Selway-Bitterroot Grizzly Shot

A guided hunter from Tennessee accidently shot a Grizzly in Central Idaho while baiting for black bear. Idaho Statesman:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are investigating the killing of a large grizzly bear in north-central Idaho, where the last confirmed sighting of the species was in 1946, officials said Friday.

The bear was shot in the Selway-Bitterroot ecosystem, if you’ll remember, then Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne ~ now Secretary of the Interior ~ was succesful in a standoff against Interior’s attempts to reintroduce Grizzlies into this area. Kempthorne in 2001:

The state of Idaho has made it very clear from the outset that it opposes reintroduction of grizzlies to Central Idaho, and the Interior Department is correct in focusing its recovery efforts on other bear populations in the lower 48 states.

The Yellowstone population has been delisted, which is being challenged in court, but Grizzly bear outside of the area remain protected.

Rocky Barker’s Take on his Idaho Statesman blog.







  1. skyrim Avatar

    I don’t get it. Why do these fools always get anonymity when it comes to these screw ups? Ya, their sad……….
    Sad the rug won’t be on display in this guys den…………
    If ya can’t tell a black from a grizzly you shouldn’t be in the damn field with a gun.

  2. kt Avatar

    And this bear was BAITED – so the Great White Hunter was likely mighty close – as the bear came into the rotten donut grease – or whatever the Guide had put out in advance …

  3. SAP Avatar

    A couple thoughts:

    1. In a PERVERSE way (I can’t believe I even think this way, but 15 years in this business can warp you severely!), we should be grateful they whacked this bear. With a dead bear on the table, there can be no more denial about grizzlies living in Central Idaho.

    I know, I know, they may have shot the only one there, but I kind of doubt it. Can you imagine official denials had they just reported a sighting, or even provided a photo?

    2. It will be interesting to find out where he came from — GYE or NCDE? Smart money is on the latter.

    3. Sad but true, one of the pro-baiting arguments is that it gives the shooter greater opportunity to identify his target!

  4. kt Avatar

    SAP: I don’t know much about grizzlies. Are different populations genetically distinct enough that it will be possible to tell what population the bear was from?

    Also – I had thought bear baiting was done in spring – not in late summer/fall?????

  5. Mikeh Avatar

    You have to be kidding me. This is huge news.

    This may be a good time to limit bear baiting in this area.

  6. Monty Avatar

    They are not hunters but “shooters” who have no more hunting skills than my grandmother. Killing, killing killing, that’s what it’s all about! One would think that the “guide” could tell this fool from Tenn. that it was a Grizzley & not a black bear.

  7. Pronghorn Avatar

    The article states that the guide was not present when the bear was shot. Excuse my ignorance, but these low-life scum put out BAIT and then shoot the animal that comes for the bait? Ah, the “ethics” of “hunting.” I wouldn’t want my name in the paper, either. But they are consuming (and one of them is profitting off of) a public resource (if you can force yourself to think of wildlife that way) and SHOULD be identified–at least the outfitter. On whose decision is anonymity granted?

  8. Pronghorn Avatar

    Great White Hunter, indeed:

    “You’ll be staying in a modern, comfortable cozy bunkhouse. Breakfast and dinner (included) will be eaten at the lodge. Lunches will be packed and eaten in the field. Each morning your guide will pick you up and you will be off on the hunt. Depending on weather and road conditions you will use 4×4 vehciles, snow mobiles, or sometimes on foot to designated hunting areas. Both bear and cougar hunting are physically and mentally demanding sports. After a full day of hunting, you’ll want to relax in comfort with a hearty meal, a hot shower, great companionship and a cozy bed.”

    Physically and mentally demanding!!! More of this hilarity (and poorly-written text) at

  9. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Rocky Barker has a blog entry on this incident today that discusses some of the potential ramifications.

    I think SAP was on to something with those comments above. Regarding specifically the comment on baiting as a way to better identify the target, the same has been said about hunting bears and cats with dogs. A scientist I know who does work in central Idaho made the argument that Oregon’s ban of hunting cats with dogs would result in more orphaned (and thus more dangerous to people) cougars due to hunters not being able to correctly identify female cats with a kittens…

  10. Mikeh Avatar

    Snippet From Barker’s article:

    “The decision was an early sign the Bush Administration was no more interested in local control than the Clinton Administration had been when it pushed its roadless plan on the West”

    Rocky is aware that there were massive amounts of meetings and multiple comment periods for Clinton’s Roadless Initiative across the country, right?

    Interesting choice of words.

  11. be Avatar

    It is an interesting choice of words… ‘local control’ is all-too-often code for anti-conservation control. perhaps he is demonstrating the irony of the willingness of federal power to usurp local contribution when anti-conservationists are in charge.

  12. elkhunter Avatar

    The guide should of done his job and informed his client of the possibility of a grizzly bear being present. They should both be fined.

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Brian Ertz