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Md. men ordered to pay restitution for black bear hunting

Two Maryland men have been ordered to pay thousands of dollars for violating the state’s black bear hunting regulations.

Fifty-seven-year-old Larry Harding of Friendsville and 58-year-old Wallace Harward of Forest Hill were sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore. Harding was ordered to $8,000 in restitution, and Harward was ordered to pay $5,000.

They also were sentenced to five years’ probation and 25 hours of community service.

Prosecutors say the men engaged in commercial hunting for American black bears, mostly in Garrett County in western Maryland.

Prosecutors say an undercover operation found that Harding and Harward were using bait to allow hunters to more easily kill the animals. Prosecutors say the hunters would pay the men to help them snag bears.

Maryland law bans hunters from using bait to attract bears.