Hunting guide handed 10-year ban, $22K in fines: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

File photo of a B.C. Conservation Officer Service vehicle. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

A 10-year ban on guiding, plus $22,000 in fines, were the penalties handed to one man in B.C. court this week.

The Conservation Officer Service posted on social media that Richard Todd Bunnage pled guilty in Cranbrook, B.C., on Tuesday to three Wildlife Act offences.

The guilty pleas included guiding outside his territory and two counts of making a false statement.

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Court records show that Bunnage was initially charged with 13 offences ranging between September 2019 and May 2021, with all but one occurring in 2019.

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“During the investigation that took place between 2019 and 2021, Conservation Officers in the Fort Nelson area determined that Bunnage guided several non-resident hunters in areas outside the territory he was authorized to guide in,” said the COS.

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“Further, Bunnage falsely recorded the management unit where clients had harvested two moose and two black bears on required guide declarations.”

The COS said the court issued Bunnage a fine of $12,000, with another $10,000 to be paid to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

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“Bunnage is also prohibited from being a guide outfitter or assistant guide in B.C. for a period of 10 years,” said the COS, adding the man was also charged in 2018 for guiding outside his territory and providing a false statement.

After a lengthy investigation that included DNA samples and assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the COS says Bunnage pled guilty to those charges in May 2022.

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“During these hunts, a moose and black bear were illegally harvested,” said the COS, adding that Bunnage was fined $9,200 under the Wildlife Act.

Global News has reached out to the Conservation Officer Service for more information.

Global News also wrote a story in 2018 about an Alberta outfitting company being fined $79,000 in 2018.

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