Yukon man fined for pouring water down bear den
Romeo Leduc convicted of harrassing wildlife
A Yukon wood cutter has been convicted for harassing wildlife after he roused a sleeping bear this spring by pouring water down its den.
Romeo Leduc found a bear den on his woodlot in the Haines Junction area last winter, and wildlife authorities imposed a 300 metre no-cutting zone around the site, later reducing it to 100 metres.
Leduc protested about lost income and by mid-April he purchased a hunting licence in preparation to evict the bear.
In court this week, a neighbour described how he stood guard with a shotgun while Leduc poured two 20 litre pails of water down the den.
Soon after, a wet and groggy black bear emerged. A warning shot scared the bear up a tree.
Wildlife authorities don't know its eventual fate.
"That time of year, obviously bears need more nutrition if they are awake instead of hibernating, so when it's still snow-covered and not a lot of food around, two things can happen: either it starves or it increases the chance of human-wildlife conflicts and it gets into garbage or does property damage and gets shot, but nobody knows what happened to this bear," said Yukon conservation officer Ryan Hennings.
Leduc must pay a $2,000 fine, and he has been ordered to take the Environment Yukon hunter ethics course before he's allowed another hunting licence.
- The original version of this story incorrectly stated the size of the buffer zone and the amount of water poured down the den.Oct 09, 2014 5:07 AM CT