Officials from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks report that a bowhunter shot and killed a female grizzly bear and wounded her cub in self defense last Wednesday.
In a story by Louis Casiano of Fox News, this latest in a spate of recent, deadly grizzly encounters, took place on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front in the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area. The bowhunter encountered the bears in thick brush and shot both with a pistol. Investigators determined the hunter was acting in self defense and no charges will be brought.
Grizzly bears were delisted from the Endangered Species Act in August, returning management responsibility to the states. Wyoming and Idaho began authorizing regulated hunts as part of a science-based wildlife management plan while Montana was weighing its management options. The delisting was overturned by a Montana federal district court judge in September, halting the proposed management hunts in Wyoming and Idaho.
Attorneys for the FWS; the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana; and several non-governmental organizations including SCI and the NRA, made strong arguments in defense of the delisting and the use of hunting as a grizzly bear management tool. Safari Club International and NRA are considering options on appealing the decision. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney has introduced legislation to allow states to regain control of wildlife management.
This incident comes on the heels of a rash of such dangerous grizzly encounters. A bowhunter on the Montana Blackfeet Indian Reservation was recently attacked and killed by a grizzly. Earlier that same week, another Montana hunter was attacked as he was moving toward his moose and tragically, Wyoming guide Mark Uptain was attacked and killed by a grizzly as he and his client approached a downed elk.
Officials in the Greater Yellowstone area are advising residents to be “Bear Aware” as the bears are being sighted in places people may not expect to see them. Wyoming Game and Fish has had reports of grizzlies in residential areas eating pet food and even have a filmed encounter of bears trying to enter the back door of an occupied house.