Feds prosecute man who shot endangered grizzly bear to protect his family

August 31st, 2011

My econ professor at GMU once said if an endangered species ever entered his property, he would kill it, bury it, and tell no one. I laughed.

This Idaho man, who killed an endangered grizzly bear who threatened his family, made the big mistake. He told the authorities. Now he is looking at up to a year in prison.

Supporters said that Hill, a father of six, acted responsibly in shooting the female grizzly on May 8, which appeared with two cubs in the yard of his home near Porthill, Idaho, while his children were playing outside.

“It seems unjust to me that someone would be charged when they were protecting their family,” state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said after the hearing. “I’m at a loss to understand why the U.S. government is pursuing this in the manner they are.”

After shooting the grizzly with a bolt-action rifle, Hill contacted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

“Jeremy did the right thing, he called Fish and Game,” Keough said. “I think that prosecuting this case really sets back the grizzly bear recovery effort. … People are saying, ‘Boy, if that happened to me, there’s no way that I’d report it.’ That’s a human reaction.”

Really. Overcriminalization fail. I guess the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho is having a slow summer.