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Saturday, May 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Bear shooting cases in court; Whitman wolf case still pending

Grizzly bears are expanding their range in the West. (Kim Keating / U.S. Geological Survey)
Grizzly bears are expanding their range in the West. (Kim Keating / U.S. Geological Survey)

WILDLIFE -- Do prosecutors see endangered species protections for wolves in Washington differently than the laws protecting grizzlies in Montana?  It's too early to say, but...

The Whitman County prosecutor's office reports today that no decision has been made on whether to prosecute the case of a man, described as a local farmer, who chased a wolf in a vehicle on Oct. 12 and shot it to death. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police turned over the evidence in the case to Prosecutor Denis Tracy on Nov. 19.

Meanwhile in Montana, a Bigfork-area resident, faces charges filed on Dec. 23 that he killed three grizzly bears in May allegedly because they were messing with his chickens.

On another level, the alleged ringleader in what’s been called the largest illegal black bear poaching case in Montana history was charged on Nov. 25 with five felonies.  Black bears do not have the specials protections afforded grizzlies, but big-game hunting rules still apply.

James “Jimmy” Harrison, 61, of Darby, and two other Ravalli County men were originally charged with misdemeanors for illegally killing nine black bears with the aid of bait last July.  The county prosecutor upgraded the charges on Harrison after a review of the case.

 



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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