Shooting bear on Parkway nets prison time

Two Jackson County men were sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for shooting a bear on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where hunting is banned by the National Park Service.

Steven Louis Broom, 31, of Cullowhee, and Bobby Allen Gibson, 24, of Tuckasegee, had been hunting bears with dogs in the Pisgah National Forest just off the Parkway along the Haywood-Jackson county line in 2008.

Dogs chased the bear onto the Parkway, at which point the hunters should have called off the pursuit. They shot the bear and then attempted to take the body with them.

The hunters pleaded guilty to one count each of attempting to transport the bear in violation of the federal Lacey Act, which prohibits illegally taking wildlife from federal lands.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell in Asheville.

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