Last weekend, on the afternoon of August 26th, two men killed a grizzly bear in self-defense near Whitefish Mountain Resort, a Montana ski area.
The men were scouting for hunting season near Smokey Range Trailhead when they encountered the bear in a dense thicket, who charged. Both men used guns to fire at the bear, killing it.
One of the men was accidentally shot during the encounter and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The attack was investigated by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials, who determined that the bear acted defensively rather than aggressively after encountering the men in close quarters.
The Montana FWP officials report that the bear, who was 25 years old and had a cub, did not have a documented history of aggression. They are monitoring the area in hopes of locating the cub.
Grizzly bears are a protected species in 48 states, wherein killing them, unless in self-defense or while protecting others, is illegal.
Due to the bear charging after being surprised, the Montana FWP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement decided that the men acted in self-defense.
The news comes after reports that grizzly bear populations continue to expand their ranges in Montana. Earlier this month, several grizzly bears were spotted south of Whitefish, near Missoula, Montana.
Bear hibernation season is still a few months away, so always remember to move through the backcountry safely when in bear country.
This Instagram post from Montana FWP contains several bear safety tips to remember while recreating outdoors.
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