A 76-year-old Auburn, Massachusetts man Richard Ahlstrand had spotted a black bear in his backyard last Thursday around his bird feeders. On Friday, he went to fill up his bird feeders, and as a precaution, he took his shotgun. Sure enough, the black bear showed up and started to chase the old man. The man aimed his shotgun at the bear and shot it, killing the bear before it dropped to the ground.
Now, he’s facing charges for illegally killing the bear, illegally baiting the bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a weapon. Because he “murdered” the bear, police confiscated his shotgun as well as 2 others he had in his possession.
Mr. Ahlstrand pointed out the idiocy of his elected officials:
“They got me set up now like I’m some kind of murderer. And then the environmental guy told me, ‘You should have called me instead of shooting it.’ What was I going to do, say ‘Mister Bear, would you excuse me please while I go make a phone call?’”
Authorities thought that the bear may have had cubs, but as Ahlstrand told the local CBS affiliate, if he hadn’t shot the bear, he may not be here today. He was sure it would have at least mauled him. Ahlstrand recalled that the bear was about 7 feet tall when it stood on its hind legs, and he estimated it weighed around 300 or 400 pounds.
From the bureaucrats’ perspective, this old man “baited” the bear with birdseed. Because we all know that bird seed is only used to bait bears, hopefully a female bear with cubs, for the purpose of killing it. He wasn’t actually using it to feed birds.
As for the illegal possession of a firearm, maybe the man didn’t have a Firearms Identification Card. That’s what they call the permit that’s required in order to purchase a non-large capacity rifle or shotgun. Never mind the fact that he was protecting himself from a large, savage beast on his own property. What’s relevant is the fact that he didn’t have the proper government license.
As for the failure to secure a weapon, how else is one supposed to use a firearm at all without picking it up, aiming it and pulling the trigger? So you can have a gun in Massachusetts, but you have to make sure it’s inoperable and completely useless?
We’re not talking about a human being that was shot and killed for being on his property. We’re talking about a bear. An animal.
This is like what happened in Texas of all places not too long ago. A white-winged dove hit the window of a man’s house and fell to the ground dead. The man was a chef, so he used the incident as an opportunity to show others how to prepare dove. He made the mistake of posting pictures on his blog of the bird being prepared. This got him in trouble with the wildlife and game department who claimed he didn’t have the proper permit to do what he did with the dead bird, and that he should have contacted wildlife and game so that they could properly dispose of the bird’s carcass.
I’m surprised the wildlife and game official didn’t charge the chef for illegally baiting the dove with a glass window.