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Operation: Something Bruin

bruinopenerDozens of hunters snared in the sweeping undercover bear poaching investigation known as Operation Something Bruin have refused to take their licks quietly, and continue to kick up dust two-and-a-half-years later.

Wildlife officers adopted fake identities to infiltrate bear hunting circles. They hoped to expose the black market for bear gallbladders, illegal hunting in national parks and bear sanctuaries, unethical tactics by hunting guides for hire and rouge baiting and trapping of bears.

coverBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

All Chad Crisp took with him was his Bible as he headed into Elkton Federal Correctional Institute in Ohio last week. For a rural mountain boy who’d never left home, 20 months of federal prison would be a long, hard road.

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Cast of characters

“I felt that my heart would burst as I hugged him and told him I loved him and everything would be all right and that we would be back soon,” Linda Crisp, his mother, said. “For a mother, her son – no matter how old he is – is still in some ways a child in her eyes, and she wants to always protect him.”

Cast of characters

something bruinDavey Webb (alias Davey Williams): an agent with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources who first started hunting with the Crisps in the fall of 2010.

fr bruinBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

When Chad Arnold pulled into War Paint Kennels during fall bear season in 2011, Jerry Parker pegged him as just another flat-lander willing to fork out big dough to bag a bear.

fr bruinmeadowsBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

A recurring theme emerged in a congressional oversight hearing last week aimed at shedding light on the questionable tactics and motives of wildlife agencies behind the now-infamous undercover poaching sting known as Operation Something Bruin: where is the line between personal freedoms and governmental oversight?

fr bruinMore than 100 hunters and their supporters packed the historic Haywood County courthouse last week for the latest installment in the ongoing saga over Operation Something Bruin.

out bearbaitThe hunting community and wildlife officers have been engaged in an ongoing tug-of-war over the practice of baiting bears to make them easier to hunt.

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