A week ago, I spotlighted the persecution and attempted prosecution of an Idaho man who shot a grizzly bear to protect his family. Local and state officials determined he did nothing wrong — and in fact, went out of his way to alert authorities.
Nevertheless, the warped U.S. Attorney’s Office moved to put him on trial in October.
Here’s the good news: The eco-zealous feds have backed off and dropped the charges.
Here’s the bad news: They made Hill pay a $1,000 fine.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped misdemeanor charges against a Porthill, Idaho, man who shot and killed a grizzly bear in his yard.
Instead, Jeremy M. Hill was issued a citation for the May 8 shooting of the male grizzly, and paid a $1,000 fine.
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Hill’s children when three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about forty yards from the Hill home. Hill told law enforcement officers that he last saw his children outside playing basketball in front of their home, but that he didn’t know where his children were when he saw the three grizzly bears near his pig pen. The two other bears ran off after Hill shot the 2-year-old male.
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said that dismissal of the criminal charge was based in part on Hill’s prompt notification of the shooting to Idaho Fish & Game officials.
“The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family,” said Olson. “Anyone who observes or hears of a grizzly bear near campsites or residences must immediately contact fish and wildlife officials.”
Hill says he just wants to put the whole thing behind him:
Hill didn’t return a call seeking comment.
However, in a written statement he said, “I am thankful that the government has dismissed all criminal charges against me in this case.”
He said he paid the fine to avoid putting his family, which includes six children, through the emotional strain and the cost of a trial.
“I am glad this issue has been resolved out of court and I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me,” Hill said.
It is a damned shame that the feds extracted a fine from him in these hard economic times and made an example of him after making his life hell for defending his property and family.
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