Grizzly killing is a costly lesson in the old rule of "always know what you're shooting at."
During a black bear hunt with his father in eastern Idaho, a 15 year old boy mistakenly shot and killed a 500-pound male grizzly.
The California hunters returned to their cabin from the field and at that point recognized the error they had made in shooting the bear. They did the right thing and reported the kill to Idaho Fish and Game.
The young hunter has been given a warning and the father a citation for taking the grizzly, an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
This is the second time this year that a teenager has mistakenly killed a protected grizzly in Idaho.
The timing of these events are unfortunate. Recently, comments have been submitted in favor of delisting the grizzly bear as a threatened species under the ESA. The move for delisting follows findings by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the bear population has recovered to the point where it no longer warrants protection.
If "accidental" killings of protected wildlife continue, and public outcry against delisting increases, the proposal to drop protections could be set back decades.