WASHINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A man was charged with hunting a bear out of season after police determined the bear was not killed to protect a home in the Washington area.

According to the Massachusetts Environmental Police, on July 5th officers were notified that a bear had been killed in the area of Washington. The man initially claimed he killed the bear at home, claiming property owner/personal protection rights.

The investigation determined that the bear was actually killed at a nearby campground. Witnesses told police that the bear was not destructive and left the area after encountering dogs at the campsite.

Police seized the bow and arrows and he is being charged with hunting a bear out of season, with no bear permit or tag. The person who processed the meat admitted to taking in the animal without a tag and was charged with unlawful possession of a bear.

Bear hunting in Massachusetts begins on Tuesday, September 6 through Saturday, September 24 for rifle, handgun, muzzleloader, and archery. Only one bear per hunter is allowed each calendar year.