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Eye On Boise

Prosecution of homeowner who shot grizzly arouses concern in North Idaho

Here's a link to our full story in today's paper on the prosecution of a Boundary County man who shot and killed a grizzly bear that had appeared in his yard with its mother and another two-year-old cub on May 8, while his six children were playing outside. Jeremy Hill, 33, pleaded not guilty to the federal charge yesterday; so many supporters showed up at his arraignment that the hearing had to be moved into a larger room in the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene. Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, told S-R reporter Becky Kramer after the hearing, “It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family. I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”

Hill called Idaho Fish & Game to report the incident immediately after. “Jeremy did the right thing, he called Fish and Game,” Keough said. “I think that prosecuting this case really sets back the grizzly bear recovery effort. … People are saying, ‘Boy, if that happened to me, there’s no way that I’d report it.’ That’s a human reaction.” A jury trial for Hill has been set for Oct. 4; if convicted of illegally killing a federally protected species, he could face up to a year in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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