NORWALK, Conn. — A hearing for two men charged in the illegal killing of two young bears in Wilton was delayed from Thursday until Oct. 20, according to The Hour.
State Environmental Conservation Police received an anonymous tip Saturday, Sept. 16, that an archery hunter had illegally shot and killed two black bears on private property in Wilton.
The officers found Antonio Lio, 28, of Wilton carrying a bear skin, head and paws in a backpack as he walked out of the woods, EnCon police said. Daniel Moran, 33, of Norwalk, was with him, EnCon police said.
The bears, described as under 2 years old, were shot with a bow on property on Indian Rock Place, off Route 7 near Georgetown.
Lio told officers that he shot the first bear as it walked under his tree stand before shooting and killing the second bear, which approached him as he checked the first bear, EnCon police said.
He then texted Moran for help, EnCon police said. According to police, the two skinned the first bear, cutting off its paws and head for a trophy mount.
Lio did not have a valid 2017 hunting license or archery permit, EnCon police said. It is currently archery season for deer in Connecticut. There is no hunting season for bear in the state.
Lio was charged with two counts of illegal taking of black bear and fourth-degree negligent hunting. He was released on $5,000 bond.
Moran was charged with conspiracy to commit the illegal taking of black bear. He was released on $3,000 bond.
Each could face a fine of at least $500 and up to 90 days in prison, or both, on each misdemeanor charge of illegal taking of black bear, according to a state website. Also, a first-time violator's hunting license will be suspended for at least one year.
Wilton resident Marguerite Tucker O'Connor said she is organizing a protest at the Norwalk courthouse when the two men are arraigned Oct. 20 to call attention to stricter penalties.
In the past 52 weeks, 24 bear sightings have been reported in Wilton. In June, a bear was spotted on the Norwalk Valley River Trail.
For more information on bears in Connecticut and to report a sighting, click here .
Click here for the story at The Hour.
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