Idaho Fish and Game officials have confirmed a grizzly bear sighting in the North Fork area north of Salmon, an area not typically known for having grizzlies. The bear was photographed by a hunter’s game camera on May 14, and the bear was clearly identified as a grizzly. It is not known if the bear is still in the area.
Homeowners, recreationists and hunters are asked to be “Bear Aware” and remove any possible food attractants, such as garbage, animal feed, or other food items.
Bear hunters in Units 21, 21A, 28 and adjacent units need to carefully identify their targets and should not assume any bear they see is a black bear.
Most of Idaho’s grizzly bear populations are in the northern Panhandle area and the area in and around Yellowstone National Park in Eastern Idaho. But young male grizzlies may wander long distances and into areas where people don’t expect to encounter them. These young male bears typically wander through an area, but do not remain there.
Grizzlies are rare in the Salmon area. The last confirmed sighting in Salmon area was in 2020 from video footage of a young male grizzly bear southeast of Salmon. That same year, another grizzly was confirmed south of Grangeville.
Grizzly bears are federally protected in Idaho, so there is no hunting season for them. You can learn more about grizzly management on Fish and Game’s Conservation and Management webpage.
Outdoor recreationists are reminded that grizzlies and black bears are part of Idaho’s landscape. Taking some simple, preventive measures and using common sense will go a long way towards minimizing bear conflicts.
Tips for recreationists include:
- Keep a clean camp. Pick up garbage and store it along with all food in a closed vehicle or in plastic bags tied high between two trees, at least 100 yards from the sleeping area and at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 four feet out from either tree. Food can also be stored in an approved bear-proof food container. Never keep food in your tent.
- Do not bury food scraps, pour out cooking grease, or leave anything that might be tasty on the ground or in a fire pit. Also, store barbecue grills or other smelly cooking gear inside your vehicle or within a sealed container. Bears have a tremendous sense of smell and they are nosy by nature.
- If you see a bear, watch it from a distance and leave it alone.
- If you’re concerned about encountering a bear and want to protect yourself, bear spray is an effective deterrent.
Anyone who sees a grizzly outside of their normal range in the Panhandle and Eastern Idaho is asked to report it online at Fish and Game’s Wildlife Observation webpage.