A man who shot and killed a black bear on cultivated land without permission last year has been hit with a $7,500 fine in Pemberton Provincial Court this week.
The Lower Mainland resident also received a two-year hunting ban for the incident, which took place near Pemberton in May 2020.
Information about the case was posted by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) on its Facebook page on November 10. A written decision for the case has not yet been posted on the Provincial Court of British Columbia website, and the name of the offender was not provided by the BCCOS.
The post said the man saw a black bear on a slope on the other side of a cultivated and fenced field. It noted that he then left his vehicle and shot the bear, killing it.
The BCCOS investigated after receiving reports of gunshots in the area. The B.C. Wildlife Act states, under Section 39, (1), (a) and (b), that "A person commits an offence if the person, without the consent of the owner, lessee or occupier of land, hunts over or traps in or on cultivated land, or hunts over Crown land that is subject to a grazing lease while the land is occupied by livestock.
After pleading guilty in Pemberton Provincial Court to offences under the B.C. Wildlife Act—hunting in a cultivated area without permission and being in possession of unlawfully harvested wildlife—he was assessed the monetary penalty and banned from hunting for two years.
The court also ordered the man to retake the CORE hunter training program; all B.C. hunters must take the course as a condition for getting a hunting licence.
The BCCOS said most of the $7,500 would go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a Canadian charity that supports the conservation of fish and wildlife in B.C.
"Unsafe hunting practices can put people at risk," The BCCOS facebook post stated. "The COS hopes this penalty will deter others from similar activities."