It’s been a bad couple of months for Montana’s grizzly bears as yet another was shot and killed by a hunter this week, apparently in self-defense.
The hunter told game wardens that he had to shoot the bear “at close range” after it charged him in Beattie Gulch on Tuesday, an area north of Gardiner, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
An animal carcass was found nearby, and the bear was probably “acting defensively” according to FWP. The incident was still under investigation as of Friday, and FWP didn’t release any details about the age and sex of the grizzly.
Many Encounters, Shootings
There have been several run-ins with grizzlies in Montana this summer and fall, including a fatal attack on a woman in July.
Earlier this month, wildlife agents in Montana shot and killed the female grizzly thought to have been the one involved in that attack. They had initially decided to leave the bear alone after the fatal mauling, but then killed the grizzly after it broke into a house.
Genetic analysis and “other identifying characteristics” confirmed that the 10-year-old female was the same grizzly that killed 47-year-old Amie Adamson of Kanas. Her body was found along the Buttermilk Trail, roughly 8 miles from West Yellowstone.
There also were two encounters between hunters and grizzlies near Freezout Lake in Montana’s prairie grizzly country. No people were hurt in either of those incidents. In one encounter, the hunter drove the bear away by shooting it with birdshot from a 20-gauge shotgun, but the animal apparently wasn’t seriously injured.
In late August, two hunters shot and killed a charging female grizzly near Whitefish and in the chaos, one of the hunters accidentally shot and wounded the other.
And when a male grizzly charged at two anglers in thick cover along Tom Miner Creek near Livingston, Montana, one of the anglers shot and killed that bear.
Mark Heinz can be reached at email@example.com.