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North Idaho hunters shoot grizzly bear in self-defense

The grizzly came out of the brush and approached the two hunters up to close range as they attempted to retrieve a harvested black bear in the Ruby Creek drainage.
Credit: Dylan May / Idaho Fish and Game
File photo: Grizzly bear

BOUNDARY COUNTY, Idaho — While black bear hunting in the Ruby Creek drainage June 8, two Idaho hunters shot and killed an approaching grizzly bear out of self defense, Idaho Fish and Game announced. 

As the two hunters attempted to retrieve a black bear they just harvested, when the sub-adult male grizzly came out of the brush and approached the hunters. The pair backed away from the bear while yelling, but it continued towards them. 

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) said one of the hunters shot and killed the bear at close range. Neither hunter was injured during the encounter. 

Following the incident, the hunters reported shooting the bear to IDFG and Boundary County dispatch. Local Fish and Game officers responded to the Ruby Creek drainage area and recovered the grizzly bear carcass. 

IDFG's investigation at the scene determined the bear was killed in self-defense. 

Grizzly bears encounters may occur in north Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone areas. The animals are protected under Idaho and Federal law. 

RELATED: Grizzly bear spotted north of Salmon, first sighting in area since 2020

When in grizzly country, Idaho Fish and Game reminds hunters to have bear spray accessible, while keeping an eye out for fresh grizzly bear tracks. Hunters should hang meat, food and garbage more than 200 yards away from camp and 10 feet off the ground. 

Additionally, IDFG asks hunters in grizzly country to go out in pairs with well-communicated plans. Make noise around creeks and thick vegetation when not hunting, as most attacks happen when a bear is surprised at close range. 

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