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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Idaho Fish and Game seeking information on illegal poaching of a black bear sow near Priest Lake

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 15, 2021

{div class=”field field-name-field-image-description field-type-text-long field-label-hidden”}{div class=”field-items”}{div class=”field-item even”}A black bear eating bird seed from a bird feeder.{/div}{/div}{/div}  (Courtesy of IDFG)
{div class=”field field-name-field-image-description field-type-text-long field-label-hidden”}{div class=”field-items”}{div class=”field-item even”}A black bear eating bird seed from a bird feeder.{/div}{/div}{/div} (Courtesy of IDFG)

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game received information about a black bear poaching incident around Priest Lake , according to an agency news release.

IDFG staff last Thursday located a female black bear that had been shot and left to waste near Hills Resort on Priest Lake in North Idaho.

Priest Lake is known for its beauty, but also for its high densities of black and grizzly bears. Bears can often become habituated to being near humans as they seek easy food from bird feeders, garbage cans and other sources.

In August, IDFG received reports of a female black bear and three cubs that had been frequenting the Hills Resort area for several weeks. The bears appeared to have little fear of humans, which created a dangerous situation, according to an agency news release.

Initially, Fish and Game staff provided local residents with assistance and suggestions for bear awareness and securing trash and attractants to try and reduce potential for human and bear conflicts.

In late August, the sow quarreled with two dogs at separate residences in the area as she was defending her young. The incidents resulted in the death of one dog and multiple stitches for the other.

Agency staff attempted to trap the bears in the area earlier this month. The agency hoped to relocate the bears unharmed, but trapping attempts were unsuccessful and reports of the bears continued.

Between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, rifle shots near the dumpsters in Hills Resort were heard by residents in the area.

Fish and Game staff located the dead sow last Thursday. She had been shot several times and her body was left to waste. The cubs were not in the area and have not been seen since the time of the incident. If they are located, they will likely have to be euthanized as they will likely not survive the winter months.

Although frustration with the bears among the local residents was justified, the circumstances surrounding the poaching incident were dangerous for other citizens, and the use of artificial light and the waste of game are punishable wildlife crimes.

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