MANISTEE (WWJ/AP) – A Clinton Township man has been arraigned on charges of illegally poaching a black bear last fall in northern Michigan.

Authorities say 33-year-old James May was arrested by conservation officers after he responded to a statewide press release seeking information about the bear’s death.

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May is charged with killing a bear without a permit and excessive use of bait.

The bear had been found dead of a shotgun wound near a hunting blind on public land in Cleon Township. Witnesses said that the bear was shot on the evening of Nov. 16, and left to die in the woods. Three bear cubs are believed to have been orphaned, but DNR officials have not been able to find them.

Poaching bear in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,500 per bear, a minimum $200 fine and jail time of up to 90 days. A violator’s hunting privileges may also be suspended for up to three years.

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A message seeking comment was left with May’s attorney, Jane Johnson.

If convicted, May faces up to 90 days in jail. He’s next due in court on April 9.

Anyone with information about fishing or game violations in Michigan are urged to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) line, available 24 hours a day, every day, at 800-292-7800.  Information also can be reported online at this link.

Tipsters may remain anonymous, and tips leading to an arrest and conviction is eligible for a cash reward funded by the Game and Fish Protection Fund.

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