A bow hunter who killed a grizzly thinking it was a black bear did not receive a lighter penalty for the mistake. The man was given a $1 fine, but with an order to make an $8,000 payment to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund.
The hunter shot the bear in during closed season in 2016, using a bow and arrow. It was determined that he had observed the bear for about 15 minutes from 20 metres away before shooting.
“Hunters are expected to know the difference between black bears and grizzly bears when they’re out hunting,” Powell River Conservation Officer Andrew Anaka told Global News. “There’s training available to do that, and the cost of making an error is significant.”
In addition to being given a fine, the man was also put on probation and given a 12-month ban on hunting. He has also been ordered to complete hunter training.
The grizzly was a female and was known to conservation officers. She had been relocated from an urban area around Powell River to the Homfray Channel in 2010. She was one of about 115 grizzly bears in a 110,000-square-kilometre area.
“This grizzly bear was of particular value to her species and to the people of British Columbia. She was reproductive age, with the potential to raise several litters of cubs and contribute to the population of grizzly bears in Powell River,” Anaka said.
Since the incident, B.C. has banned nearly all forms of grizzly bear hunting.