A hunter reported a June 13 sighting of a grizzly bear in the Kelly Creek drainage to Idaho Fish and Game staff in the Clearwater Region.
The bear was identified as a 2-year-old grizzly that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collared and released in western Montana nearly a year ago. The most recent data from the bear’s radio collar places the bear in the Kelly Creek drainage, Fish and Wildlife Service officials confirmed. Kelly Creek is a tributary of the North Fork of the Clearwater River and is located between Headquarters and Lolo Hot Springs.
Authorities are asking black bear hunters in the region, specifically those hunting in Units 10 and 12, to be vigilant. A black bear season is currently open in that area. There is no season for grizzly bears in Idaho.
In 2007, a hunter killed a grizzly bear he mistook for a black bear while hunting near Kelly Creek. However, grizzlies are not normally found in that area.
“We want to make sure that hunters in the area be extra-vigilant and careful while afield, both in identifying their targets and while traveling to their hunting spot, because we do have at least one known grizzly bear in there,” said Jon Rachael, state game manager for Fish and Game.