After allegedly shooting at a black bear seen in Heflin on June 16, a local man has been charged with breaking the state’s bear protection laws. While classified as a game animal in Alabama, there is no established black bear hunting season in the state. Black bears are also protected by state law due to low population numbers. The shooter was arrested and released pending a court hearing on August 5. In Alabama, shooting at a black bear is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential minimum fine of $2,000. Other penalties for attempting to take a black bear include the loss of hunting and fishing license privileges for three years and possible jail time. The bear in Heflin appeared to be unharmed by the incident and was allowed to find its way back into a wooded area near Sugar Hill Road where the shots were fired.