Hunter mistakenly kills grizzly bear, but it wasn’t hunter’s mistake

A bear hunter in Idaho believed they had killed a black bear when in reality it was a protected grizzly bear, but it wasn’t the hunter’s fault. It was Idaho Fish and Game’s fault.

The unidentified hunter sent Fish and Game recorded videos of the bear at the legal bait site two days before the shooting. Hunting in an area not known to have grizzly bears, the hunter was concerned that the bear was a grizzly and not a black bear.

“Unfortunately, Fish and Game staff misidentified the young bear as a black bear because it lacked some common features of a grizzly, and shared that misidentification with the hunter,” the Idaho Fish and Game stated in a press release.

“After shooting the bear and then identifying it at the scene as a grizzly, the hunter immediately contacted Fish and Game and fully cooperated with the investigation.

“Fish and Game regrets the mistake made by its staff, the undue stress the situation caused for the hunter and the loss of the grizzly bear. Fish and Game is reviewing its staff’s part in the incident as a personnel matter.”

The incident occurred in Unit 6 of Idaho’s Panhandle, an area not commonly used by grizzly bears.

On June 14, Fish and Game officials sent out a press release about the June 10 killing, stating, “grizzly bears are protected under state and federal law, and bear hunters are responsible for proper identification of their target.”

In this case, the hunter did the responsible thing in attempting to correctly identify the bear. Alas, embarrassingly, it was Fish and Game that got it wrong, apparently identifying both subadult males shown in the hunter’s videos as black bears. The videos were posted within the latest press release.

Not surprisingly, the hunter was not issued a citation.

Generic photo of a grizzly bear courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Story originally appeared on For The Win