NEWS

Bear shooting conviction overturned by B.C. Supreme Court

06/07/2013 10:54 EDT | Updated 08/07/2013 05:12 EDT
A Vancouver Island man has won his appeal of a hunting conviction for shooting a bear he says was terrorizing his community.

In July 2010, Greg Klem of Port Renfrew shot a nuisance black bear in the neck.

A conservation officer charged him with breaking the Wildlife Act, and a provincial court judge later found Klem guilty.

The conviction would have seen him banned from hunting and fishing for three years.

"I like huntin’ and I like fishin’,” he said. “It's like, where does it end? What are they coming for next?”

A B.C. Supreme Court judge overturned the conviction this week, saying Klem was clearly acting in the interests of public safety.

Klem says the province isn't doing enough to control bears.

"Guys like me have been getting charged for trying to do the right thing and the bears keep copulating, unfettered,” he said.

“The province doesn't tell you how many near misses there has been at worksites and on all their little provincial parks. They don't tell you how much damage they do to residential communities and they do not take any responsibility for it. They just keep ignoring it.”

Klem says he should never have been charged in the first place.

He says there aren’t enough wildlife officers to respond to the growing problem of nuisance bears.

"Not too often do they turn on you, but when they turn on you, you better be prepared.”

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