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Hunter kills well-publicized collared grizzly bear near Wallace

A collared grizzly bear explores a family's yard near Enaville, Idaho, in this screen shot from a video. (Sandy Podsaid)
A collared grizzly bear explores a family's yard near Enaville, Idaho, in this screen shot from a video. (Sandy Podsaid)

HUNTING -- The well-publicized Montana grizzly bear caught, radio-collared and released to near Idaho on Aug. 4 has been shot and killed by a hunter near Wallace, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed.

The bear was shot Wednesday evening, said Phil Cooper, Idaho Fish and Game spokesman in Coeur d'Alene.

The bear was killed at the bottom of Kings Pass and Beaver Creek Road about 6 air miles north of Wallace, Idaho, the Sheriff reports.

An Idaho Fish and Game officer and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer are on the scene, Cooper said, noting that he did not know more details, including who reported the shooting.

Grizzlies are federally protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Black bear hunters are supposed to know the difference between legal black bears and grizzly bears before shooting.

Legal baiting for black bear hunting was going in in the area, Cooper confirmed.

The 2-year-old male grizzly had been relocated by Montana and federal biologists as part of a periodic program to boost the Cabinet Mountains grizzly population.

Like many bears trying to survive the record-dry year, the bear appeared to be on the search for food, a task hampered by dodging fires, said Wayne Wakkinen, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional wildlife manager in Coeur d’Alene.

The bear had been captured on video in recent weeks checking out rural residences and old bear bait barrels that lured him with scent even if they were empty of animal fat and other bait.

"We knew it was bear season," Cooper said. "We'd been putting out a trap to try to catch him and  move him to an area where he'd be safer and not so accessible to people, but we didn't make it."

More on this unfortunate development as soon as details are available.


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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