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DWR investigating bear shooting at scout camp

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – A Utah scout leader could face charges for shooting and killing a bear.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – A Utah scout leader could face charges for shooting and killing a bear.

It happened Wednesday night at the Hinckley Scout Ranch, about thirty miles south of Evanston, Wyoming.

Local scout leaders are defending the shooting. They say it was in the best interest of hundreds of scouts.

"There were some candy bars left out on a table, snickers, and a bear came in and started eating the candy bars," says Rick Barnes, with the Greater Salt Lake Council.

That bear had no intention of leaving. Barnes says attempts to scare the bear away from camp were unsuccessful.

That's when a split second decision was made.

"We decided for the safety of all of the youth in the camp that we needed to take the bear down," says Barnes.

With five hundred scouts at the camp Barnes stands by that decision, but the Division of Wildlife will now decide if it was justified.

Officials say they hope to finish the investigation within a week and turn the findings over to the county attorney for possible charges.

Barnes says they haven't had any trouble with bears at the camp for about six years, but tensions were running high from just last weekend.

"We had a tent that was slashed by, we assumed it was a bear," says Barnes.

The Division of Wildlife was called out at that time, but was not able to trap the bear. A few days later it was possibly the same bear that met it's fate.

"We're not happy with what happened," says Barnes.

The troop that left the candy bars out was told to pack up and leave the camp for breaking the rules.

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