Police want guns taken away from Kamloops man who drunkenly shot young bear in his yard

Drunk man shot bear in city

A Kamloops man who shot a young black bear on his property in Westsyde last month, prompting a significant police presence in the area, could lose his firearms licence.

Court documents are shedding new light on a Nov. 1 raid by heavily armed police officers at a property on Dairy Road.

At the time, police said they were executing a search warrant after a man shot a wild animal.

According to a search warrant application obtained by Castanet Kamloops, the man called police on Oct. 23 after shooting a black bear in a tree on his property. Castanet Kamloops is not naming the 52-year-old man because he has not been charged.

According to the document, the man told police the bear charged at him before climbing into a tree. The man said he then retrieved a shotgun to shoot the animal.

“The bear was in the tree, making this no longer an act of self-defence,” RCMP Const. Angela Manly wrote in the affidavit.

The bear was seriously injured in the shooting, but remained alive in the tree when officers arrived. According to the affidavit, the bear’s jaw was “hanging off.” The animal was euthanized at the scene by conservation officers.

Manly said the man appeared drunk and refused to provide certain information to police and conservation officers — including which gun he used and how many shots he fired.

“The number of shots fired could not be confirmed, as [the man] advised he had picked up the spent shotgun shells and disposed of them,” she wrote in the affidavit.

“[He] refused to show the spent shotgun shells to conservation officers [or police].”

Manly said the man shot a 12-gauge slug in the direction of the Yellowhead Highway, which was within the 1,000-metre range of the shotgun he fired.

The man has a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) and three registered handguns, according to the police affidavit. Manly said police believe he also owns a number of long guns.

According to police, the October shooting was not the man’s first run-in with animals on or near his property. He was the subject of a complaint in 2019 in which he was alleged to have drunkenly threatened to shoot his neighbour’s dogs due to barking. No charges were laid in that case.

In the affidavit, Manly suggested police believe the man’s guns and PAL should be taken away.

“[He] has shown a progression from being intoxicated and threatening to use a firearm, to being intoxicated and unsafely using a firearm,” she said.

“[His] blatant unwillingness to co-operate with conservation officers and police to ensure an investigation could properly be completed. [He] declined proving how many shots he fired at the bear or the firearm used.”

Manly said a Canadian Firearms Program firearms officer has been contacted to review the man’s PAL.

Castanet Kamloops has asked police for information about what was seized from the man’s property.

No charges have been laid and the investigation is ongoing.

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