Black bear hunters can test their bear species identification skills through a new interactive program on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, wdfw.wa.gov.
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.
“We encourage hunters to test their knowledge about the two species before going afield,” said Dana Base, a WDFW northeast district wildlife biologist.
Hunting season for black bear opened Sept. 1 in several areas of the state, including the northeast district of Pend Oreille, Stevens and Ferry counties, where hunters sometimes encounter grizzly bears.
Up to 50 grizzlies are estimated to roam the Selkirk Mountains of northeast Washington, North Idaho and southeastern British Columbia. Fewer than a dozen are believed to roam the North Cascades of northcentral Washington and southcentral British Columbia.