A sign of spring is hungry bears. The west is home to an abundant black bear population and a smaller number of grizzly bears. Although known grizzly bear populations are in the northern Panhandle of Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone Areas of Idaho and Montana, it’s possible that grizzly bears may turn up where people aren’t expecting them. In the past few years, young grizzly bears have roamed hundreds of miles from their home ranges to find new territories. Jon Rachael, a state wildlife manager for Fish and Game says “If you’re heading out for black bear hunting this spring, please make sure you know the key differences between black and grizzly bears (and take the ID quiz). Remember it’s illegal to kill a grizzly bear except in self-defense. A great precaution is to carry an approved bear pepper spray and be prepared to use it, in case of chance bear encounters that may go awry. Here’s Fish and Game official Roger Phillips: bear spray is a very effective deterrent and keeps the bear alive.