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Oregon Coast poachers pay $15,000 in damages, can’t hunt for 3 years for shooting 2 black bear cubs

Bear cub
Bear cub

SILETZ, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Mother-and-son poachers who shot two bear cubs near Siletz last October must pay $15,000 in damages, lost hunting privileges for three years and will be on bench probation for five years, according to Lincoln County court documents.

Gail Faye Freer, 52, and her son, Corey Douglas Loving II, 29, both of Siletz, committed the crime on or about Oct. 9, 2022, while trespassing on private land. the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported Tuesday.

According to law enforcement officials, Loving and Freer were trespassing on private land when they spotted a bear cub wandering among blackberry bushes. Freer encouraged Loving to shoot the cub, which he did.

The two decided to return later to retrieve the bear when they were certain it had died.

When they returned, they spotted a cub foraging in the same place. Loving shot it, thinking it was the same bear. Loving and Freer eventually approached the bushes expecting to find a single bear cub with two gunshot wounds. Instead, they found two bear cubs, each with a fatal gunshot wound.

OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers located the carcasses after an anonymous call to the Turn in Poachers (TIP) Line several days later. Both cubs had been left to waste. Troopers were unable to locate the mother bear, also known as a sow.

It is illegal to hunt bear cubs under one year old, or sows with cubs less than one year old. Bear cubs usually stay with their mothers until they are about 18 months old, then they disperse and establish their own home range. The cubs, which still had baby teeth, were only about 8 months old, according to ODFW District Wildlife Biologist Jason Kirchner.

“There is no excuse for taking two 8-month-old bear cubs, plus the meat was not taken care of and went to waste,” Kirchner said, “This is a loss to Oregonians and to those who respect, value, enjoy, and manage our state’s wildlife resources.”

The act shows a blatant disregard for wildlife laws, according to Stop Poaching campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw.

“This was a combination of trespassing, poaching and leaving an animal to waste,” Shaw said, “This demonstrates an attitude of lawlessness while they deprive others of the experience of encountering or hunting these animals during a legal season.”

The Stop Poaching Campaign educates the public on how to recognize and report poaching. This campaign is a collaboration among state agencies, sportsmen and other conservationists, landowners, and recreationists to engage the public in combatting Oregon’s poaching problem.

Our goal is to: Incentivize reporting on wildlife crimes through the TIP Line; Strengthen enforcement by increasing the number of OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers; and Support prosecution in becoming an effective deterrent. The campaign helps to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitat for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Contact campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw for more information.

If you know of or suspect other crimes against fish wildlife or habitat, please report to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) Line. 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (*677) from a mobile phone. Or email:

Article Topic Follows: Wildlife

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