- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) - A rifle confiscated in a night hunting case let authorities track down a father and son accused of killing a Louisiana black bear, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said

Elie P. Dupre, 59, of New Iberia and his 15-year-old son both were cited for killing a bear near Lydia in late 2015, according to a news release Monday from department spokesman Adam Einck.

Dupre could not be reached for comment because the phone number given by directory assistance was not in service and a current number was not available in online directories.

The citation can bring up to 120 days in jail and a $950 fine, plus up to $10,000 in civil restitution for the bear’s value.

Einck said agents arrested Dupre on Dec. 27, 2015, in a separate night hunting case, and confiscated three firearms.

Ballistics tests showed that bullets from one of those rifles matched the one found in a 9-year-old female black bear found dead Nov. 4, 2015.

The bear had worn a tracking collar for eight years as part of state research, and had provided valuable information on black bear populations, productivity and population viability in the state of Louisiana, Einck said.

He said that after further investigation, agents learned that Dupre’s son was with him when the black bear was shot.

The subspecies was still federally protected at the time, but Einck said in an email that he didn’t think there would be federal prosecution, since wildlife agencies had already proposed removing the bears from the list of threatened species.

The U.S. Interior Department said in March 2016 that the Louisiana black bear had recovered enough that it no longer needed federal protection.

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