A northern Minnesota bear hunting guide has been charged with using various illegal tactics involving the killing of bear and deer, according to authorities.
Keith R. Slick, 32, of Baudette, was charged Friday in Lake of the Woods District Court with a long list of offenses, among them: two counts of possessing an over limit of bear, three counts of unlawful possession of deer, two charges of unlawfully transporting a bear, failure to register a second bear, failure to tag a second bear, illegal possession of a car-killed deer, untagged big game animal (bear), no bear outfitter/guides license, unlawful transfer/lend or borrow of license, failure to register bear bait stations, hunting within 100 yards of an unregistered bear bait station, and placing bait for bear without a license.
There were other violations, according to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), but the statute of limitations had expired on them.
Slick was not immediately available to respond to the charges.
According to the DNR:
During the fall bear hunting season, state conservation officer Robert Gorecki located an active bear bait station belonging to Slick. A search of his home uncovered numerous bear capes and skulls, as well as sets of deer antlers.
“There were no possession or registration tags found with any of the bears,” Gorecki said in a statement released by the DNR. “The bears did not have any cuts in their ears that would indicate that a site tag was attached at any time in the past,” Gorecki said.
A check of DNR records indicated that Slick never registered an adult male deer or bear taken in the past 10 years, which is as far back as agency records go.
A cellphone seized in the investigation contained pictures of Slick with a dead bear. Numerous text messages were also found with Slick telling people about the bear he had shot. Other text messages from Slick stated that he had shot seven bears in his life.
Only two of the six antler sets recovered had site tags on them, but from individuals other than Slick.
“Mr. Slick had multiple unexplainable deer racks,” Gorecki added. “A third set of antlers were from an unregistered road-killed deer, and he was unsure where the remaining sets of antlers came from.”
Slick faces nearly $4,500 in fines and restitution. A firearm and bow were also seized during the investigation. If convicted, his hunting privileges could be revoked for three years.