A man accused of illegally shooting a bear with a bow then dumping its beheaded body on city-owned property in Duluth has been sentenced to probation.
Aaron A. Horn, who will turn 29 this week, pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to illegal transport of big game and wanton waste, both misdemeanors, in connection with the Sept. 17 discovery.
Someone called a DNR conservation officer that day to report a dead bear with its head missing, located on city property on the Jean Duluth Road. The officer, seeing no drag marks and noting no nearby gut pile, determined it had been dumped at the location.
An investigation led authorities to Horn who, after numerous interviews, said he shot the bear with a bow two days prior, while at his father's house located on the same road, according to the charges. He and several others tracked the bear for "several hours" before he killed it, the complaint says.
They left it there until the next afternoon, and when they took it to a bait and tackle shop for registration, were told it was spoiled, the charges state.
The complaint alleges Horn's "failure to timely remove the bear from the woods" during the warm September weather caused it to spoil, resulting in "wanton waste." Horn also did not have a valid bear license for the area.
Horn was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and has to pay $540 in fins, restitution and fees, according to court documents. He also must surrender the bow he used to kill the bear. A 90-day jail sentence was stayed for two years.
Charges of violating hunting restrictions and littering were dismissed.