Video of singer killing tame bear may have helped in eastern N.D.

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)
GRAND FORKS–North Dakota ballot Measure 2, seeking to ban
hunting deer and elk within high fences, failed statewide but passed
in the eastern third of the state.
Contributing to the regional split in the North Dakota voting
may have been intensive local exposure during the week before the
November 2010 election of a videotape of country music star Troy
Gentry illegally killing a tame black bear named Cubby at a Minnesota
game farm in 2004.

Winning a three-year legal battle to oblige the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service to release the video, which was used as evidence
supporting federal charges brought against Gentry in 2006, the
Chicago animal rights group SHARK posted the video to YouTube on
October 25, 2010.
The background, explained SHARK founder Steve Hindi, was
that “Gentry bought Cubby from Lee Marvin Greenly, the owner of
Minnesota Wildlife Connection,” near Sandstone, Minnesota, “where
people can photograph wild animals who have been domesticated.
Gentry paid Greenly $4,650–and then filmed himself shooting an arrow
into the poor animal, all the while pretending the bear was wild and
even dangerous.”
Gentry testified on November 27, 2006, Associated Press
reported, “that he bought the bear from Greenly with the
understanding they would videotape a hunt inside the bear’s
three-acre enclosure, which was surrounded by an electric fence.
They also agreed to report that the bear was killed in the wild six
miles east of Sandstone, instead of on Greenly’s property south of
the town.”
Initially charged with felony violation of the Lacey Act,
which prohibits transporting illegally obtained wildlife across state
lines, Gentry pleaded guilty to improperly tagging a game animal,
was fined $15,000, agreed to give up hunting, fishing and trapping
in Minnesota for five years, and forfeited both Cubby’s hide and the
bow he used to kill Cubby.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Sandy Cleva told Paul
Walsh of the Star Tribune the agency objected to releasing the video
out of concern for the privacy rights of Gentry and Greenly.
Washington D.C. attorney Bill Eubanks, representing SHARK, told
Walsh that the judge in the case ruled that the “privacy interests
were quite minimal” because parts of the video were “already shown on
national television, and they had planned to use it for a country
Attracting 50,000 viewers in less than a week, the SHARK
posting and clips from the Gentry video were amplified on November 1
by the investigative television series Inside Edition, drew
attention from other upper Midwest broadcast media, and received
prominent coverage from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Grand Forks
Herald, and Associated Press.
The eastern third of North Dakota receives broadcast news
coverage from Minnesota media that aired the story.
Web searches indicated as of November 2, 2010 that killing
Cubby was mentioned in about 17% of all online items pertaining to
Troy Gentry, and 70% of recent postings. The band Montgomery
Gentry, consisting of Troy Gentry and Eddie Montgomery, had more
than 20 recordings on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list before
Gentry was convicted of killing Cubby, including five songs that
went to #1 and ten others than made the top 10, but has not had a
song climb above #32 on the charts since 2008.
Montgomery Gentry was under contract to Columbia Records from
1999 until September 17, 2010, when the band and the label split.

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