4 Charged With Illegal Baiting And Killing Of A Black Bear Reach Plea Agreements In Blount County

Friday, January 24, 2014

Four out of five suspects charged with illegal baiting and killing of a black bear on Chilhowee Mountain reached plea agreements in Blount County General Sessions Court on Friday.  The fifth suspect asked for his case to be bound over to the Grand Jury. 

5in;">The defendants were charged with violations related to killing a 400-pound black bear at night during the closed season back in September.  The hunters had turned hunting dogs loose near barrels baited with chocolate candy.

Chris Caughron, 23,  of Maryville, who is also facing charges of illegal deer hunting in Knox County after shooting at a buck deer from Pellissippi Pky. in December, opted to bind his case over to the Grand Jury.  Caughron has also had his hunting privileges revoked out of Illinois for illegal hunting and is currently prohibited from hunting in Tennessee because of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.  This compact means that if a person has had their hunting privileges revoked in a member state, then their privileges are revoked in all participating states. 

Richard L. Caughron, 45,  and Mike H. Gregory both pled guilty to the use of bait to hunt bears, killing a bear in the closed season, and conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal littering.  Both men received a six-month judicial deferral, six months supervised probation, 40 hours of community service, lost their hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for 18 months, and were ordered to pay an app. $400 fine plus court costs.  Caughron also forfeited a Garmin GPS unit and two GPS tracking collars. 

Roger Dale Mason, 65, agreed to a six-month abeyance, surrendered his hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for 12 months, and agreed to pay court costs. 

Roger L. Mason, 44, pled guilty to the use of bait to hunt bears, killing a bear in the closed season, and conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal littering. Mason received a six-month suspended jail sentence, was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service, and lost his hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for 60 months.  Mason was ordered to pay a $400 fine plus court costs and was placed on six-months of supervised probation.  Mason also forfeited the black bear meat and parts, a rucksack, and two fixed bladed knives. 

 

The TWRA commends the hard work of Assistant District Attorney General Shari Tayloe in the successful prosecution.


Wildlife Should Remain Wild

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) officials notice an increase in illegal removal of wildlife each spring. Not only is taking wildlife from nature unlawful, it can have harmful effects on humans, pets and overall wildlife populations. Animals most often taken include squirrels, fawns, turtles and even baby raccoons. Sometimes the intent is to care for a seemingly abandoned ... (click for more)

TVA’s Dam Visitor Centers Open April 1

TVA’s dams make certain that the Tennessee Valley is ready to deal with whatever April showers may come. And three of its most remarkable dams are kicking off the month by opening the doors of staffed visitors centers, which illuminate the agency’s history, offer information about how TVA operates its electric system and explain how the river and its tributaries are managed for ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Board Members Step In After Paul Smith, Staff Depart

Members of the board of directors of the Finley Stadium Corporation have been filling in and dividing tasks related to running the facility since Paul Smith, past executive director, and his staff resigned at the end of February. Mr. Smith has been credited for the financial turn-around of Finley Stadium, which at one time had to be subsidized by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton ... (click for more)

Firefighters Extinguish Fire At Senior Living Apartment Complex On Highway 58; 1 Resident Falls During Evacuation

A fire broke out at a senior living facility on Highway 58 Tuesday afternoon. At  2:50 p.m. , several agencies responded to the Silver Tree apartments (formerly known as Napfe Towers) at 5465 Highway 58. Th Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and reported heavy smoke coming from the sixth floor of the nine-story building. The Highway ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)