Idaho is a state that attracts thousands of people and millions of dollars in tourism. Americans, along with others around the world, travel to the Gem State to hike, fish, camp, and hunt. Sometimes, good intentions can go very bad; sometimes, deadly mistakes happen in Idaho's alluring forests.

Aren't all bears the same? The answer is no. Some bears can be hunted, while the states and the United States Forest Service protect others. The situation happened earlier this month when a hunter shared a video with Idaho officials. The video showed a bear sniffing around bear bait. Officials and the hunter believed the bear to be a black bear, and they okayed the hunter to shoot it.

Unfortunately, the bear was a grizzly bear, which is protected under state and federal law. Idaho Fish and Game urges all hunters to adequately research the distinguishing characteristics of a grizzly bear compared to other bears. For example, 'Grizzly bears typically have short, rounded ears, a dished facial profile, a prominent shoulder hump and 2 to 4 inch long claws.' 

Credit: YouTube / Top MMA 007
Credit: YouTube / Top MMA 007

Here is a link with important information provided by Fish and Game to help you determine the differences in bears should you encounter any while on a hike or a hunt.

Idaho Fish and Game acknowledged their mistake in authorizing the kill as the primary reason not to cite the hunter. The organization explained the need for their staff and others to conduct more thorough training to avoid another mistake. The summer season in Idaho attracts thousands to live the Western dream. We'll continue to update you on this story as it develops.

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