One of the men was struck with a bullet in the back of his shoulder
Two men shot and killed a grizzly bear in self-defense after it charged them as they scouted for hunting spots in Whitefish, Montana.
The Bozeman Daily Chronical reports the incident occurred Saturday, August 25, 2023. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks says in a statement that the two men were near the Smokey Range Trailhead on Canyon Creek Road when the incident occurred. The trailhead is approximately 7.3 miles north of downtown Whitefish.
The FWP says the two men were making their way through dense foliage when they surprised a female grizzly and her cub from within 15 feet. The mother bear charged the men, who both shot at and killed her. One man was accidentally shot in the back of his shoulder during the incident.
FWP wardens and members of the agency’s Wildlife Human Attack Response Team determined the men acted in self-defense and will not be charged. Under the Endangered Species Act, it is illegal to hunt, harm, or kill grizzlies in the Lower 48, but killing a bear in legitimate self-defense is an exception. The FWP says the grizzly was approximately 25 years old and had no prior history of conflict with humans. Agency staff were looking for the cub.
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