An undated photo of Vaseux Creek Outfitters operator James Wiens with a bear. Wiens pleaded guilty to three charges under the Wildlife Act at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Tuesday. (Photo from Vaseux Creek Outfitters website) An undated photo of Vaseux Creek Outfitters operator James Wiens with a bear. Wiens pleaded guilty to three charges under the Wildlife Act at the Penticton provincial courthouse. (Photo from Vaseux Creek Outfitters website)

B.C. hunter fined after luring bears in with greased logs, dog food

A South Okanagan hunting guide has been fined

A South Okanagan hunting guide has been fined over $20,000 after pleading guilty to three Wildlife Act offences related to bear baiting

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, said James Darin Wiens pled guilty to hunting with bait, providing an attractant to dangerous wildlife and hunting from a vehicle — all contrary to the various provisions or regulations of the Wildlife Act.

READ ALSO: South Okanagan guide outfitter pleads guilty to Wildlife Act charges

McLaughlin said Wiens was ordered to pay an $18,000 penalty to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, $500 in court fines (plus the victim surcharge), surrender the rifle used to slay the bear and pay back the $6,305 he collected from the undercover officers for the hunt.

Crown counsel had originally asked the judge to consider $25,000 to $35,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of the rifle, ammo and a Polaris ATV. Defence lawyer Kevin Church had noted that it is not illegal to hunt black bears and they are not an endangered species. He was asking for a fine in the range of $10,000 and forfeiture of the rifle.

Undercover U.S. conservation officers investigated Wiens, operator of Vaseux Creek Outfitters, in 2016 posing as customers wanting to set up a black bear hunt. He told them he knew places that the bears come to like “clockwork” every day.

The hunting party set out on May 9, 2016 and the officers noted than an assistant to Wiens said he had laid out two bags of dog food. The officers then observed Wiens pouring a semi-thick brownish liquid out of a red gas can onto some logs.

Over the next hour, the officers were taken to two baiting sites, which they noted smelled like fried chicken, and they observed signs of grease saturation on logs. Photos of Wiens and his assistant baiting the sites were submitted as evidence.

Later that morning, Wiens asked one of the officers to pass him the .17 calibre rifle in the truck and he was observed shooting outside the driver’s side window. While the Crown argued that Weins’ target was a large animal, believed to be a horse.

On the second day of the hunt, the trio came across a black bear feeding at one of the baited sites. Wiens instructed the undercover officer to shoot the bear and it was killed at that site. In addition over the course of a few days, operators saw Wiens dumping out dog food, placing bait and pouring out fryer grease at several sites.

Defence lawyer Kevin Church had provided case law of fines as low as $230 and noted that it is not illegal to hunt black bears and they are not an endangered species. He was asking for a fine in the range of $10,000 and forfeiture of the rifle.

All other charges and the other information were stayed at the completion of sentencing.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kicking Horse Update Monday January 20

Kicking Horse reports 2 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,with… Continue reading

Highway Update January 20

Highway 1 is closed just east of Revelstoke according to DriveBC due… Continue reading

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Wrangle the Chute returns to Kicking Horse

Wrangle the Chute will be returning to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort from… Continue reading

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital on the mend after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Most Read