Outrage grows over killing of a mother bear and her cubs even as federal government moves to make such action legal

By on August 9, 2018 with 70 Comments

There isn’t sufficient outrage in the world to cover the depravity of the father and son who were charged with breaking Alaska state law in mid-April when they killed a mother bear and her shrieking cubs on Esther Island in Prince William Sound. The details of their wanton crime, revealed just this week in an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, are chilling. They skied to a remote den, where they killed a mother bear in front of her cubs, and then killed the cubs. Then, discovering an Alaska Department of Fish and Game collar on the bear, they took steps to cover up their illegal action. They removed the collar, butchered the bear, and tossed the cub carcasses.

According to the charges, they even returned to the site two days later to remove all signs and evidence of their deed. The father provided false documentation and accounts concerning the killing of the bear when he appeared at a state wildlife office several weeks later.

What the two didn’t know was that a motion-controlled video camera placed at the site by ADFG and the US Forest Service, as part of a study of bear populations in Prince William Sound, had documented their misconduct from start to bloody finish.

Alaskan authorities, to their credit, have charged the pair with unlawful take of a female bear with cubs, unlawful take of bear cubs, and possession and transportation of illegally taken game. However, these are mere misdemeanor charges, so it’s good to know that the father has also been charged with tampering with physical evidence – a felony – and for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, as well as unsworn falsification.

Whenever trophy hunters display such reckless disregard for law and animal life, the organizations that promote trophy hunting, and the elected officials who support their agenda, eventually move to condemn the scofflaw. I hope that they will do so now. But it’s not that simple this time around, because many of these same parties are working to make this sort of killing legal in Alaska.

That’s right. The US Department of the Interior under Secretary Ryan Zinke has been pushing to overturn a 2015 rule that prohibited “taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites, harvesting brown bears over bait, taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9), taking swimming caribou, taking caribou from motorboats under power, taking black bears over bait; and using dogs to hunt black bears” on National Park Service Preserve lands in Alaska.

It’s worth noting that a recent poll demonstrated that Alaskans by a strong majority oppose such methods and don’t want to see them condoned or encouraged in their state.

There used to be a code of ethics within the North American hunting community, grounded in the notion of fair chase. But these days, it seems, all we’re seeing is a stampede to the bottom rung of moral sensibility.


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  1. Debbie Sampson says:

    What vile heartless human garbage!!! God help this planet and the future of our defenseless wildlife.

    • Nancy Dunlap says:

      Well said Debbie, Except these murderers aren’t human.

    • Lela Nottoli says:

      I heard from a friend someone shot and killed a mother black bear and her 2 cubs 3 nights ago .
      This is the area of the Caldor Fire in Grizzly Flats California. The man needs to be imprisoned . Or shot .
      There is no food in these mountains after the wildfires for the wildlife to eat . These animals feel hunger just like we do , only more so . There is no supermarket for these animals to get their food from . People have no compassion for these starving animals.
      I think penalties for killing these animals , wildfire survivors, ought to be enhanced 10 fold !

  2. Patricia Shane says:

    These so called “hunters” should be charged with more than a slap on the wrist, or laws should be changed that allow authorities to give out harsh punishments for this disgusting behavior. The government should take notice of the people’s displeasure of contemplating changing the laws to allow this horrible practice. If not, people should start protesting, and this practice should be made clear on TV and radio, so people know what’s going on with our government. I can’t believe most people want females and their young slaughtered by these lower than the low individuals.

    • Maryann Farrell says:

      You’re absolutely right, because what’s going on is. Money and power from few are controlling the majority of people who don’t want this evil practice going on. If we were allowed to vote on this. We as animal lovers would cause a landslide vote to stop all poaching and laws to protect our wildlife. I never thought I’d see the day in America where we killed our wildlife to extinction.
      We’re just like anywhere else in the world. Take take take until there’s nothing left. Sadly if we don’t change today. We may not have any wildlife left. We need to preserve their land more then anything, stop hunting/poaching in protected wildlife preserves and educate all our school students starting in first grade what wildlife is, show them the importance, beauty and how threatened it is. As a matter of fact. Most adults should be educated, because it seems like most people don’t care if wildlife disappears. Tar, brick, steel and pollution is what they seem to want. Sad.

  3. LINDA LOWSON ESQ. says:

    There are no words to describe this depraved horrific criminal act. Not only should we petition Secretary Zincke to retain and even strengthen legal protection of wildlife, but we should petition law enforcement and the criminal justice system in Alaska to put these two deranged individuals behind bars for five years or more so they are held fully accountable for the consequences of their disgusting, greedy, selfish, senseless actions. The taking of life from a helpless innocent being just trying to live its simple life is the most heinous crime imaginable.

    • Charlotte says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth . . . THIS act is nothing short of evil and despicable and I believe actions like this call for several years in prison!!!

      • Henry Jarrett says:

        I love animals and respect them and protect them; however, they simply must be hunted. If not so, animals such as deer, for example, would breed themselves to extinction. They would not have the food supply needed to survive and would become ill and spread disease, in turn, wiping out entire populations, and yes, eventually causing extinction if said species. This wasn’t my point though. My question is, “Why are we, ie American society, so concerned about animals and so seemingly unconcerned about the pre borm human beings that are bring murdered at a rate of approximately 3,600 per day. These are human beings that are being killed, and at an alarming rate. Of course now, in New York, our pre born citizens can be murdered when they are even older than before. I’m sorry to say, but in today’s society, an animal (pet, etc..), has been given more life value than a person. I am almost speechless when I think that if that is not already true, then it won’t be long before it is. It saddens me. So, please, start a blog about human life and the murder of innocent, unborn human lives, and quit being so dramatic about a couple of bears. I am saying this to all that blogged about this topic. It just seems a bit much in retrospect.

  4. Annette Lemone says:

    The sadists name has been posted on Facebook. Facebook needs to remove him from Facebook, as there are animal killing pictures on his page.

  5. Michele OBrien says:

    Everything about this despicable act should be classified as a felony not a misdemeanor. Also the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor… He’s 18 that’s not a minor that’s an adult. Personally I feel they should both see jail time. In addition to that I think it would be more of a punishment to ban them from ever hunting again. To go to their homes and sees all their weapons and put them on a list that forbids them from owning weapons ever again. They should never be allowed to hunt ever again in their lifetimes. I think that would really make them suffer and they deserve to suffer.

  6. georgia gillespie says:

    i would like to post this to my timeline, but there is no way to do this…i am so livid. we need to publicize this everywhere, but i have not seen this anywhere but here.

  7. Fran Leard says:

    OMG, this is sick and outrageous and I hope someone puts these low life monsters out of their misery. I hope the judge gives them years behind bars and let the inmates deal with this scum.

  8. Angela Grammatico says:

    Get those who did this !!!! HORRIFYING

  9. Natalie Colton says:

    There HAS TO BE a way to stop this Sickening INSANITY!
    What is wrong with these despicable people. What is wrong to the people in power who are supposed to be smart enough lead. Charge and jail and flog these a$$holes every single one and start making extreme examples of them.
    ANIMALS DO NOT BELONG TO ANYONE. THIS kind of GARBAGE PEOPLE need to be TRASHED. Such a sickening, killing, torturing mind set. Such insipid little dicks who can only get their jollies by killing innocents.
    I hope your families are wiped out …BRUTALLY

  10. Donna Griffen says:

    What if someone comes in your home and shoots you and yours? The law is on the side of the homeowner obviously if lucky enough to survive. Not to mention if the culprit is caught. This is a barbaric way to hunt no matter what. We cannot allow this to happen in a legal sense at all. What does that say about us as human beings? Not much i fear. I could not imagine the horror felt by these animals. Much less humans. This is not acceptable

  11. Yvette Tapp says:

    ADepraved father and son skied to a remote den, where they killed a mother bear in front of her cubs, and then killed the cubs. Then, discovering an Alaska Department of Fish and Game collar on the bear, they took steps to cover up their illegal action. They removed the collar, butchered the bear, and tossed the cub carcasses. Whenever trophy hunters display such reckless disregard for law and animal life, the organizations that promote trophy hunting, and the elected officials who support their agenda, eventually move to condemn the scofflaw. I hope that they will do so now. But it’s not that simple this time around, because many of these same parties are working to make this sort of killing legal in Alaska.
    The US Department of the Interior under Secretary Ryan Zinke has been pushing to overturn a 2015 rule that prohibited “taking any black bear, including cubs and sows with cubs, with artificial light at den sites, harvesting brown bears over bait, taking wolves and coyotes (including pups) during the denning season (between May 1 and August 9), taking swimming caribou, taking caribou from motorboats under power, taking black bears over bait; and using dogs to hunt black bears” on National Park Service Preserve lands in Alaska.

  12. Samantha says:

    Please take a moment to voice your opposition to the proposed rule to overturn the ban on killing animals in their dens and swimming caribou in National Park Service Preserve lands in Alaska!!
    Comments due Sep. 6
    As of right now, there are 112,274 comments. Please share, spread the word.


  13. Kelly Kramer says:

    This deplorable conduct must be reoutlawed. It is not only barbaricly cruel, it is destructive to the health of our forests.

  14. Marilyn Jasper says:

    I’m beyond words (such as “pleased” or “appreciative”) that these stories via your blog, and hopefully other HSUS outreach notices, are being brought to the public’s attention. Thank you.

  15. Geoff says:

    So why are you leaving out the names of the degenerates involved? Publicizing that information would be the vital first step in public shaming.

  16. Marilyn Boehm says:

    I am BEYOND OUTRAGED that this father and son duo have not been charged with felonies. They have committed an horrific offense against the lactating sow and her newborn cubs. I demand that the Humane Society conveys my outrage to the Alaskan courts and the hunting lobby on behalf of this crime.

  17. Betsy Roberts says:

    A heinous crime like the killing of this mother bear and her cubs should have more punishment than what a misdemeanor charge brings. This was MURDER, plain and simple, and thank God it and the subsequent cover-up was caught on video from start to grisly finish. This sort of thing makes me sick to my stomach. Recent research has shown that bears are much more intelligent, sentient beings than we thought them to be in the past. They have as much right to be on this earth as we do, to live their lives and raise their young in peace. These two heartless criminals deserve jail time and a hefty fine to send a message that this type of crime will not be tolerated, now or in the future.

  18. Tracey Comrie says:

    What disgusting scum we have on this planet claiming to be human.
    The bears & other fantastic wild animals deserve freedom and respect.
    We are all fed up with these numscalls ploughing through life doing as they please, killing everything they come across. We wish them pain and misery for what they have caused.

  19. G.S. Youngling says:

    I am constantly and continually outraged at these types of practices. I recently saw those horrible photos of the trapper who took an entire pack of Denali Alaskan Wolves for sport. We work so hard to reintroduce those majestic creatures to Yellowstone and the Mexican Gray in the Grand Canyon region. Now this…
    I am a former hunter but stopped 30 years ago when I was awakened with the preciousness of life… And still, there’s NO excuse for allowing this to continue on a misdemeanor level. Without the teeth of punishment and encouragement of witness reporting, those laws are meaningless.

  20. Doris Muller says:

    The Renners (bear killers) are vicious serial killers. They kill for the joy of killing. Father Renner is so addicted to the thrill of killing he indoctrinated his child to like conscienceless values, and the vicious brutality lives on. Unfortunately, such disgusting brutality is a legal means for joy killing psychopaths to get their kicks without it being a criminal act. The only difference in this situation is the victims were part of a study.

    The US Department of the Interior under Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to make sure that society holds on to such disgusting values, so they are working to make it easy for these joy killers to legally continue to engage in such heartless behavior without restraints. It’s unacceptable for government bodies to be complicit by creating and supporting such outrageous, vicious values. Today’s society is violent enough. Tax-supported bodies need to be held to supporting a kinder world.

  21. marc Campbell says:


  22. Teresa Colon says:

    Very bad. Not more killing animals

  23. Angela Felty says:

    To kill Mother’s and their cubs is horrible!

  24. Elena Damien says:


  25. Maria Roberts says:

    How low can we get? To allow this kind of cruelty without appropriate punishment for the perpetrator makes us a nation that does not care about its animals. Gandhi once said that a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals.
    With the perpetrators in this administration many animals will be slaughtered “for fun”. Shame of us if we let this continue!

  26. Jennifer Williams says:

    Please prosecute to the fullest extent of the law! This is abhorrent!

  27. Peggy Izzo says:

    This is sick! Great father figure!

  28. Cynthia says:

    It’s animal cruelty pure and simple. These are vile people and they need to be made an example of with harsh punishment. They are disgusting and have no regard for life.

  29. Janice Kyle says:

    Murder is not hunting! This must stop! We can’t allow this to happen!

  30. Carole Toombs says:

    Words can’t describe my feelings when I read sickening things such as this. You don’t want to believe there are people in this world who would take innocent lives for their own pleasure. It’s disgusting and must somehow be stopped and the perpetrator be held accountable.

  31. Eileen goodman says:

    No one is more outraged than I am…but what’s going to be done about it?
    These animal murderers get a slap on the wrist.
    Two of them are trump’s sons!
    All poachers and trophy hunters should be killed.
    There’s no other answer.

  32. L. Gallagher says:

    It is critical when these articles are published that there are links & if helpful phone #’s of politicians, or whomever so we can contribute & be supportive of these animals. It seems none of these articles contain this extremely helpful info. We can pass it on a lot easier & get the word out so it ultimately gets to the masses of people who care.

  33. joan escuriex says:

    This is an atrocity of barbarianism and needless murder – BOO to the father for such an example that his son will continue this legacy – there isn’t enough wanton injury and death in this country? Animal Rights aside, this is senseless and brutal killing! A misdemeanor??? That’s a joke – what these two have done is serious!!

    Boo to the government that has now become just plain senseless!

  34. Jessica Cohen says:

    This is horrific.Bring this barbarian to justice.

  35. Susan Royal says:

    OMG. This is abhorrent behavior. Trump and his cronies simply must not be allowed to overturn the 2015 law protecting hibernating bears. The father should go to jail for a long time. How could someone be so evil? 😡

  36. Tina Roberts says:

    To what end is this suppose passing of such a bill.So people such as those dirtbags can kill everything that moves now that’s just murder

  37. RICHARD RYAN says:

    Trophy hunters are very sick and broken people who do THE DEVIL’S WORK.

  38. Diane says:

    Sure hope they catch the evil moron that killed them & he spends the rest of his life in jail. Maybe with a bear too.

  39. Mary says:

    Has the world gone mad???? These beautiful creatures that God created have a right to be here on earth and to live in peace. We are suppose that be stewards of the earth & take care of what God created so that future generations can love & learn from them as well! Please stop this nonsense. I can’t stand reading this kind of news and my heart breaks for those beautiful bear cubs & their mother.

  40. Brittney says:

    What the hell is wrong with people! Everyone got riled up about that doctor killing the lion with a tracker and it after luring it from a preserve but this is socially acceptable!? I hope that these sickos Get there day and Karma shows them the terror that they put that momma bear and her poor cubs through! Legislators need to change laws if its a felony to abuse animals now it should be the same for wildlife too!

  41. Geoff says:

    I offered a comment the other day asking why the men’s names were omitted from this post. You can’t publicly shame someone if you don’t know who they are or where they live. Apparently such a request was judged too uncivil, too politically incorrect for this column where the answer to almost every animal rights issue seems to be to just donate more money to the HSUS. To any rational observer the animal protection movement is losing the fight, big time, all over. If animal rights advocates don’t toughen up and be willing to employ the same kind of strong- arm tactics that our opponents routinely use, mind as well raise the white flag now and spare yourself all the grief. If you insist on always bringing a knife to a gun fight, expect to lose.

  42. Valorie Parker says:

    Just when you start to hope that humans can’t de-evolve any further.

  43. R.Still says:

    I don’t understand hunting in any form. It’s called” sport”.???? What kind of sport results in the death of another living creature and it’s babies. Barbaric that’s what it is. Done by people with very little respect for other living creatures. Maybe if it’s to be an equal sport then tie the hunter to a tree with his gun at his side let the mother loose to protect her cubs and see who wins! What a sad place the world is with people who would do this.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Killing these majestic animals is wrong

  45. Alice Burkhart says:

    The killing of the mother bear and cubs is horrible. Rather than making it legal, can we make it a felony and be sure Daddy dearest gets at least 5 years in a penitentiary?

  46. Elizabeth Austin says:

    What can I do to stop this..address?

  47. Richard Lada says:

    It is truly heartbreaking how people could be so cruel and bloodthirsty. I cant imagine why they would even consider hurting these precious animals. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering these poor animals experienced. Did they think that killing was fun?

  48. Brenda Torres says:

    I hope these sorry excuses for humans have thier faces published I’d like to spit on them but that’s probably illegal these two deserve jail time the father should never be allowed to hunt again nor his son if the voters could have a say on this hunting horror maybe we could stop this abuse of our planets animals

  49. Dave Cross says:

    These two excuses for humans need to be jailed for at least 20 years. This is absolutely abhorrent.

  50. Pam Bean says:

    The killing of a mother bear and her cubs is a mind blowing, heinous act of evil. The great majority of people would really have loved to see this mother and her babies and now will never get that opportunity. The men who did this are dangerous and need prosecuting and reviling in the extreme for murdering these beautiful, iconic creatures!

  51. M. Ward says:

    Hunting used to be a challenge, took skill, patience. Now it is just something to do, not for food not to balance nature when predators take over, we have seen that keeping a balance helps the environment brings animals back to places the used to inhabit, working on the food chain. We have to control the tags, how many of each animal and how many can be taken each season. So many reasons not to allow animals to be killed in their dens. I pray President Trump rethinks these changes, and protects our nation.

  52. Roberta Lindgren says:

    I am against any repeal of the law protecting this wildlife.

  53. Catherine Hildebrand says:

    Bottom rung is where Drumpf has taken the USofA

  54. Robert says:

    Zinke and his Head of Fish and Wildlife are a trophy hunters and socialize with the rich trophy hunters of St. Hubertus, Boone & Crocket, Sportsman Alliance and DSC. The members of these organizations hobnob with them and push their agendas through Trump’s sons who are also members of some of these organizations. This isn’t about the animals, this is about rich trophy hunters and their sick enjoyment of senseless killing.

  55. Nancy Dunlap says:

    These poachers are monsters and should have received much harsher sentences and fines.
    The Trump adminsitration is a disgrace for trying to allow such hunts to become legal! Pure sickness.

  56. Sojourner says:

    I might like to comment here that this type of thing, killing a mother in front of her offspring or killing offspring in front of their mother can often be the reason for unprovoked attacks upon humans later on. Animals can be vengeful over these things —- they are not indifferent. Recently a man was attacked by a young cougar weighing only about 18 kgs. and about six months old or so. A kitten maybe but big enough to be nasty. Wildlife service affirmed that the animal was not starving and was probably orphaned. I wonder how the cat was orphaned —– mother shot in front of the cub ?? I wonder ??
    In the Old Testament there is actually a prohibition on this kind of thing amomg domestic animals. (I am open to correction on this point).

  57. Sojourner says:

    Killing a mother in front of her offspring or killing offspring in front of the mother can actually amount to something else besides obsene cruelty. Animals are not insensitive to these things and they can be vengeful “settling scores” with humankind. Recently a man was attacked by a juvinile cougar about six months old. The “cub” was about 16 to 18 kgs, big and heavy enough to be nasty. The animal was believed to be an orphan and I have estimated that the mother was slaughted in front if him/her and now it has bred an animal that is doubly dangerous.
    Addressing Kitty Block, proprietor of this site: Can this factor included in pushing through extra legislation to protect the wild?

    • Brent DeVeney says:

      Will it seems that they will not show my previous reply, about the bears and her kids,but I can understand why, what I said was not proper but I was so mad I couldn’t find a better way to describe these two a — h—es.

  58. Gabriela says:

    What a pair of REDNECKS !! OUTRAGEOUS what they did!! And only 3 months in prison?? For only the father?? Why not the son too?!! Gosh, what low-lives, they ‘re not worth a thing.

  59. Katie Schatzlein says:

    This takes cruelty and disrespect for life to another level. I started a monthly donation to HS tonight in honor of this precious bear family. It is all I can do at this time, but I believe we must do something to make these crimes have huge consequences and not just monetary, but serious prison time. I suspect, the Trump family trophy hunters, have helped these heartless types come out from under their rocks.

  60. Kelly says:

    This just happened again recently. It is disgusting. Who would hunt a hibernating animal right in front of its children?

    Kelly Clark
    Editor, https://occupational-therapy-assistant.org/

  61. Sojourner says:

    Now, I see that it has happened again: About a month ago, a hunter in Arkansas shot and and killed a deer (so he thought). However, as he approched his kill, the wounded deer jumped up to his feet and returned the complement goring the hunter several times and finally killing him. This is as I said in previous comments: Sport killing, which is obsene enough in itself, is also breeding aggressive instinct in creatures normally fairly placid and I belive this factor to be an increasingly strong card to play for Government protection for the wild.

    Too add an opinion, I don’t know if I am right in expressing such sentiments, but really I feel no sympathy for people who go around killing animals without necessity if they come to rue themselves when the animal defends itself.

  62. Karin Erker says:

    Stop die brutalen mörder und bestraft die … die Regierung muss das stoppen … was sind das für Menschen, die so ein prachtvolles Tier töten … die Menschen haben den Tieren die Hölle auf Erden gebracht … Stop das töten der wunderbaren Bären …

  63. Karin Erker says:

    Stop diese mörder … die wunderbaren Bären töten … was sind das für brutale menschen … irgendwann bekommen diese tierquäler ihre Strafe … die Regierung muss die bestrafen … wir müssen gegen diese tierquäler kämpfen damit das tierleid ein Ende hat … stop

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