An Elk Valley man has been fined $15,152 and banned from hunting for 10 years for shooting and killing a grizzly bear sow and cub, removing and keeping the heads and paws, and burying the carcasses, according to the B.C. Conservation Officers Service.
Dax McHarg pleaded guilty in Fernie Provincial Court this week to killing a grizzly sow and cub out of season, unlawful possession of dead wildlife, failing to report the accidental killing of wildlife and mischief under $5,000, following investigation from law enforcement officers.
Conservation Officers began an investigation in October 2021, after a severed grizzly bear GPS collar and four tagged grizzly bear ear tips were discovered by a wildlife scientist in a remote location near Elkford.
Tracking down the last known location of the bear to a residence, Conservation Officers determined the suspect had shot a grizzly bear sow and cub on the property, which were reportedly attracted by unsecured free-range chickens.
The head and paws of the bears were removed and kept by the suspect, while the carcasses were buried on the property.
In addition to the monetary fine and hunting ban, further penalties include a firearms seizure and mandated re-enrollment in the hunter education CORE course, and completion of 100 hours of community service.
The majority of the monetary fine will be directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation efforts above and beyond the provincial government’s management of fish and wildlife resources.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.