. If he is convicted of the said crimes listed above, he could potentially face thousands of dollars in fines, and up to one year in jail.

According to the DEC's website, hunting black bears with the use of bait or dogs is not permitted in New York State. Hunters in New York may carry up to 1.5 fluid ounces of a liquid scent or lure.