Gentry sorry for killing tame bear

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Troy Gentry, who pleaded guilty this week in Minnesota to a misdemeanor charge of falsely registering a captive bear as being killed in the wild, said the ordeal has been "a humbling experience."

"I relied on the experts around me for guidance, and I regret that today. Not so much because I was fined and punished, but because it appears that I don't have respect for the law," Gentry, of the hit country singing duo Montgomery Gentry, said Monday in a statement.

"This has been a humbling experience for me, and one which I deeply regret."

Under the plea announced Monday, the 39-year-old singer agreed to pay a $15,000 fine, give up hunting, fishing and trapping in Minnesota for five years, and forfeit both the bear's hide and the bow he used to shoot the animal in 2004. The bear, named "Cubby," was killed in a 3-acre private enclosure.

The plea meant Gentry avoided a trial, which had been scheduled to start Monday in Duluth.

Gentry said he participated in improperly tagging the bear without realizing the seriousness of what he was doing.

"For that, I am truly sorry," he said.

In exchange for Gentry's plea, federal prosecutors dropped a felony charge of violating the Lacey Act, which authorities said bans possessing or transporting illegally obtained wildlife.

Montgomery Gentry's hits include "My Town," "Hell Yeah" and "Something to Be Proud Of."
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