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)

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

Comox set to apply for two infrastructure grants

Sanitary sewer, sidewalk extension in the town’s plans

The number of reported assaults in Courtenay jumped from 302 in 2019 to 364 in 2020. File photo
Assaults up in Courtenay, according to police statistics

The number of assaults increased significantly in Courtenay from 2019 to 2020,… Continue reading

Sawyer, a northern saw-whet owl that became synonymous with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, passed away peacefully over the weekend. Sawyer would make numerous public appearances with MARS staff in and around the Comox Valley and Campbell River. Photo supplied.
Popular MARS ambassador owl dies

Submitted MARS Wildlife Rescue has lost one of its mightiest ambassadors. Tiny… Continue reading

442 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 19 Wing Comox assisted in helping an injured hiker down from the top of Mt. Benson near Nanaimo Jan. 23. Photo by 19 Wing Comox
With video: 442 Squadron assists mid-Island mountain rescue

The crew on the Buffalo hand-launched 15 flares

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Comox Valley artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Christopher Anthony Craig Dick is wanted by the Port Alberni RCMP in connection to multiple investigations. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Vancouver Island RCMP seek man connected to assault investigations

Christopher Dick, 36, was recently in the North Cowichan and Duncan region

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Members of the Saanich Fire Department can be seen working to put out a fire in the 4500-block of Chattertown Way on Jan. 26. (Saanich Fire/Twitter)
One cat killed, another resuscitated following blaze in Saanich townhouse

Neighbours evacuated following fire on Chatterton Way, third cat still missing

Most Read