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Hunter Kills Cabinet Mountains Grizzly in Self-Defense

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Cabinet Mountains grizzly bear killed; FWP ruled the incident as self-defense.

On November 2, 2009, a Troy, Montana resident was hunting mule deer on Dad Peak in the Cabinet Mountains when he spotted 2 grizzly bears in the trees approximately 50 yards ahead of him. He 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. 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, hiking out approximately 6 miles, and immediately reported the incident to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.


The following morning, the hunter returned to the site with FWP Game Wardens Phil Kilbreath and Tom Chianelli, accompanied by FWP Grizzly Bear Specialist Kim Annis, to investigate the scene. where they were able to confirm the hunter’s account of events.


The hunter was very disappointed he had to shoot the bear, but he feared for his life. FWP law enforcement is ruling this as a justifiable self-defense shooting. Warden Captain Lee Anderson stated, "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".


The bear killed was an older adult female grizzly bear and DNA analysis will be performed to determine the identity of the bear. The other 2 bears the hunter saw are presumed to be her yearling young and were no longer in the immediate vicinity of where the adult female was killed.


FWP recommends that all hunters carry bear spray, which has been found to be a highly effective tool when used properly.

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Author info

Kim Annis Kim Annis is a grizzly bear management specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks out of Libby.

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