NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A man illegally killed a black bear in New Jersey, lied and told a weigh station employee in New York he killed it there, and then brought its guts back to a state forest to set up a fake kill site.
Martin Kazycki, 36, of Newfoundland, New Jersey, pleaded guilty Thursday to violating a law that prohibits transporting wildlife taken illegally across state lines.
Kazycki killed the 5-year-old, 450-pound male bear from a tree stand in Newfoundland two months before bear hunting season had started in October 2012. He drove it to New York and told a weigh station employee he had killed it in New York, where hunting season had already begun.
After bringing the bear's hide and skull to a taxidermy shop in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, to have it mounted as a trophy, he was confronted two days later by New Jersey wildlife officers about the bear. He lied to them about where he killed it and then that night drove the bear's insides to Sterling Forest State Park to stage the fake kill site, prosecutors said.
Wildlife officers found the site in New Jersey where he actually killed the bear, confirming the location through DNA evidence tested by East Stroudsburg University.
Investigators said Kazycki also violated state hunting laws by setting out bait for the bear within 300 feet of his tree stand and using a bow and arrow for the kill.
Kazycki faces up to a year in prison and more than $100,000 in fines, and must forfeit the skull and hide of the bear. He is to be sentenced Feb. 17.
This story has been corrected to show the name of where the bear's guts were dumped is Sterling Forest State Park, not Sterling State Forest, and the guts were dumped after the bear was taken to the taxidermy shop, not before.