A nine-year-old, 300-pound female grizzly bear is dead after attacking two pheasant hunters near Pendroy, Montana. According to reports, the grizzly, who had three cubs with her, was bedded down in some willows when the hunters approached looking for pheasants. The bear initially charged one of the dogs before turning to attack the hunters.
“The investigation is ongoing, but it looks like a self-defense incident,” Wesley Sarmento, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) grizzly bear management specialist, told the Great Falls Tribune.
One of the hunters tried to scare the bear off, firing his 12-gauge shotgun into the air; however, that didn’t work.
“The bear kept coming,” says Sarmento. “And then he shot the bear twice.”
goHUNT has reported on multiple grizzly bear attacks that have occurred in Montana over the past few months. In this case, while both hunters managed to escape without injury, it was their quick thinking that most likely saved them. Once the bear was dead, the men called authorities to report the incident.
While it will likely be ruled as a self-defense shooting, MFWP is still investigating the incident at this time. In Montana, it is illegal to shoot a grizzly bear unless it is in self-defense. Anyone guilty of illegally killing a grizzly can face jail time and a fine of $3,000, according to KTVQ.com.