‘Surprise encounter’: Hunter shoots, kills grizzly bear in self-defense in Idaho

‘Surprise encounter’: Hunter shoots, kills grizzly bear in self-defense in Idaho


Saman Shafiq
 USA TODAY

A man shot and killed a grizzly bear in an act of self-defense after it charged at him while he was hunting for elk in the Henrys Lake State Park area on Saturday, the Idaho Fish and Games Department has said.

Authorities said that the hunter was moving through heavy timber when the large adult female grizzly came out of the brush a short distance away from him.

As the hunter yelled to warn his partner of the bear’s presence, the animal charged at him.

The hunter was able to draw his sidearm and fire several times, said the department in their news release, killing the bear just a short distance away, and before it was able to make contact. No human injuries were reported.

The hunter immediately alerted the Citizens Against Poaching hotline to report the incident and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game responded to the call and conducted an investigation into the incident.

Authorities concluded that the hunter acted in self-defense during a “surprise encounter”.

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Grizzly bears are protected under both the State and Federal law, and it is illegal to kill grizzly bears in Idaho unless it’s in self-defense.

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The wild animals are primarily found in the northern part of Idaho and in eastern Idaho near Yellowstone National Park. The best grizzly habitat is a forest that has meadows and grasslands mixed within it, according to Idaho Game and Fish.

Hunting in Idaho

The Idaho Fish and Game reminds the public to keep the following in mind when hunting in grizzly country:

  • Carry bear spray and keep it accessible.
  • Hunt in groups with and make each other aware of plans.
  • Look for grizzly bear signs, including fresh tracks.
  • 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.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

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