Dawson Creek Conservation Officer Service requests public assistance

TUMBLER RIDGE – the Dawson Creek Conversation Officer Service is requesting the public?s assistance in determining the circumstances which led to the discovery of a dead black bear on August 29, 2004 approximately 12 km south of Tumbler Ridge on Hwy 42.

The carcass of a mature balck bear was found on the west side right of way of Hwy. 52, approximately 2 km north of the Quintette Mine/Monkman Park turn off. The bear had been shot and its skull and front paws removed. The remainder of the carcass was left to spoil.

The hunting season for black bear opened on August 15, 2004. However, Hwy. 52 has a No Hunting ? No shooting Closure in place which encompasses the road allowance consisting of:

(a) 15 metres on either side of the middle of a road with less than three lanes or more, or

(b) 15 metres from the edge of the paved surface of a highway with three lanes or more, or

(c) to the boundary of private or cultivated land, whichever comes first. There is also a requirement to remove all edible portions of harvested wildlife, consisting of four quarters and loins, including balck bear, to the person?s normal dwelling place or to a meat cutter or the owner/operator of a cold storage plant. It is also unlawful to import, export or traffic in bear paws separate from a carcass or hide.

The area was very visible to vehicle traffic on the road and it is hoped that a memober of the public observed a vehicle, person or persons at the site of the carcass on either Saturday, August 28th or Sunday, August 29th. There may be extenuating circumstances which are unknown at this time and the Conservaton Officer Service wishes to revolve the matter with the public?s assistance.

Illegal hunting and fishing threaten British Columbia?s fish and wildlife.

Anyone with evidence of illegal activity is urged to call their nearest office of the Conservation Officer Service or the toll-free Observe, Record and Report line at 1-800-663 WILD (9453).

All callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 through the BC Wildlife Federation.