Conservation Wildlife Management

A Woman Encouraged Her Son to Poach a Black Bear Cub. He Poached Two

“This is a loss to Oregonians and to those who respect, value, enjoy, and manage our state’s wildlife resources”
Katie Hill Avatar
poachers kill black bear cubs
The poachers thought they only shot one cub twice, until they realized they shot two cubs once. Andrew / Adobe Stock

A 52-year-old woman and her 29-year-old son are paying off a $15,000 fine after poaching two black bear cubs in northwestern Oregon last year. Both lost their hunting privileges until February 2026, and they are on probation until February 2028.

Gail Faye Freer and Corey Douglas Loving, Jr. were convicted of misdemeanor poaching charges in February after shooting and killing two eight-month-old black bear cubs in early October 2022, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday. Freer and Loving were trespassing on private land near Siletz when they saw a bear cub walking through blackberry bushes.

Loving shot the cub at Freer’s encouragement, law enforcement officials told ODFW. The pair left the carcass and planned to collect it later. When they returned, they saw another black bear cub in the same blackberry bushes. Thinking it might have been the first cub that survived the first shot, Loving fired another round. When Freer and Loving approached the bushes, they discovered Loving had actually shot two separate bear cubs fatally rather than one cub twice.

The duo left the carcasses to waste. The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers found them several days later after someone left an anonymous tip with the Turn In Poachers hotline. Officers searched for a nearby sow but have yet to find one.

According to Lincoln County court records, Loving was charged with five counts of “taking, angling, hunting, or trapping in violation of wildlife law or rule.” He originally pled not guilty to all five charges in December. He later re-entered a guilty plea to two charges and was convicted in February. The other three charges were dismissed.

Freer pled guilty to one of two charges of the same wildlife violation as her son. She was convicted on the same day.

Oregon’s fall black bear hunting season runs from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31. It is unlawful to take bear cubs less than one year old. Taking sows with cubs less than one year old is also illegal. It is unclear whether Freer and Loving possessed fall bear tags.

Read Next: “The Bear Whisperer” Host Charged With Poaching Black Bear in a National Park, Airing the Footage on His Show

“There is no excuse for taking two 8-month-old bear cubs, plus the meat was not taken care of and went to waste,”  ODFW wildlife biologist Jason Kirchner said in a press release. “This is a loss to Oregonians and to those who respect, value, enjoy, and manage our state’s wildlife resources.”