FORT MCMURRAY — An Alberta man has been fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to killing a black bear along a major highway and then abandoning its hide.
As well, Steven John Grant of Fort McMurray won’t be allowed to hold a hunting licence for a year.
He was charged after the bear was shot in October 2007 along Highway 63 just north of the city in northern Alberta.
Grant told court he had just acquired a licence to hunt bears and got carried away when he saw the animal in the ditch.
“Excitement took over me. It was my first bear, my first licence, and I didn’t really take time to think,” he said.
He said he stopped his truck, took two steps away from the vehicle and then shot the bear. Another driver saw him, took note of his truck’s licence plate and called police.
RCMP went to Grant’s house to question him and found the bear’s hide in a bag on the side of the road. The bag had been put on the curb for garbage pickup.
The charges Grant admitted to included discharging a firearm, causing a projectile to pass along or cross a highway and allowing the skin of a killed bear to be abandoned.
Two other charges — discharging a weapon from a motor vehicle and hunting a bear under one year old — were withdrawn. There is no open season on black bears under one.