There had to have been so little time to react. And he probably feels fortunate to be alive.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that a hunter killed a grizzly bear in self-defense last week in the Madison Range southeast of Ennis. The man was hunting black bears in a remote parcel of private land in the backcountry on June 5.

The hunter states that he was charged by a grizzly bear. The bear was shot and killed with a pistol. The hunter was not injured.

The hunter notified Montana FWP the same day. Officials from FWP, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest conducted a field investigation. They were also assisted by the landowner, confirming the bear's mortality.

The bear was not a stranger to FWP officials, although not due to a history of bad behavior. The 15-year-old female grizzly had previously been captured for research purposes ten years ago. She had no known history of conflict with people. No cubs were seen with the bear. Sadly, it appears to be a wrong-place-at-the-wrong time scenario, as the grizzly's behavior appeared to be defensive in the surprise, close encounter with the hunter.

Montana is bear country. Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and outdoor recreation lovers will encounter them in more places each year.

Avoiding conflicts with bears is easier than dealing with conflicts. Please be well-educated and well-prepared if you venture into their territories.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

LOOK: 20 of the biggest insects in the world

Stacker compiled a list of 20 of the biggest insects in the world using a variety of news, scientific, and other sources.




More From Montana Talks