To animal lovers, the idea of proudly displaying the remains of something you hunted down and killed is a sad aspect of male bravado. Well, consider if the animal was a domestic creature raised in a cage for tourists to photograph. Troy Lee Gentry, of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, has been charged with paying $4,650 to the Minnesota Wildlife Connection to kill a tame bear named “Cubby.”

After using a bow and arrow to kill the animal inside its pen, Gentry and the owner of the preserve tagged the bear and registered it with the state as if it had been killed in the wild. A videotape was edited to make it appear that Gentry had hunted down the bear.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

I’m trying to picture the raw footage for this video, with the cameraman telling Troy, “Okay, now make a face like the bear is roaring at you. Yeah, that’s good. I got an awesome Nat Geo scene we can drop in there …” Meanwhile, back in the editing bay, someone is faithfully cutting around the owner of the Wildlife Connection saying, “Here, Cubby! Wanna nice cookie? Sit, boy … Good boy …”

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

I can only hope that Troy invited over Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney and all his country music pals to brag endlessly about the primal ritual of the hunt and the grueling pains he ignored as he tracked the beast through the wild brambles of Minnesota, shirtless and bleeding, with his bow and arrow strapped across his back and the taste of bloodlust in his mouth.

Troy Lee Gentry is famous for the song “Good Clean Fun,” which beckons a night of passion with the lyrics, “So please don’t think I’m moving in for the kill … If you don’t want to love me somebody else will.” Which is probably true. After all, for Troy “moving in for the kill” is a business transaction.