British Columbia

B.C. guide outfitter fined $25K for bear baiting

Oliver outfitter James Wiens was ordered to pay nearly $25,000 after he was caught baiting a black bear during an undercover operation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

James Wiens caught baiting black bear during undercover operation by B.C. Conservation Officer Service

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says it may try to revoke the guide outfitter's licence after he was fined for baiting bears. (Jenni Sheppard)

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service hopes a hefty fine issued to a guide outfitter will deter others from bear baiting.

Oliver, B.C., outfitter James Wiens was ordered to pay nearly $25,000 on Monday after he was caught baiting a black bear during an undercover operation by the service.

Two U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers posed as American hunting tourists and signed up for a hunt guided by Wiens, who local authorities suspected was baiting bears.

"Baiting black bears is illegal in British Columbia," said Det. Sgt. Steve Jacobi.

"He was doing that actively from the time the guys arrived basically. Using grease and using dog food."

Wiens was fined $24,800 for committing three offences under B.C.'s Wildlife Act.

Jacobi says this is the first time a guide has been convicted of offences like these.

"The public doesn't want this and the conservation officer service will investigate violations and we will use all tools that we have at our disposal to try to stop the activity," he said.

Wiens still has his guide outfitting licence.

Jacobi says the province is looking into possibly revoking it.

With files from Brady Strachan

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