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Grizzly bear kills hunter, 39

by Hagadone News Service
| September 23, 2011 10:59 AM

As news spread that a hunter had been

attacked and killed by a grizzly bear on Buckhorn Mountain near the

Idaho/Montana border, area residents reacted with shock and

surprise.

The attack, which occurred 15 feet into

Montana in Lincoln County, was reported about 10 a.m. Friday. The

bear was shot and killed by the man’s 20-year-old hunting

companion.

The incident, which follows last

month’s fatal shooting of a grizzly bear by Porthill resident

Jeremy M. Hill, rattled the nerves of some.

The attack makes her feel a bit unsafe,

said Bonners Ferry resident Ruth Dinning. Bonners is the closest

town to the attack.

“I wish I could feel safe in this

county,” Dinning said. “I’d like to be able to get out and enjoy

the beauty this county offers without having to worry about what

lingers in the trees.”

Her friend, Lynn Self, had a

straightforward approach on how to deal with the bears — ship them

east.

“Fish & Game should move all the

grizzlies they moved to our area to Washington, D.C. and then see

how things go,” said Self, also of Bonners Ferry.

By and large, most of the residents

commenting either on Hagadone News Network websites or Facebook

sites, supported the hunter who shot the bear and said they would

have done the same thing if they were in a similar situation.

“If it came down to me or the bear, the

bear is going,” said Bonners Ferry resident Owen Plato. “I don’t

see anything wrong with how the boy handled the situation.”

Sandpoint’s John Monks, in a post to

the Bonners Ferry Herald’s Facebook page, noted the Endangered

Species Act states that an individual may soon take endangered

wildlife in defense of his own life or the lives of others.

“The law, however, does not allow the

taking of endangered wildlife in defense of property,” he said in

the post. “The hunter that killed the grizzly bear this morning

will not face any criminal charges. If, however, he would have shot

the bear from 100 yards because it was eating his peanut butter and

jelly sandwich, he would probably be charged.”

Many simply offered their prayers to

those involved.

“That’s so sad,” said Dana Barnes Kunz.

“Prayers go out to the victim’s family and friends as well as the

other hunter who had to witness it.”