A New Iberia man's hunting privileges were stripped and he was sentenced to probation and a $3,000 fine for killing a black bear earlier this year, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported today (Dec. 22).

Federal Judge Patrick J. Hanna sentenced 39-year-old Cory R. Ronsonet to three years of supervised probation, three years of no hunting privileges, a $3,000 fine and 300 hours of community service, the LDWF said.

If the fine is paid and community service completed within six weeks, then the probation will be reduced to unsupervised, the agency reported.

The legal case began during the 2008-09 hunting season when LDWF agents received a tip that a black bear had been shot, skinned and stored in a fashion to mount it in the future.

Agents found a black-bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19 off of Daniel Lane near a subdivision in New Iberia.

During the investigation, Ronsonet admitted to LDWF Enforcement Division agents on May 31 of killing the black bear.

Ronsonet pleaded guilty for violating the federal endangered species act for illegally taking a black bear in Federal Western District Court in Lafayette on Aug. 17.

The bear had been a part of LDWF's black bear program, and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be 6 years old. The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.

LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this male bear, which lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.
The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.

In separate incident involving a hunter accidentally shooting a black bear in 2009 while hunting on Red River Wildlife Management Area resulted in LDWF officials vowing to seek $10,000 in restitution, although it has not been announced that this case has been resolved.

The department did not say if it would seek such restitution from Ronsonet.