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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

Killing of rare grizzly bear probed By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press Writer
Fri Sep 7, 11:36 PM ET

BOISE, Idaho - Federal and state wildlife officials said Friday they are investigating the killing of a grizzly bear in north-central Idaho, where the last confirmed sighting of the species was in 1946.

The bear, a member of a threatened species, was killed Monday by a hunter near Kelly Creek about three miles from the Montana border, said Steve Nadeau, statewide large carnivore manager for the Idaho fish and game department.

Nadeau said the bear was not confirmed as a grizzly until Friday, after the hunter and guide had packed it out of the remote, roadless area and contacted authorities.

Officials did not release the identities of the hunter or the guide, who was not present when the bear was killed.

Nadeau said the hunter, who is from Tennessee, was on a guided trip, hunting black bear with bait. Black bear hunting season opened Aug. 30.

Nadeau said the male grizzly weighed 400 to 500 pounds and was 6 to 8 years old. The hunter and guide skinned the carcass and brought it out on horseback so it could be confirmed as a grizzly by authorities, Nadeau said.

It is now in the possession of state fish and game department.

In April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted Endangered Species Act protections for grizzlies in and around Yellowstone National Park.

But the bear killed Monday was not part of that population, Nadeau said, and therefore retained federal threatened-species protection. He said that is why the investigation also involves federal authorities.

Asked whether the hunter would likely face penalties, Nadeau said the matter was under investigation.

Chris Servheen, Fish and Wildlife grizzly bear recovery coordinator, said the death was under investigation.

In a federal court lawsuit, several environmental groups have challenged the federal decision to lift the 32-year-old "threatened" status for the 500 to 600 Yellowstone-area bears, which live in parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The groups say the grizzly gene pool is still too small to assure future viability of the species that once roamed the area by the thousands.

The bear killed this week was in the Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem that includes part of north-central Idaho and western Montana, and where wildlife officials have been expecting grizzly bears to repopulate on their own.

"We've put an awful lot of effort in over the years to verify grizzly bears are in the Selway ecosystem," Nadeau said. "That's one area where we expected grizzly bears to show up — Kelly Creek."

Nadeau said the bear possibly came from the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem in western Montana or the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem that includes Glacier National Park. DNA tests are planned to try and determine the bear's origin.

Prior to Friday, Nadeau said Fish and Game had been telling black bear hunters that there were no grizzly bears in the area. He said hunters are now being warned that grizzlies are in the area, and that they are not legal to hunt.

"Where there's one there are likely others," said Nadeau. "Grizzly bears, like other animals, try to find each other."

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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

This is why as a guide i dont like drop hunts

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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

Same thing happened here in Colorado back on September 23, 1979. Only at that time the Grizzly attacked an outfitter named Ed Wiseman who was guiding a bow hunt for elk in southern Colorado. Wiseman was severly mauled, but managed to kill the 20 year old sow with a hand held arrow. It was later determined that the sow had given birth to cubs at least once in her lifetime.

Up until then the Colorado division of wildlife believed that the last grizzly in Colorado had been killed in 1952. Even in Sept of 2006 two bow hunters reported seeing three grizzlies near Independence Pass, and observed them from 80 yards away. The Colorado division of wildlife deemed the report "worthy of further investigation" since they knew both hunters to be experienced black bear and grizzly bear hunters. We occasionally hear reports of hikers, campers, and wildlife watchers spotting grizzlies in Colorado. At leat one game warden has admitted after he retired that even years after the Wiseman incident, he still found good evidence of grizzly inhabitation near the area of the attack.

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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

I was living in Greeley when that bear was killed in colo. Nobody could believe it. I think in some of our real wildneress area live more animals we don't know about. And probably that's where they belong. Predators like those will not survive civilazation.

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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

As a point of fact, I witnessed a large silvertip sow grizzly feeding in oak thickets about 8800 feet several miles north of the Colorado New Mexico line near La Manga pass. This was in the late 90's. I have hunted grizzly in Alaska twice and have seen many grizzlies there and in Wyoming and Montana.. I do know the difference and have seen many "grizzly" colored blacks. I can assure most folks that you may think a black is a grizzly, but when you are looking at a real rocky mountain grizzly you know it. This female was about 300 poiunds with a huge head and hump. Her back end was quite small compared to her huge shoulders. She was nervous and did not stay in view long. I believe the Chalk Mountains hold grizzlies, but they have become primarily nocturnal except on rare occasions. I reported my sighting to CDWC but they were disinterested to say the least. Their attitude was that they did not really want to know about it. Even the officer I spoke with said livestock owners would never allow a recovery or reintroduction. I told him he had at least one to deal with.

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Grizzly Killed in Idaho

I sometimes think that grizzlies in areas like that are like Sasquatch -- no one wants to believe you unless you have a carcass. Maybe it's because wildlife biologists often have a tendency to be a bit elitist and think they have a monopoly on animal knowledge -- you're just an ignorant peasant who can't possibly know something they don't.

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or maybe it's just that the

or maybe it's just that the only way to truley PROVE the presence of a grizzly would be to have a carcass that you knew wasn't placed within the state. I have worked with many biologists and not one of them is what I would call an elitist. Most of them love talking to average joe hunters and like hearing their point of views... including criticisms

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