Good grief.  I was hoping the Feds would come to their senses and drop this case, but as I learned while actively practicing law, once bureaucratic prosecutors go into action, they never let up.  Common sense has nothing to do with it.

Jeremy Hill shot and killed a 2-year-old male grizzly that entered his yard with a mother and her cub—while his children were outside playing there too (and then, self reported).  There can be no more dangerous scenario when encountering a bruin than a mother with offspring.  From the story that gives the local prosecutor’s (not involved in the legal case) factual allegation. 

Hill was showering. His wife, not able to sleep, looked out her bedroom window and spotted the bears an estimated 40 yards from where the kids were playing. She ran outside, shouting for the kids to get in the house. Hill, finishing a shower, heard the screams and looked outside. Seeing the bears, he grabbed the only weapon at hand, a rifle, which was wrapped and unloaded. He found three bullets, loaded the weapon and raced outside. He didn’t know where his children or his wife were exactly, but could hear his wife’s panicked screams. He stepped out onto the back deck from their bedroom and saw one of the bears climbing halfway up the side of a pen for the children’s pigs. He ran out and fired a shot at the bear closest to him.

The mother and cub ran away.  But the shot bear kept coming.

The grizzly on the fence was hit, and he tumbled off, then got up and ran off, limping slightly. The family dog went after the injured bear, which was heading in the same direction the other two had fled. The bear, only a few yards from the house, turned and charged straight toward where Hill was standing by a large basement window under the deck. Fearing there was nothing but him and a large pane of glass to keep the wounded bear out of his house, Jeremy took aim and fired again...he looked out and saw that the bear, already shot twice, was trying to crawl to the woods. The animal stopped behind a tree, wounded but not dead, and Hill took up the rifle again, carefully walked over to the bear, unsure if it was dead or alive, but knowing that a wounded grizzly bear posed a significant threat. Using the last bullet, he fired a final shot, putting the bear out of his misery and ending the threat, Douglas said.

No one is happy about the dead bear, but good grief!  If this is any way an accurate depiction of the facts, why are the Feds are prosecuting?  This is just blind, obtuse, bureaucratism, tinged with radical environmentalism.  Protecting endangered species is a good thing, but not at the expense of a real potential for loss of human life.

I once saw an IMAX movie that depicted grizzly bears as akin to cows.  Pure propaganda.  In fact, grizzlies are very dangerous predators that can run as fast as a race horse.  (I saw one in Yellowstone last year chasing a wolf off an elk carcass.  An awesome and truly frightening sight!).  Relevant to this discussion, two hikers have been killed in Yellowstone this year by grizzly bears, one by a mother bear with cubs.

Human life is priceless.  Bear life is not.  If in doubt, shoot the bear.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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