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)

South Okanagan 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.

Just Posted

Indigenous festival co-creator looking to build traditonal Okanagan event

The inaugural Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival is July 6 and 7

Lake Country woman turns Beauty and the Beast into an opera

The performance will be on July 4. at 7:30 p.m.

Gas spill in Kelowna

Approximately 200 litres were spilled onto a parking lot off of McCurdy Road

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Thunderstorm leaves small fire in the Shuswap in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Most Read