An 11-year-old boy killed a bear at point-blank range last Wednesday night after it wouldn’t leave his family’s porch.
The boy was at his home near Driggs with his younger sisters and after seeing the bear on the front porch and not being able to get it to leave, the boy retrieved a gun and killed the animal.
The family declined to comment and wished to remain anonymous.
Fish and Game Conservation Officer Doug Petersen said the black bear had been a problem in the area near the county transfer station, and he and Fish and Game Officer Lauren Wednt had set up a trap earlier in the week.
“The bear had been hanging around and we got multiple complaint calls,” said Wendt. The bear had been getting into garbage cans and bird feeders in the area.
Petersen said officials may have had to put it down anyway. He said that in situations where the bear has been a problem around humans or threatens human safety, they usually don’t issue citations.
“Human safety is a higher priority,” said Petersen. “We’re concerned with how bears are managed and we want to live in harmony with them.”
The boy and his family are not in any trouble, and Petersen said he issued them a permit to keep the bear. Usually when a bear is put down by Fish and Game they sell the hide at a state auction, Petersen said. Petersen said the family reported the bear Thursday morning. Fish and Game trapped and euthanized another problem black bear about two weeks ago, after the bear reportedly let himself into a home. Petersen said it’s normal for the animals to move from higher elevations this time of year.
“We don’t like to see them down this low,” said Petersen. “But it’s not uncommon.”
Rachael Horne, Teton Valley News