A Knoxville woman has been charged with violations related to stealing a bear hunting dog during a hunt in Blount County.
In the incident on Nov. 2, Sandra Lucille Inman allegedly interfered with a lawful bear hunt by catching and stealing a bear hunting dog from a Maryville hunter during an active bear hunt.
Ms. Inman has been charged with theft of property TCA 39-14-103, violation of the Hunter Protection Act TCA 70-4-302, and removal of a transmitting collar TCA 39-14-213.
Ms. Inman has not yet been assigned a court date.
TWRA officials said, "The use of dogs to hunt bears is a traditional hunting method in Tennessee and throughout much of North America. Wildlife officers have fielded reports of theft of hunting dogs for many years and it is usually difficult to get a resolution for the hunter. Fortunately, wildlife officers were able to quickly return the dog to the hunter and identify and charge the person responsible for stealing the dog.
"TWRA Wildlife Officers would like to thank the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the case. The public is reminded that if you see hunting dogs in the area, to leave them alone and never remove a GPS transmitting collar.
"If you have an illegal hunting issue or concern in East Tennessee, contact the TWRA Region 4 dispatcher at 1-800-831-1174."