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Shooting of grizzly in Cabinets ruled self-defense

by Western News
| November 9, 2009 11:00 PM

The shooting of a grizzly bear by a Troy man in the Cabinet Mountains was determined to be an act of self-defense, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials reported Monday.

While hunting on Dad Peak in the Cabinets, the man spotted two grizzly bears in the trees approximately 50 yards ahead of him, Montana FWP said. The report shows that the man alerted the bears to his presence by yelling and waving his gun.

“When the bears came in the direction of his noises, he realized there were three grizzly bears – one larger and two slightly smaller,” Montana FWP reported. “When he yelled again, hoping they would run off, the larger bear charged and the hunter shot the bear at approximately 25 yards.”

The hunter left the area and hiked out approximately six miles to report the incident to FWP. The next morning, the hunter returned to the site with FWP game wardens Phil Kilbreath and Tom Chianelli, accompanied by FWP grizzly bear specialist Kim Annis. An investigation of the scene confirmed the hunter’s account of events.

FWP’s investigation determined that the hunter was “very disappointed he had to shoot the bear, but he feared for his life” and it was ruled as a justifiable self-defense shooting.

“I'm glad the hunter was not injured and I commend him for his quick response to inform us of the situation and assistance in returning to the site,” game warden Capt. Lee Anderson said.

The bear killed was an adult female grizzly bear and DNA analysis will be performed to determine its identity. The other two bears the hunter saw were presumed to be her yearling young and were no longer in the immediate vicinity of where the adult female was killed.

As a reminder, FWP recommends that hunters carry bear pepper spray – an effective tool when used properly.