Fines, hunting prohibition given for poaching on Bowen Island

A man has been fined $1,300 and prohibited from hunting for two years after pleading guilty to hunting out of season on Bowen Island and discharging a firearm in a no-shooting area.

Richard Allan Chase fired a shotgun at a male deer from Finisterre Road, Bowen Island, the evening of Nov. 16, 2017, court heard earlier this month.  

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It was dark out and while there weren’t houses in the direction Chase shot, there were houses within 100 metres on the other side of the road, said Crown attourney Jim Cryder.

A Crown witness driving down Finisterre Road that evening saw Chase’s car stop and then heard the shot of a firearm, said Cryder. Chase’s car then started moving again and the witness stopped their own vehicle where Chase’s had been, said Cryder.

“Sure enough, there is an antlered mule deer, male, in the ditch thrashing around,” said Cryder. The deer died before the RCMP arrived to seize the deer, he said.

Deer hunting on Bowen is limited to bow hunting, said Cryder. He went on to say that in British Columbia, one cannot shoot from within 15 metres of a roadway with two lanes and one cannot shoot from within 100 metres of a building. The incident taking place at night time, when there was limited vision, was an aggravating factor said Cryder. 

Chase pled guilty to the two counts related to the Wildlife Act and was fined $50 for each count with a provision that he donate $1,200 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. 

“I think the magnitude of the fines and contributions taken together on the two counts to which the accused has pled guilty do send a message to other people on Bowen Island or indeed elsewhere in the province who would hunt out of season, if I may put it that way, or discharge firearms in a place where they ought not to be doing so...” said Judge B. Dyer of the North Vancouver Provincial Court. 

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