Montana wildlife officials report that a Missoula man shot a grizzly bear in self defense on May 15 on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area near Seeley Lake.
A female grizzly bear with two cubs surprised the man shortly after noon on the northwest portion of the WMA. The man first hollered at the bear, but the bear continued to advance towards him. When the bear approached to within eight yards, the man shot and wounded the bear.
The man attempted to leave the scene, but the bear chased him, and the man then fired a second shot at five yards, which caused the bear to drop and stop its approach. The man was then able to return to his vehicle, unharmed, and report the incident.
FWP game wardens responded and killed the wounded bear. Biologists trapped and transported the cubs to the FWP Wildlife Center in Helena to where they will be held until they can be placed in a permanent facility.
Wardens reported that the man acted within the law and shot the grizzly in self defense. He will not be charged in the incident. The sow was uncollared and did not have a past history of interactions with people.
"We're relieved that everyone escaped without injury," says Mack Long, FWP Region 2 Supervisor. "It is also another reminder for people recreating in western Montana that bears are out for the season, and to always be prepared for what to do in the case of an encounter."