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Hunter kills grizzly bear in self-defense near Gardiner

File photo of a grizzly bear (MTN News)
gardiner montana map
Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-28 19:52:28-04

A hunter killed a grizzly bear on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, in Beattie Gulch north of Gardiner, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

FWP said in a news release that the grizzly charged the hunter, who then shot the bear at close range in self-defense. The hunter was not injured.

FWP, along with staff from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service investigated the site of the attack and found an animal carcass nearby.

FWP bear specialists and game wardens determined the bear's actions were most likely defensive, according to the release.
The investigation into the incident continues. No other details have been released; we will update you if we get more information.



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With pheasant hunting season approaching and other upland bird seasons already open, FWP reminds all hunters to be extra cautious when afield. Avoiding conflicts with bears is easier than dealing with conflicts.

Here are some precautions to help residents, recreationists and people who work outdoors avoid negative bear encounters:

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.  
  • Make noise to alert bears to your presence and travel in groups.  
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.  
  • Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.  
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Leave the area when it is safe to do so.  
  • Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas. 
  • Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.  

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, working closely in Montana with FWP, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, Wildlife Services, and Native American tribes. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.