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Antler hunter kills grizzly bear in encounter near Wolf Creek

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (KIFI) – Officials are investigating after a man searching for antlers shot and killed a grizzly bear on April 25 during an encounter on private land northwest of Wolf Creek.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks said the man who was not carrying bear spray was walking along a ridge covered with low trees and brush with his two dogs at his side while searching for shed antlers.

After seeing a fresh grizzly bear track in a snow patch, he continued along his path, and a few minutes later, he first saw the bear standing near the top of the ridge about 20 yards away. The bear dropped to all four legs and charged the man, who drew his handgun and fired five shots from distances about 30 feet to 10 feet, grazing the bear with a one shot and hitting and killing it with another shot.

Officials say the man was not injured in the encounter.

The adult female grizzly was in good condition weighing around 300 pounds and was estimated to be 12 years old. The bear had a single cub-of-the-year nearby that was later captured by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks bear management specialists and taken to FWP’s wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena. FWP is currently looking for placement for the cub at an accredited zoo.

The incident remains under investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

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