GREAT FALLS (AP) — Montana wildlife officials say a Bozeman hunter shot and killed a female grizzly bear after it charged at him.
The initial investigation by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks shows the Saturday shooting was in self-defense.
Grizzly Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento says the nearly 500-pound female bear began charging after the hunter shot a pheasant outside of Pendroy, a community located 79 miles northwest of Great Falls.
According to Sarmento, the bear had initially charged at a dog but later turned its attention to the hunter.
Sarmento says the hunter shot the bear in the chest and face.
Wildlife officers say the female bear had three 10-month cubs that have low chances of survival without their mother.
In a seperate incident, a hunter in Montana was attacked by a grizzly while tracking an elk, leaving him with injuries to his hand.
Authorities say the man was tracking the elk on Saturday in the Rock Creek-Tom Miner area after shooting it the day prior. He reported getting separated from his hunting party before the bear charged him from about 30 yards away and knocked it him to the ground.
The man was able to deploy bear spray, but the nozzle of the spray got stuck so he ended up throwing the canister at the bear.
The hunter was bit on his hand, but he’s OK.
Wemple said the bear probably claimed the hunter’s kill in the area.