Hunter kills grizzly bear by mistake

Photo credit: Dreamstime

This is why it’s always important to correctly identify your quarry when hunting. A Wyoming man currently faces a massive fine and jail time because he killed a grizzly bear instead of a black bear outside of Yellowstone National Park. 

Patrick M. Gogerty turned himself in the morning after shooting the grizzly bear on May 1 near U.S. 14-16-20, according to the Associate Press. However, Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Game Warden Travis Crane filed an affidavit in Park County Circuit Court, stating that “Gogerty should have turned himself in immediately.”

Grizzly bears are considered a federally protected species in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

The male grizzly bear weighed about 530 pounds. Gogerty currently faces charges of killing a grizzly bear without a license and, if convicted, will have to serve up to a year in jail and may have to pay $25,000 in restitution. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

According to the affidavit, Gogerty was hunting during regular black bear season and first spotted the bear when it was “about 100 yards off the highway.” The bear lacked the telltale hump that most grizzlies have and he shot at it seven times.

“When Gogerty went up to the bear and saw the bear’s claws, the pads and the head of the bear, he realized it was a grizzly bear,” Crane wrote in the affidavit.

The bear was shot at least four times, according to the affidavit.

This incident follows another case of mistaken identity that also occurred in Wyoming last year. That hunter was recently fined for shooting a grizzly instead of a black bear on a hunt last May in the North Fork area.


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