PA hunter mistakenly kills grizzly bear - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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PA hunter mistakenly kills grizzly bear

Not making us look good



Jun. 11, 2018 6:28 PM EDT
Grizzly killed by black bear hunter in northwestern Montana

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials say a Pennsylvania man shot and killed a 500-pound grizzly bear while he was hunting for black bears in northwestern Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish said the adult male bear was killed May 20 on U.S. Forest Service land in the Swan Valley.

The hunter told game wardens that he mistakenly believed the animal to be a black bear. The grizzly was estimated to be about 18 years old.
Grizzlies are protected under federal law in northwestern Montana as a threatened species. Black bear hunters must pass a bear identification test before receiving their license.

Tabish said the case was turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and remains under investigation to determine if any penalties are warranted.

Steve
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 03:10 AM
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I understand that mistakes happen, but an older male grizz is pretty hard to mistake for anything else. They have a very distinguishable profile that looks nothing like a Black bear. With the minimal details in this story, it seems to me that this was likely a case of a hunter who was over eager and excited, and didn't bother to properly identify his target. He's going to have a hard time coming out of this without a stiff fine, and rightfully so.
And you're right Steve, this doesn't help the Easterners image out there. Well, except for maybe with the local ranchers who have probably lost livestock to this bear. They probably like the guy....


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Last edited by BCozhunter; 06-12-2018 at 03:16 AM.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 03:19 AM
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This is the last part of the bear identification tutorial. IMO not enough of our hunters understand this any longer, or they just don't care. Too many forget that our actions directly influence our future.
Quote:
DON’T SHOOT, unless you are absolutely sure it’s not a grizzly bear or a black bear with young!
Telling the two species apart is important for you the hunter, the future of hunting, and the threatened grizzly bear. If you choose to hunt black bear in the western half of Montana, you need to be able to distinguish between a black bear and a grizzly bear. Killing a grizzly bear in the Lower 48 States is both a federal and state offense that can bring criminal and civil penalties of up to $50,000 and a year in jail. Also, remember it’s illegal in Montana to kill a female black bear accompanied by young. As with all other aspects of hunting, it’s the responsibility of the hunter to be sure of the
species before pulling the trigger; claims of self-defense are exhaustively investigated. Remember, a mistaken identification may impact not only the conservation status of bears, but may also result in more restrictive hunting regulations. Your ability to tell the species apart and to make sure that a black bear doesn’t have young will directly influence the future of bear hunting and the public image of hunting in Montana. The decision to act responsibly is up to you! The consequences of failing to do so, however, will affect others as well.

The tutorial and test can be found here:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Bear Identification Program
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 08:23 AM
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Not defending the guy but you have to wonder at the protected status of grizzly bears now that Yellowstone has potentially opened up a grizzly hunt.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 02:28 PM
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In order to hunt bears in Montana,you have to take an online course and pass a test showing that you can tell the difference between a black bear and grizzly.or at least you used to.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dce View Post
In order to hunt bears in Montana,you have to take an online course and pass a test showing that you can tell the difference between a black bear and grizzly.or at least you used to.
You still do. I posted the link to the FW&P site that has the tutorial and test. I took it again today, and aced it.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 03:52 PM
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Do they hunt over bait in MT?
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 04:34 PM
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I talked to the hunters dad. The bear was coming directly at him close. Shot was chest. He immediately reported it. He is getting off easy. He did not ever try to say it was self defense which the wardens told him saved him trouble as it clearly was not. He was given his license back and told to kill a black bear. On a side note and unrelated there was a serious grizzly bear mauling in that vicinity a week before.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 06:19 PM
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I took my son to Idaho panhandle for spring bear in 2002. Montana and Idaho have a lot of colorphase bear. A fella at our camp killed a pretty cinnamon and I also saw 2 blonde bears while fishing the St. Joe. Hunters were cautioned about misidentifying grizzly for a black. Bears come to the bait sites late, especially the bigger ones. In low light scenerios, a grizzly can be misidentified for a color phase black bear, particularly by a novice hunter that you see at some of these camps.

I hunted black bear in Alaska in an area that had a 50-50 mix of black and brown bear. We’d look over every brownie to make certain it wasn’t a colorphase black bear. Color phasing in Alaskan bear wasn’t as common as it was in the Bitteroot Mts. of the West, and coastal brown bears are considerably larger than a grizzly.

Some sporting camps in Maine had to start prohibiting hunters from shooting at coyotes on a bait site because they ended up shooting wolves ( which are protected ). The camp I hunted had a wolf shot, the hunter turned it into the state. Again, the problem goes back to inexperienced hunters operating in low light conditions. Not a good combination.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 07:07 PM
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OK, man up. Which one of you guys shot it?
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