Roanoke, Va. (AP) – A Pembroke man has pleaded guilty to baiting
and killing bears at a popular Giles County recreation area.
Merrill Conley pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to
illegally baiting bears in the Cascades Recreation Area, knowingly
hunting in a baited place, maintaining an illegal trail on national
forest land and other charges.
Under an agreement with prosecutors last week, he avoided jail
time. But his punishment includes paying fines and restitution,
including for illegally killing a black bear.
Capt. Woody Lipps of the U.S. Forest Service says Conley and an
unidentified teenager would follow a homemade trail to an area
where they would bait and then shoot the bears. Two bears were