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Buncombe County man charged after a bear is shot and killed on his neighbor’s property

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By Andrew James

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — A Buncombe County man is facing charges after N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission officers said he shot and killed a bear on his neighbor’s property. Officers said the incident happened about noon Thursday on Poplar Creek Drive.

News 13 talked to a man who said the bear was shot on his property and his neighbor shot the animal from across the street.

“He could have hit our house, he could have hit our neighbor’s house or the house directly behind us, which is a clear line of sight from where he was standing,” said the man who did not want to be named.

N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission officers charged 70-year-old Robert Buchsbaum with negligent hunting, taking a wild animal and hunting during the closed season. Officers said there are a few cases where it would be legal for someone to shoot a bear on another person’s property.

“If someone was being attacked by the bear or being chased by the bear, yes, if they were trying to protect someone else or if someone asked them to,” Officer Hunter Foster said.

The Poplar Creek neighborhood was named a BearWise Safe Community last summer. The program teaches residents how to coexist with bears.

“They’re very harmless. They always just come through and as long as we follow the BearWise tips, the basics, don’t leave food out, lock all your stuff up, keep trash in the garage, lock your cars, they don’t bother anybody,” the property owner said.

Buchsbaum declined to comment on the case. He could face a fine of up to $2,000. N.C. Wildlife officers seized the weapon used in the shooting.

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