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

PHOTOS: Nelson joins protests against racism, police brutality

The protest was similar to those being held throughout Canada and the United States

Game on? Nelson sports organizations wait and see

Nelson Baseball Association has already scrapped its season

RCMP: 93% of inspected boats on Kootenay Lake don’t have safety equipment

Weekend inspections found a high number of boats that don’t comply with national regulations

Temporary rail trail detour will allow upgrade to Nelson’s water source

City will be laying a water line between Stanley Street and Mountain Station parking lot

Water quality advisory issued for Nelson

Run-off has created a high level of turbidity in the city’s drinking water

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read