Skip to comments.Grizzly shooter cleared (Idaho)
Posted on 09/08/2011 12:08:24 PM PDT by jazusamo
Porthill man pays $1,000 fine for violating Endangered Species Act
COEUR d'ALENE - The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise announced Wednesday it is dismissing the pending misdemeanor criminal charge against Jeremy M. Hill for the killing of a grizzly bear on his Porthill property on May 8.
Hill, 33, agreed that under provisions of the Endangered Species Act and related regulations, he committed a violation. Hill shot a 2-year-old male grizzly bear that was with its mother and a sibling on Hill's 20-acre property.
Regulations prohibit removing nuisance bears, except when authorized by government authorities. Hill, who pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene last month, has been issued a notice of violation and paid a $1,000 fine.
Hill didn't return a call seeking comment.
However, in a written statement he said, "I am thankful that the government has dismissed all criminal charges against me in this case."
He said he paid the fine to avoid putting his family, which includes six children, through the emotional strain and the cost of a trial.
"I am glad this issue has been resolved out of court and I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me," Hill said.
He said he had never seen a grizzly bear before on his property.
Marc Lyons, of Coeur d'Alene, Hill's attorney, said in a statement, "It is important to understand that the Hill family lives in a rural farm community. The Hill family home is 1,000 feet from one of the main Idaho highways, and is not in the mountains, the wilderness, or where someone would normally expect grizzly bear activity."
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that dismissal of the criminal charge in favor of the citation was based in part on Hill's prompt notification of his actions to Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials.
"The United States Attorney's Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family," said Olson. "Anyone who observes or hears of a grizzly bear near campsites or residences must immediately contact fish and wildlife officials."
Olson said federal, state and tribal officials are mandated to act immediately and effectively to remove grizzly bears from populated areas.
The regulations are designed to ensure citizen safety and protect the grizzly bear, which has been designated a threatened species.
Olson said that during the course of the investigation, state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Hill's children when the three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about 40 yards from his home.
Within his statement, Hill described the incident as follows:
"After having family over for dinner on Mother's Day, I was outside at the basketball hoop with four of my children. I went into the house to take a shower. When I finished showering and was getting dressed, my wife, Rachel, looked out the bedroom window and saw three grizzly bears at the edge of our yard, but very close by, standing near a small pen that held the children's 4-H pigs. The last time I saw my children they were outside. I grabbed a rifle and ran out on the deck. I yelled for the children, but did not hear a response. The bears did not move away from the pen as I was yelling. Fearing for the safety of my children, I shot the bear that was closest to the house. The other two bears ran across part of the lawn and into the brush.
The wounded bear followed into the yard, but stopped and turned toward the house. I shot the bear again. About this time, Rachel told me that the children were safe inside the house. The bear I shot was badly wounded, and I believed at that time that it would be very dangerous to leave the bear wounded, possibly posing a threat to others. I also thought the humane thing to do was to put the wounded bear out of its misery."
The crime is that he had to pay a fine at all. The criminal charges were to coerce him, and they worked.
WTH! He still has to pay a $1,000 fine for defending his family??
>> Olson said federal, state and tribal officials are mandated to act immediately and effectively to remove grizzly bears from populated areas.
When your family is in danger, and seconds count, the federal bureaucracy is only weeks away from approving action.
Yep, the fine is not right either but I doubt it’ll come out of his pocket.
Friends and neighbors raised over $20K for his defense. The ID Guv and elected Reps were all on his side and the fed prosecutor was catching lots of bad press.
They were between a rock and a hard place and wanted this to go away. They should have just declared it was self defense but I guess the Rats couldn’t bring themselves to do that.
The guidance I was given on a bear hunt in that general area was, if you screw up, “shoot, shovel, shut up”.
Idaho should start open season on out-of-control DOJ employees.
Common sense didn’t really prevail. An innocent homeowner was still fined $1000 for protecting his children. The government should have dropped all charges, not simply reduced the criminal charges to a misdemeanor.
The homeowner used common sense in realizing that paying a $1000 fine was more sensible than fighting the criminal charges. But government didn’t display common sense or decency.
‘Regulations prohibit removing nuisance bears, except when authorized by government authorities.’
B/c of this...which is cosmically stupid and only something the cockroaches in DC could think up. Basically, you must die in the absence of the OK by a federal agent. You’re not capable of thinking for yourself so you must wait for a govt employee to do that for you. Hill isnt such a bright guy either. He should have done whats necessary and left the fed out of it. Its none of their business anyway.
Exactly. Those three Grizzlies weren’t paying much attention to the fact they may have been relocated later on.
Reminds me of the end of the movie “The Majestic”. Except this guy capitulated, sort of.
I am sure he agreed to this to get away from any criminal trial, potential jail time, and a huge ($50,000) fine. But, doggonit, He should not have had to baragin with these vipers...he simply defended his family and did what was right. He is the one who let the authorities know what had happened.
Glad he is free but sick to death pof these overbearing, powermad federal beaurocrats who are trampling American citizen's rights.
The F&W beaurocrats should be fined for allowing their ESA predators into his private yard.
Hope this this expensive — his legal bills, too—action will still allow him to fish and hunt in the future.
The endangered status of Grizzlies has got to be changed, there are too many of them to still be classified as endangered by the ESA. People have a right to protect themselves, especially from animals such as the Grizzly.
I hope so too, George. This should not affect his future hunting and fishing.
I’m only guessing but I believe the expenses will be covered by the money raised for his defense.
EXACTLY!What was he supposed to do?Ask him in for a meal?This is CRAZINESS!!I livve in VT.and we have a lot of black bears.I don’t hunt but if one these gives me a bad,he’s going to meet my pre-64 Model 70(30-06)!!!
It’s all about the damn money. Mafia Government.
So, you can be robbed $1000 for daring to try and protect your family? Is this what the US of A has come to?
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