https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/202798/Hunting-guide-charged Colin Dacre – Jul 27, 2017 / 5:00 am
A South Okanagan guide outfitter is facing several poaching charges as a result of a “lengthy investigation” by the Conservation Officer Service of B.C.
James Wiens, the owner/operator of Vaseux Creek Outfitters, specializes guiding hunters to big game including wolves, black bear, cougar, deer, elk and more.
Seven charges under the Wildlife Act were sworn against him on Tuesday, in addition to a Criminal Code violation in May. The Conservation Officer Service is alleging Wiens used poison to hunt wolf between Oct. 1, 2015 and May 15, 2016.
It’s also alleged he hunted black bear using bait, placed an attractant with the intent of attracting dangerous wildlife (bear), and discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle in May 2016. On the same dates, he is also accused of failing to accompany a hunter as a guide outfitter for big game.
Insp. Tobe Sprado of the Conservation Officer Service said non-resident big-game hunters are required to be guided by a licensed guide outfitter in B.C. Upwards of 5,000 non-residents travel to the province each year to hunt big game, he said. The same month, the COS claims Wiens acted as a guide in a park or conservancy without a permit and operated a motor vehicle in park or conservancy not permitted by sign.
Finally, connected to the same incident, Wiens is facing one Criminal Code charge of “willfully kill, maim, wound or injure” a horse on May 9, 2016. Sprado was not able to elaborate beyond the basics of the charges, stating the details of the offences would have to come out at trial.
“It’s been a lengthy investigation conducted by the Conservation Officer Service that we finally got charge approval on,” Sprado said. Wiens appeared in Penticton court Wednesday on the Criminal Code violation to consult counsel. He makes a first appearance on the new Wildlife Act charges on Aug. 16. He did not respond to request for comment.