Black bear remains illegally dumped in Skagit County

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- A Skagit County resident made a gruesome discovery this week when they found the chopped up remains of a black bear.

Officials say someone illegally dumped the slaughtered carcass on the side of a road not far from the Skagit River.

The remains littered the hillside -- a bear's paw on the ground, pieces of hide up against a tree trunk, another caught in some branches, and a mound of bear fat and trimmings in the dirt.

"They could do better. I mean, but there you go, they don't want to put that in their garbage can, they can't put that in their garbage can," said Leonard Halverson.

Halverson raises crops and cattle nearby. His property borders the property were the animal's remains were recently dumped.

The bear was found on property owned by Skagit County located just off Sedro-Woolley's Sterling Road. Based on the warning signs posted, it's a popular spot for illegal dumping, with garbage and used hypodermic needles scattered everywhere.

"We like coming down here and we want it clean," said a woman named Sandra, a local who's lived with her husband in the area for 40 years.

Fish and Wildlife officials said the bear was likely killed somewhere else and then the unwanted leftovers dumped. It's not illegal to leave remnants to decompose in permitted hunted areas, but dumping them on someone else's property is illegal.

"The hunting isn't unusual, (but) I get disgusted when they don't bury their leftovers, " said Sandra.

Halverson blames the county more than the culprits.

"I think the county should be taking care of the garbage. It costs too much to dump the garbage if you're a poor person. They dump their garbage or feed their kids -- if you make a choice, that's the choice and I don't blame somebody for that," said Halverson.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating, but says because it could not find a slug in the remains or any other evidence, it may be difficult or impossible to find the culprit.

The state also wants to know if the bear was legally harvested and tagged.

Fish and Wildlife hopes tips might help.