Marvin Jennings and his uncle were out bear hunting using bait in the mountains of Boise County on Sunday. The uncle shot a black bear, and when Jennings went to check to be sure the animal was dead, it attacked him. He used a pistol to shoot and kill the bear.
Statesman readers who don’t hunt have raised questions about the incident, including whether bear baiting is legal in Idaho. It’s a legal but controversial practice around the country, with critics arguing that it’s unsporting and cruel.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game offered some tips on bear baiting in a video last year, attached to this article above.
In Idaho, a person who places bear bait is required to obtain a permit from Fish and Game. Those permits are issued in early March. Those hunting over bait sites but not involved in placing the bait do not need a permit.
Jennings and his uncle obtained the proper permits to hunt black bear over the bait site in Boise County, a Fish and Game spokesman told the Statesman on Tuesday.
Idaho has many rules governing what kind of bait can be used, what it’s contained in and where it may be placed, part of its regulations on hunting black bears in general.
For example, no parts of animals or fish that are classified as game animals can be used as bait. The skin must be removed from any mammal parts or carcasses. Salt in any form cannot be used.
Last year, Outdoor Life published a list of the five biggest mistakes that bear hunters make at bait sites.