Two grizzly bears in a month have been killed in self defense in eastern Idaho

GRIZZLY BEAR (file photo)
Posted at 2:59 PM, Oct 03, 2023

Idaho Fish and Game has reported two separate incidents in eastern Idaho in which hunters were charged by a grizzly bear, both bears being killed in self-defense.

The first incident happened in Fremont County near Island Park Reservoir on September 1. Two archers hunting elk encountered a large adult male grizzly. The hunters were able to access their sidearms and kill the grizzly as it was charging them. The bear was killed before it was able to make contact with the humans.

The second incident occurred a little further north, near Henry's Lake, on September 30. A hunter was in thick forest when he startled a large adult female grizzly. The hunter yelled to alert his hunting partner of the bear's presence when the bear charged directly toward him. He was able to shoot the grizzly with his sidearm. The bear was killed before it was able to make contact with the human.

In both occurrences, the hunters immediately contacted authorities to report the killings, as grizzlies are protected under State and Federal law. Each episode was investigated and in each, it was determined that the bear was killed in self-defense.

IDFG reminds hunters that grizzly bears can be encountered in the Greater Yellowstone area and in northern Idaho.

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IDFG offers some good reminders when hunting in grizzly country:

  • 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 do see sign.
  • 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.