Saturday, October 17, 2009

Montana: Friend shoots hunter during bear attack

Livingston, Montana

From the Casper Star-Tribune Online of October 16, 2009
Friend shoots hunter during bear attack

A hunter attacked by a grizzly bear in southern Montana also had the misfortune of being shot in the arm by a companion trying to stop the attack.

The incident last Saturday resulted in the bear being killed, the attacked hunter surviving and no charges against the companion for shooting his friend.

Park County Sheriff Allan Lutes says his office looked into the shooting of the hunter and found no negligence, with the other hunter trying to save his friend and killing the bear.

"It doesn't point to anything but an accident," Lutes said.

However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are still investigating and have not released details, including the hunters' names.

Lutes says the hunters thought they were tracking a black bear near Cooke City.

They entered a grove of very dense, second-generation pine six to eight feet in height when their quarry, which actually was a grizzly, jumped one of the hunters.

"He was yelling at his partner to shoot the bear," Lutes said.

The first shot struck the hunter in the arm. Subsequent shots hit and killed the grizzly, which Lutes said was estimated to be 20-25 years old.

"It was a big boar," Lutes said.

Lutes advised hunters to use extreme caution while prowling the hills and forest for game.

"These hunters need to be very careful, especially in thick areas," he said.

Grizzlies are foraging, trying to add body weight before entering winter dens.

"They're not in good humor right now," Lutes said.

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