Forsyth County

Man accused of drunkenly shooting, killing bear, Georgia deputies say

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A man was arrested after officials say he killed a bear in Forsyth County.

On July 19, just before 8:30 p.m., deputies received reports of a bear shot on Marsha Circle.

When deputies arrived, a woman staying with her mother and four children said she was inside the home when she heard three gunshots come from outside.

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The woman said in the report that when she looked out the window, she saw a bear running up the hill into the woods. She said there was another shot; she saw the bear fall to the ground, curl up into a ball, and stop moving.

According to the report, when the deputy walked into the woods, he was able to confirm that the bear was dead.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources arrived at the scene and were told by neighbors that the bear was not a direct threat to anyone and was shot.

Soon, deputies were met by Billy Cowart, a man who lived nearby.


Cowart said in the report that the bear was in his front yard, where he was with his chickens, and he felt threatened, so he ran inside. He added that when the bear ran into the woods.

While inside, Cowart said in the report that he grabbed his rifle, ran outside and shot the bear.

The deputy noted in the report that Cowart was slurring his words, and his face was sluggish while explaining what happened.

When asked if he had been drinking, Cowart said he may have had a beer while cutting the grass.

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After running a background check, deputies confirmed that he was a convicted felon.

Cowart was arrested for possessing a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm while under the influence and reckless conduct.

According to the report, while being taken to the jail, deputies said he began making expletive statements and claimed that he would shoot the bear again.

Officials said in the report that DNR took the bear and issued a citation for killing a bear out of season without a permit.


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