A Pitkin County man has paid a fine of nearly $1,400 for killing a mother bear in a tree near his home.
The Aspen Daily News reports (http://tinyurl.com/cayqe7j ) state wildlife officers cited 49-year-old Brian Heeney for unlawful taking of wildlife after the Aug. 20 incident.
The officers captured the bear's two cubs.
Heeney told the newspaper he wouldn't comment. He provided a letter he sent his neighbors apologizing for the incident. He wrote that the bear had a history of aggression and his safety was in jeopardy.
The wildlife officers' report said Heeney's dogs had run barking into the woods, and Heeney pursued with a shotgun.
The report said the bear climbed the tree after Heeney hit it with beanbag rounds, and Heeney fired buckshot when it appeared to be descending.