By: Press Release
By: Press Release

A 54-year old Franklin County man landed in Gulf County Jail Friday charged with killing a black bear.

Larry Joe Colson, DOB 4/25/54, of Apalachicola, turned himself in at the county jail in Port St. Joe after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators told him they had an arrest warrant for him.

Colson reportedly admitted to officers he shot a bear on his Gulf County hunting lease Jan. 17.

He’s charged with intentionally killing a threatened species, a black bear.

The charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.

“Initially, uniformed patrol officers received information that someone claimed to have killed a Florida panther on private property in Gulf County,” FWC investigator Steve Thomas said. “They made an on-site visit Jan. 20 to the property where the incident supposedly occurred, and at first, they didn’t find anything.

“They returned on Jan. 22 and found the remains of an adult male bear.

Colson was identified as a suspect, was interviewed and admitted shooting the bear.”

Thomas said no panther remains were found during the visits to the property.

Officers seized Colson’s Remington .30-06 rifle as evidence.

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