Man Kills Grizzly, Fights For His Freedom In Court

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 1 month ago

In what could masquerade as a sad Orwellian novel if it weren’t true, an Idaho man defended his family from a potential grizzly bear attack, and is now in court defending his freedom.

A man charged with unlawfully shooting and killing a grizzly bear had so many supporters at his arraignment Tuesday in federal court that the judge had to move the hearing to a larger courtroom.

Even there, every seat was taken as his family, friends and neighbors, young and old, squeezed in.

Jeremy M. Hill, 33, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to killing the animal with a rifle on his 20-acre property near Porthill, Idaho, at the Canadian border. He lives five miles from the closest grizzly bear recovery zone.

The grizzly bear is classified as a threatened species in the lower 48 states, according to the Endangered Species Act, and protected by federal law. Hill’s charge is a misdemeanor.

Magistrate Judge Candy Dale set trial, at least for now, for Oct. 4.

Hill has declined comment. His lawyer, Marc Lyons of Coeur d’Alene, said he plans to defend Hill on the basis of self-defense and protection of family.

Following the hearing, his father, Mike Hill, of Athol, said, “This whole thing is a waste of taxpayer money.”

He said his son was concerned for the safety of his children playing outside when a mother grizzly and two cubs wandered onto his property on May 8.

Jeremy Hill has six kids, ranging in age from 14 years old to 10 months old. At least five were home when the grizzly was killed, Mike Hill said.

The bears had gone after some pigs in a pen that the kids had been raising, Mike Hill said.

He said his son shot one of the bears, then called authorities to notify them of the kill. The other two bears ran off.

He said his son could have just buried the animal and not said anything to law enforcement. He said his son is being penalized for coming forward.

State Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, attended the hearing in full support of Jeremy Hill.

“The charges are simply unjust,” she said following the hearing. “Hopefully common sense will prevail. It’s clearly an issue of protecting the family.”

She predicted that punishing someone who reported killing a grizzly will damage government efforts to protect the animals.

She said nearly $20,000 was raised by community members for Hill’s defense.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho was asked about the case while appearing in Sandpoint on Tuesday.

While Labrador said he needed to be careful in dealing with the prosecutorial side of things, he did have this to say:

“Clearly, we have a problem with the ESA when situations like this happen.” He later added, “We’re doing everything we can to make sure this man is treated fairly.”

Based on a subsequent report, it isn’t clear whether it was Jeremy Hill or one of his sons who killed the bear, or if it was the mother or a cub.  It doesn’t matter.  There is a lot of local support for Jeremy, and in fact, Idaho Governor Butch Otter is appealing to Obama to look into the facts of the case.

It’s ridiculous that it has gotten this far.  The fact of the matter is that regardless of whether the federal government comes to its senses now or soon, some federal prosecutor (U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson?) made the sophomoric decision to carry this case forward.  How embarrassing this decision must be for this attorney.

It is said that exception makes bad law.  Perhaps.  But failure to address the exception makes for bad justice.  Jeremy isn’t a poacher hunting bear in this area.  He is a father and husband, defending his children and wife.  It hurts progressives to hear it, but man is made in God’s image.  Animals are not.  The only evil that could possibly have happened that day would have been if Jeremy had failed to defend his family.

When the framework for righteousness is found in the myriad rules and regulations that pass through the Federal Register every day as lawyers promulgate an increasingly burdensome bureaucracy on a hapless American public, America has lost its way, and has forgotten what true righteousness is all about.  The justification for regulations has become deonotological, needing no foundation outside themselves, and the means has become the end without regard for consequences or affect.  And it is all without heart or soul.



  • Jim Harris

    This is not the first time this has happened. A similar event occurred in Wyoming about 10+ years ago. The man spent many years defending against a similar stupid charge; he finally won, but at great cost.

    The west needs to find a way to regain control of it’s own territory instead of being under the dictatorship of the Dept of Interior and other federal agencies. They are are inhabited by eco-nuts, who care nada for the people who live there.

  • Greg

    “A MISFORTUNATE INCIDENT IN GRIZZLY COUNTRY”

    When one lives in “Grizzly Country”…they should have a mind-set of awareness to the fact they are in “Grizzly Country”. Just as other folks who live in the country or who live in the city who choose to exercise their constitutionally-protected, individual right to keep and bear arms,there are legal guidelines that one must follow when they choose to take action to protect themselves or others against a threat.

    After taking action in one of these situations, there are always those who “Monday Morning Quarterback” the events leading up to the situation,the actions of the person who had to take the actions that they did, and then make judgement on the person who took the action. In the end one would hope that those who are responsible for making the decision on whether or not the case deserves to be charged criminally, take into consideration the totality of the circumstances.

    People are always quick to point fingers and place blame upon law enforcement officers in this country whenever they use deadly force,usually
    without knowing the facts leading up to, and during the actual incident.

    As in police shootings where someone’s life is taken,the actions taken by someone who chooses to kill a Grizzly Bear in their backyard,can expect to have their actions scrutinized as well.

    The fact that a bear is chasing livestock,the center of it’s attention,does not
    justify the shooting of the animal. The government has measures in place to
    compensate livestock owners for their loss to endangered species, the same as the wolf situation in Idaho and other states.

    The fact that a bear in “Grizzly Country” wanders into someone’s yard, does not justify one to shoot the bear,even when children are present. If there is time to retrieve a firearm and return to the yard, there was certainly time for the kids to slowly head towards the house.

    Ideally if Mr. Hill had obtained his firearm, stood by while his children left the yard and wet into the home,the situation would not be what it is today.

    Living in “Grizzly Country” requires one to have a plan in place prior to an “close encounter” taking place. A “close encounter” is not necessarily a “deadly encounter”. Having a prior and practiced plan does not result in a startled,panicked response to an incident when it occurs.

    It would appear that the Hill’s did not have a plan in place (just like most of are told that we should have practice fire-drills in out homes in case we have a fire in our homes, and everyone knows what to do when a fire occurs. Most of America neglects to follow those suggestions).

    Mr. Hill should be judged on what he perceived at the time of the incident. The fact that Mr. Hill had not given prior thought to the “what if’s”, and acted
    according to what he “perceived” as a threat to his family,he should not be seen or prosecuted as a villain in this matter.

    The same as when a police officer “perceived” a situation as one in which he
    uses “deadly force” to protect himself of another,and is later found “justified”
    based upon the threat that he “perceived” and based upon “his prior training and experience”,Mr. Hill who had “no prior training” and had “no prior
    experience” in this sort of incident, he should be judged accordingly…as “JUSTIFIED” and excusable.

    Hopefully this unfortunate incident will be an “awakening” to the necessity for all who “live in” or plan a “visit” to “Grizzly Country”,and that they will take the necessary steps to formulate their “plan” in the event they encounter the “possible” instead of the “unexpected”.

    As a law enforcement officer and one who enforces the law and is also charged with protecting natural resources and wildlife, I pray cooler heads will prevail,that those making the choice to take criminal action against Mr. Hill will
    consider “the totality of the situation” and not just pursue a political agenda.

    There has been no mention of the “Orphan Bear Cubs”. I hope that they have been located and cared for as well.

    With all the recent “Grizzly Attacks” around the country, I would hope people
    will formulate a “prior plan” and not leave their “common sense” at home,as my prior experience has shown,and take it with them into “Grizzly Country”.

    STAY SAFE OUT THERE!!! (In Bear Country)

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    This is the most stolid, ridiculous, absurd, childish position I have ever heard. Your argument goes to this: he should have allowed the bear to become accustomed to eating living things on and around this property because he can send the bill to the federal government later, and thus the fact that he allows the bear to learn this behavior around his children isn’t really important.

    Good grief. Did you think about this position before you wrote it?

  • Greg

    Don’t take what I initially posted as Carte Blanc to the bears…If a bear becomes a “problem bear”,you contact the National Wildlife Service and they relocate,or
    if it necessitates,kill the bear.

    There are ways to address these issues…but do it right!

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    So let me get this straight? (I’ll assume here that you have children, because if you don’t, you have no business commenting on what folks with children should do.) You advocate placing your children in danger by waiting until a grizzly bear becomes a “problem” bear before, um …, contacting the NWS to let them come when they wish to handle your problem bear? And this is the “right” way to do it?

    Is this your position … because it sure seems like your position?

  • Pingback: The Captain's Journal » Man Who Shot Grizzly Bear Defending His Family is Fined()

  • http://www.firstcontactproject.org Warbucks

    The thing is, when working for a living in Grizzlyland, you are a tasty morsel in the food chain, and bears charge in from a stealth attack at near 30 mph. Ruger .454 Casull
    (and some “hot” 350 grain solids) if you have time to reach for it, is about your only chance, that or go uproot your family and work some where else.


You are currently reading "Man Kills Grizzly, Fights For His Freedom In Court", entry #7444 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Obama Administration and was published August 26th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (677)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (31)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (7)
Ammunition (22)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (68)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (44)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (51)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (5)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (124)
Department of Homeland Security (13)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (3)
Featured (176)
Federal Firearms Laws (17)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (467)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (40)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (412)
Guns (961)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (45)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (38)
Islamists (63)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (240)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (23)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (23)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (14)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (21)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (216)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (31)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Police (209)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (242)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (107)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (28)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (159)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (24)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (2)
Survival (12)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (5)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (13)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (13)
U.S. Sovereignty (15)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (42)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (17)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2016 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.