BONNERS FERRY — An Idaho grizzly bear was shot and killed this week after being mistaken for a black bear by a Montana hunter near the Canadian border.
Idaho Fish and Game said Friday that the bear was shot and killed Sept. 17 near Smith Creek.
After identifying the bear as a grizzly, the hunter contacted Fish and Game and is cooperating with the investigation, according to a press release.
Grizzly bears are protected under state and federal law, and Fish and Game reminds hunters that grizzly bears may be encountered in northern Idaho and in the Greater Yellowstone area.
Black bear hunters are responsible for proper identification of their target. An increase in the number of grizzlies throughout North Idaho has prompted Fish and Game to post warnings to ensure hunters can identify grizzly bears.
Idaho Fish & Game’s website provides training to hone hunter’s bear identification skills: idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/bear-info/overview.