Idaho Man Cleared of Criminal Charges in Killing Grizzly Bear

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Jeremy Hill of Porthill, Idaho was charged with misdemeanor criminal charges for violating the Endangered Species Act when he shot and killed a grizzly bear on May 8th. He has been cleared of the criminal charges, but has paid $1,000 for violating the act by removing the grizzly by himself. Grizzly bears are protected, and if seen, one should call fish and wildlife officials. They are supposed to respond immediately to remove the problem bear, to keep the public and bears safe.

Hill had just taken a shower and looked out the window. There were 3 grizzly bears on his property, they were near where his children's 4-H pigs were. The last he knew, his children were also still outside. He grabbed his rifle and went out yelling for his children. His yelling did not scare off the bears. He shot at the one closest, he hit it, and had clearly wounded it. Thinking that leaving a wounded bear was not humane or safe, he killed it. Hill had never seen grizzlies in the area before.

Hill did call the Idaho Department of Fish and Game quickly after shooting the bear. This helped with his case. U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that dismissal of the criminal charge in favor of the citation was based in part on Hill's prompt notification of his actions to Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials. Hill is just glad it is over, and can move on from this unfortunate experience. From


Retired2hunt's picture

  Well I also think Mr. Hill


Well I also think Mr. Hill should also be found not guilty based on this scenario he truly felt his children were still outside and in danger with these three bear being present.  A shot into the air or ground in front of any grizzly would have most likely not accomplish their retreat.  The prevailing action would have been to shoot the closest grizzly to where the children and livestock were.  Thankfully no children were hurt here.  And Mr. Hill's immediate action to contact the wildlife officials shows that his interest was truly for the safety of his children and his livestock... and not just to kill the bear.



hunter25's picture

I agree with everyone here in

I agree with everyone here in that if everything went down in the way it was reported here than of course he should have been cleared of the chargers and of course never even been charged in the first place. BUt it seems like they just had to find a way to charge him with something no matter what. I don't like that you can be guilty and not guilty at the same time. He called quickly after the incidentr happened to report it. If he had removed the bear and headed to his taxidermist or something that would be different but as it stands he shouldn't be charged for anything. You shouldn't have to consider the cost of the penalty before you try to protect your family.

numbnutz's picture

I would appeal this ruling as

I would appeal this ruling as it seems to be this guy defending his family and his property(the pigs). I'm really suprised the got any kind of fine or trouble. Last i checked it was ok to defend yourself and property from any animal endangered or not atleast thats how its stated in Oregon. Anyways hope everything works out for this guy.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, that seems like a no

Well, that seems like a no brainer to me.  I don't know how he was even charged int he first place, or even forced to pay for "removing" it himself.  What was he supposed to do, wait for help to arrive?

He thought his kids were in trouble, he tried to scare the grizzly bears away first, and then, when he had tried the other methods first, he shot one.  No problem as far as I can see.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Good to see that he will not

Good to see that he will not be in anymore trouble over this.  I am still surprised that they would even think over charging him with this as I thought we have always had the right to protect our family and home, whether it be a bugular or and endangered species as this.  The Bears did not now they were endangered and the were definetly endagering this family by getting pretty close.  I am still a little confused why ghe still had to pay a fine to the feds?