Man accused of hunting bears illegally

9:22 pm May 31st, 2012

An Eatonville man has been accused by state authorities of hunting illegally for black bears in Okanogan County.
According to prosecutors and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, James Erickson, 52, used bait to lure bears close to his Okanogan cabin.
That type of hunting was banned statewide in 1996.
Erickson was arraigned in April on charges that include unlawful big-game hunting.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review reported that state game agents seized photographic evidence of Erickson’s alleged offenses from his motion-activated trail camera, and that authorities say he shot bears that were drawn to food scraps and salmon that he placed as bait.
An attorney for Erickson has refuted the charges and suggested the case could be determined by the question of whether it’s legal to leave out food that might attract wildlife may come upon.

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