Last week, a judge threw out a Canadian man’s “fear” explanation after he shot a black bear in a national park. The incident occurred in August 2022 along the Overlander trail in Jasper National Park, according to The Guardian.
Serge Painchaud brought a loaded 20-gauge shotgun and ammunition along the popular hiking trail, citing his fear over possible predators. This is illegal under Canadian law. During the hike, Painchaud opted to turn back early, leaving his friends to continue along the trail. On his way back, he rang into a black bear. Reports say he fired a warning shot before firing a second one that hit the bear, which “rolled down a bank and ran off into the woods” bleeding, according to The Guardian.
His friends heard the shots and called park wardens.
“The search for the bear was very challenging due to dense forest conditions and topography,” said Parks Canada. “Injured bears can be very aggressive when encountered in close quarters, so any further searches must be approached with extreme caution.”
Two shotgun shells and blood were found where Painchaud fired the gun.
While Painchaud did plead guilty to shooting the bear, he attempted to get out of paying the C$7,500 fine citing “fear” for carrying the firearm in the first place. The judge, however, did not agree and ordered the fine to be paid for violating a hunting restriction under the National Parks Act.