ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - In April of 2018, Alaskan father and son Andrew Renner, 41, and Owen Renner, 18, both of Wasilla, illegally killed a black bear sow and her two cubs on Esther Island in Prince William Sound. Video of that incident has now been made public, nearly a year later.
The sow and cubs that the Renners killed were part of a bear study being conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as well as the U.S. Forest Service.
Because the bears were part of a study, their den was under video surveillance, and the two were caught on camera killing the bears.
Almost a year later, that video was released by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, following a successful public records request made by the Humane Society of the United States.
"The video shows A. Renner and O. Renner skiing up to the den and then O. Renner firing two shots at the denning sow. A. Renner then kills the shrieking newborn bear cubs and discards their bodies away from the den," Alaska State Troopers wrote in the report at the time.
Viewer Warning: The video below depicts wildlife being killed and transported. The video has been edited and segments that were potentially more graphic have been removed by the Humane Society. Channel 2 has requested the unedited version of the video from DPS, and that request is pending.
The men can be seen shooting into the den, and heard saying, “they’ll never be able to link it to us” and "we go where we want to kill s---. " They were later filmed returning to the site, picking up the spent shell casings, and disposing of the dead bear cubs in plastic bags.
In January of 2019, the Wasilla father and son were sentenced for killing the bears, and then lying about it to officials after they found out the bear was collared.
Andrew Renner was sentenced to five months in jail with two months suspended, a fine of $20,000 with $11,000 suspended, and to forfeit property used in the offenses. Owen Renner was sentenced to suspended jail time, community service and is required to take a hunter safety course.
Both defendants were ordered to pay $1,800 restitution, the amount set by statute for illegally killing black bears, and had their hunting licenses revoked, Andrew Renner's for 10 years, and Owen Renner's for two years.