Outdoors blog

Website helps hunters learn to distinguish black bears from griz

Black bears are exposing themselves to hunters. (Associated Press)
Black bears are exposing themselves to hunters. (Associated Press)

BIG GAME HUNTNG -- Black bear hunters can test their bear species identification skills through a new interactive program on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

The site includes information on how to identify black bears and grizzly bears, and gives hunters a chance to test their identification skills. 

  • Grizzly bears are protected under state and federal endangered species laws.
  • Black bears are classified as a game species.

“This test was developed to help black bear hunters be sure of their targets,” said Dana Base, a WDFW northeast district wildlife biologist. “We encourage hunters to test their knowledge about the two species before going afield.”

Hunting season for black bear opens Sept. 1 in several areas of the state, including the northeast district, where hunters sometimes encounter grizzly bears.

That district spans Pend Oreille, Stevens and Ferry counties and includes game management units 101-121.

Up to 50 grizzlies are estimated to roam the Selkirk Mountains of northeast Washington, North Idaho and southeastern British Columbia.  Less than a dozen are believed to roam the North Cascades of northcentral Washington and southcentral British Columbia.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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