A Tofino wildlife guide sentenced to 30 days in jail for killing a mother bear and her cub two years ago has been released on $2,500 bail while he appeals his conviction and his sentence.
Ryan Owen Millar was convicted of killing a bear not within an open season and killing a black bear under two years old.
On Nov. 6, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail on each count — to be served concurrently — and ordered to pay fines of $5,500 for each bear. He is also prohibited from hunting and possessing weapons or firearms for 20 years.
The appeal argues that the judge erred by failing to provide reasonable assistance to a self-represented party, by finding his lack of remorse and his decision to go to trial as aggravating factors, and by failing to consider all reasonable sanctions other than jail.
Millar is asking for a new trial or a non-custodial sentence and a reduction in fine.
A $100,000 fine and up to one year in jail are both potential penalties for the offences for which Millar was convicted.
On Oct. 14, 2021, the 34-year-old wildlife guide used a bow and arrows as well as a crossbow to kill the mother bear and her cub in a tree near his house.
He struck the cub with an arrow, injuring it and causing it to fall from the tree. He then shot a number of arrows at the sow, injuring it. The bear tried to escape but he chased it and killed it. Then he killed the cub and hid it on his property.
Two people in a hot tub at the Airbnb next door saw the shootings and called police.
When an RCMP officer arrived, Millar told them he knew nothing about any bears being shot.