Updated: Thursday, February 21 2013, 06:11 PM EST
Wildlife officers go undercover to investigate illegal bear hunting in North Carolina and Georgia.
They began making arrests yesterday and they announced the details of their four-year-long operation today.
In Western North Carolina, 47 hunters will be charged with a variety of bear poaching crimes. They call their investigation “Operation Something Bruin”.
There were a total of ten bears killed illegally, six of those were in North Carolina, four were in Georgia.
Those kills were witnessed by undercover wildlife officers who used social media to make contact with hunters and guides and became part of the hunting parties to find and shoot bears illegally.
North Carolina officers say they began the operation in the southwestern part of North Carolina, Graham and Swain Counties.
It later fanned out across the mountains and later included the western Piedmont counties of North Carolina.
Many of these arrests involve ignoring bear-hunting laws… hunting out of season, and taking more than the 1-bear limit
Most of the arrests being made will face wildlife hunting laws, which are misdemeanor crimes that involve a $1,000 fine per animal taken and a possible jail term.
Those will be filed in county district courts. Others could face federal charges with increased penalties.
Click here for more on Operation Something Bruin.