CHICOD, PITT COUNTY -

A hunter is charged after North Carolina Wildlife Officers say they discovered he allegedly shot and killed a Black Bear, out of season Monday night. 

The hunter was discovered with the bear's body at a location along Highway 43 South, in the Chicod area, according to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. 

A local person reported shots fired in the Chicod area at about 7 p.m. Monday.  When law enforcement arrived they confronted the unidentified suspect.  

Residents in the neighborhood across from where the bear was shot say they're used to hunters being in the area. "We actually see sometimes, the spotlights shining in our house and stuff so it's really normal to hear gunshots," said Shauna Peyton, who lives a few hundred feet from where the bear was killed.

One witness told Newschannel 12 he believed there was also a cub with the bear that was killed. He says the cub ran off after the shots were fired.

Officials say this is the third bear which has been illegally taken in Beaufort, Greene and Pitt counties in the past two weeks alone. They have also issued 12 citations for bear-baiting related offenses.

The suspect from the latest killing faces misdemeanor charges for hunting out of season and hunting after dark.

Residents in the area say there are high numbers of bears living in the woods surrounding their homes. One man says he's taken multiple pictures of them, one of which he estimates to be over 600 pounds.
  

State wildlife officers are handling the case.