Idaho is asking hunters and other backcountry users to exercise caution near the town of Salmon after a rare grizzly bear sighting.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said in a news release that a bear photographed by a motion-sensor camera on May 14 has been identified as a grizzly bear.
Idaho grizzly bears are found primarily in the northern Panhandle region and in or near Yellowstone National Park in eastern Idaho. Salmon is in east-central Idaho, 170 miles from Yellowstone.
The bear was photographed in the North Fork area outside of Salmon.
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The last known grizzly bear sighting in the area was in 2020, involving a young male grizzly bear.
Idaho’s spring black bear hunting season is underway and hunters near Salmon “should not assume that any bear they see is a black bear,” the IDFG said, warning that grizzly bears are a federally protected species.
It is unknown if the grizzly bear is still in the area, but all backcountry users are asked to bring bear spray.
The IDFG explained that young male grizzlies sometimes roam a lot, venturing into areas where people aren’t used to seeing them.
“These young male bears typically wander around an area, but don’t stay there,” the agency said.
–Grizzly bear image courtesy of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game