Alberta Charges Man For Killing Grizzly Bear

Canada News Service, Bear Hunting Magazine

Joe Lucas who claims he shot a grizzly bear in self-defence has been charged by the Alberta government. He was charged with five counts under the Parks Act and the Wildlife Act.

"The reasoning behind the charges is it has been shown the bear may not have been shot in self-defence," Alberta Parks spokeswoman Erin Mikaluk said. "It is something we take seriously, and there is a lot of education on what to do and what not to do and how to avoid encounters with bears."

Lucas was part of a hunting party in the Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park in southwestern Alberta's Kananaskis Country when he shot the four or five year-old female grizzly on Oct. 21, 2007. He said he had no choice but to shoot the grizzly as it was approaching his son.

I had my boy there, and the bear was heading almost directly towards him, Lucas said. He was 16 yards away, actually, when I shot him. Its not fun being attacked by a grizzly bear, thats for sure.

Lucas said he has fully co-operated with the investigation. He even rode by horseback three hours to his truck to charge his cellphone and call authorities about the death..

Lucas will appear in provincial court this summer. He is charged with unlawfully hunting wildlife, unlawfully possessing wildlife, unlawful discharge of a firearm, failing to ensure a firearm in a wildland provincial park is unloaded and fully encased and unlawfully destroying a bear. Each charge carries a fine of up to $100,000.

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