By Elizabeth Janney
Undercover agents found black bear hunting violations.
A Forest Hill man was one of two people sentenced this week for violating Maryland’s black bear hunting regulations.
Wallace A. Harward, 58, of Forest Hill, pleaded guilty to violations including using bait to lure black bears, which is illegal in Maryland; and failing to stay within view of the man with whom he shared his permit, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
Harward and Larry Eugene Harding, 57, of Friendsville, were commercial guides who partnered together from 2008 to 2010, leading others, sometimes people from out of state, on hunting expeditions for black bears in which they baited the animals to make them easier to kill, the statement said.
Officers from Maryland Natural Resources Police and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service went undercover, signing up to go on their commercial hunting expeditions, and discovered the violations, according the statement.
The men were using apples and molasses to attract the bears, then taking photographs and videos as their clients killed the animals, their plea agreements state. Before going out on a commercial hunting expedition, they would cover the apples with leaves, then lead their clients to the spot where they had put the bait so the clients could kill the bears, according to the plea agreement.
It is illegal to feed bears in Maryland and state regulations prohibit using bait, scent attractants or electronic calls for black bear hunting.