Gentry Denies Bear Problems

Troy Lee Gentry of Montgomery Gentry pleaded innocent August 15th to charges of killing a tame black bear named “Cubby” in an enclosed pen, then tagging and reporting it as a wild kill.

According to Gentry’s attorney, the country singer played by the book and killed a bear on a Minnesota game farm in 2004, using a bow and arrow from a tree stand.

Gentry appeared in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with Lee Marvin Greenly, a hunting guide who owns a “wildlife refuge” at his 80-acre property, Greenly’s mother told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Gentry allegedly purchased the bear, killed it and tagged it as a wild animal.

Gentry and Greenly were indicted for violations of the Lacey Act, which prohibits falsifying tags. The animal was registered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wild kill and its hide was shipped to a taxidermist.

The bear’s death was videotaped and later edited to appear as if Gentry killed the bear in a “fair chase” hunt, the indictment said. Gentry and Greenly face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted.

“Troy is an avid environmentalist and hunter who supports and follows all game laws,” Gentry attorney Ron Meshbesher said in a statement. “Before he killed the bear he was told by the bear guide that it was proper and legal to kill the bear which was not a tamed bear and was never in a pen or cage.

“Troy used his correct name on his Minnesota bear hunting license and never attempted to disguise his identity.”

Meshbesher added that the tape was edited to remove “down time” and was originally more than one hour in length.