A Penticton judge had some strong words for a South Okanagan hunting guide today, as she levied a fine of more than $24,000 for hunting a black bear with bait.
James Darin Wiens, 51, of Oliver plead guilty last year to three Wildlife Act charges stemming from an investigation into Vaseux Creek Outfitters and its owner.
Working on a confidential source, the BC Conservation Branch enlisted the help of two American conservation officers who went undercover as clients seeking to hunt a black bear.
During the hunt over the span of four days in 2016, the officers observed Wiens pouring fryer grease and dog food at various locations in the bush to attract bears. A bear was shot and killed by the group at one of the baited sites.
“This was not a hunt, this was a shooting gallery created by Mr. Wiens,” stated the judge.
Wiens has operated his hunting guide business for more than 30 year after inheriting it from his father, leading Judge Daneliuk to remark, if there is anyone that knows what he was doing was wrong, it would be Wiens.
Daneliuk ordered Wiens pay an $18,000 penalty to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, $500 in court fines, surrender the rifle used to slay the bear and pay back the $6,300 he collected from the undercover officers for the hunt.
Prior to her sentencing, Daneliuk warned Wiens that she had the authority to issue much larger fines or even jail time for the offences and would do so should he re-offend.
with files from Castanet
Sworn Date – 45060-1 Information 25-Jul-2017