5 arrested for illegally baiting bears

TWRA charged 5 people with illegally baiting a bear and turning dogs on them to trap them. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

HAPPY VALLEY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- State officials have arrested 5 people they say illegally baited a bear with food before killing it.

TWRA officers say they've been investigating the people for an extended time in the Happy Valley area of Blount County. Now they've placed 26 charges between the 5. Names have not been released.

A spokesperson for TWRA says this is not bear hunting season and people should not try to bait bears using human food. They say that can make the bears dangerous for us.

"They'll show up on porches, break in houses, attack people, anytime they smell people food. They associate that with a free easy meal and it's not natural for them, it's not healthy," said Mitch Clure, TWRA spokesperson.

Clure says the bears were baited using chocolate.

Bear hunting season does open September 30th.

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