A Tofino man has been fined $11,000 and sentenced to about a month in jail in what the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) is calling a “precedent-setting case” for the unlawful killing of a black bear sow and cub.
Ryan Millar was sentenced in Tofino Provincial Court on Monday, Nov. 6, for killing wildlife “not within an open season and killing a black bear less than two years of age or a bear in its company,” according to the BCCOS.
The COS, in a Facebook post Monday, recalls the incident that happened more than two years ago.
“In Oct. 2021, Millar saw the bears in a tree outside his Tofino property. He went inside and grabbed his Recurve Bow, shot the sow and cub out of the tree, and used his Crossbow to execute them on the ground,” it said.
“He later tried to hide the carcasses.”
Dan Eichstadter, a sergeant with the COS, says no one should take it upon themselves to needlessly destroy wildlife.
“We ask people to call us if they have a concern. It’s not lawful to take matters into your own hands,” pleaded Eichstadter.
Fine, bans and 30 days in jail
Working with the provincial wildlife veterinarian, the COS says it conducted a thorough investigation after witnesses reported the incident to conservation officers.
It says officers then collected evidence from the dead animals and the scene to present in court.
“There is no open season for wildlife within 100 meters of a dwelling or occupied outbuilding, nor is there an open season for a black bear less than two years of age, or a bear in its company,” it said in the social media post.
Along with the five-figure fine and jail time, which is 30 days, the COS says Millar was issued 20-year hunting and weapons bans, and his bow and crossbow were seized.
The COS says it hopes this “significant” penalty will deter others from similar activities. It adds the majority of the penalty will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a non-profit environmental granting organization based in B.C.
“We’d also like to thank the witnesses who immediately reported their concerns to authorities and initiated this investigation,” added Eichstadter.
To report poaching or other unlawful activities, the COS encourages people to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
30 Days Jail
$11, 000 penalty
20-year hunting ban
20-year weapons ban
“No one should take it upon themselves to needlessly destroy wildlife," said #BCCOS Sgt. Dan Eichstadter.
📷Generic photo pic.twitter.com/ACfA6lWjE9
— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) November 7, 2023