By Christopher Rosacker
Two Nevada County men have been charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes related to bear poaching, announced the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Friday.
Suspected bear poachers Jason Scott Wilkison, 43, of Grass Valley and Chris Art Nunley, 54, of North San Juan are facing the charges for alleged bear poaching in April 2013, after a five month Fish and Wildlife investigation.
Nevada County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against both men for unlawful possession of a bear and unlawfully killing a bear, CDFW announced Friday. Both individuals also face felony charges involving the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Lead investigator Warden Jerry Karnow launched the investigation after reports of a bear that had been unlawfully shot after being lured with bait to a residence located near Grizzly Flats in Nevada County, CDFW reported. Wildlife officers, assisted by Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies, served a series of search warrants where bear remains were allegedly found in a shallow grave near Wilkison’s residence. Additional bear remains were allegedly located at Nunley’s residence.
The CDFW Forensic Laboratory was involved in an analysis of the blood and bear remains, which CDFW said it believes will support the case.
The recovery of firearms, ammunition and evidence throughout the investigation indicate Wilkison and Nunley, who are convicted felons, unlawfully possessed firearms and ammunition, according to CDFW.