A local man paid the price for his close encounter with a bear, and he's not happy about it.
Greg Thompson hit and killed the bear with his truck. Wanting to keep the animal to get a rug made, he called the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which then demanded that he pay $100 to take ownership of his roadkill.
Thompson and his wife were traveling down a bust stretch of Route 119 in Fayette County when the 160-pound bear surprisingly came off the highway embankment and into the path of his Ford truck.
"I tell you what, it sounded like a stick of dynamite going off," he told Channel 11's Lisa Sylvester. "Believe it or not, it was like POW! It was over in seconds."
Thompson said it's a lucky thing that only the bear was killed.
"If I wouldn't have hit this bear, it would have probably been a tragedy," Thompson explained. "The woman that was beside us was in a small car and that bear was headed straight for the driver's door. It probably would have done significant damage to her."
Thompson decided that he would keep the bear's skin as a souvenir, but the Game Commission wouldn't allow it unless he first paid $100.
"There's damage to the front of my vehicle," Thompson said. "I shouldn't have to pay a hundred bucks. They should have to pay my deductible."
Channel 11 News looked up the state regulation on wildlife killed by motor vehicles. It states that if you hit a wild animal and want to keep it, you must pay the state. Deer antlers will cost you $10 per point, a deer cape is $25, a fox is $50 and $100 is the minimum charge for a bear.
Thompson reluctantly paid the fee. The bear roadkill is now his.
He said, "I told my wife I'm going to put him on my wall with a plaque (that reads) 'killed with a 2010 F-154.'"
For his trouble and expense, Thompson now has a great story tell ... and a new bear rug.