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IDFG: Hunters shoot grizzly in self-defense

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | June 17, 2022 12:15 PM

NAPLES — An investigation has found that a grizzly bear shot by hunters in Ruby Creek drainage on June 8, was done so in self-defense, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said.

The hunters were actively hunting black bears, and had just harvested one in the Ruby Creek drainage. As the hunters worked toward retrieving the harvested black bear, a grizzly bear appeared out from the dense brush and began approaching them, IDFG officials said in a press release.

IDFG said the hunters backed away from the grizzly bear and began yelling at the animal, but it continued toward them undeterred. As the grizzly got closer, one of the hunters discharged his firearm at close range, killing it.

The bear was a sub-adult male. Neither hunter was injured during the encounter, IDFG officials said.

After the incident, one of the hunters reported the incident to Boundary County Dispatch, which then routed the information to local IDFG conservation officers. Fish and Game officers then responded to the scene with the hunters, conducted an investigation and recovered the bear carcass.

IDFG said the investigation determined the bear was killed in self-defense.

Grizzly bears, which are protected under state and federal laws, may be encountered in North Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone areas. When in bear country, IDFG officials recommend the following tips:

• Carry bear spray and keep it accessible

• Hunt with partners and make each other aware of plans

• Look for grizzly bear signs, including fresh tracks. Let partners know if you see them

• Retrieve meat as quickly as possible

• Hang meat, food and garbage at least 200 yards from camp and at least 10 feet off the ground

• When not hunting, make noise, especially around creeks and thick vegetation. Most attacks occur by inadvertently surprising a bear at close range

Black bears are common throughout the Idaho Panhandle. Grizzly bears are most commonly observed in the Cabinet and Selkirk mountain ranges in Game Management Unit 1 but have also been infrequently observed in units 2, 3, 4, 4A, 6, 7 and 9.

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