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Montana Black Bear Hunter Shoots Grizzly By Mistake

November 9, 2009.

From Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

A hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear that he believed was a black bear in the Owl Creek drainage near Placid Lake on Saturday, October 31.

When the hunter approached the dead bear, he realized that it was a grizzly and notified Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) officials.    FWP game wardens investigated the incident and wrote the man a citation for killing a grizzly bear during a closed season.  

FWP Region 2 Warden Captain Jeff Darrah noted that the hunter did the right thing by reporting his mistake, but hunters have the responsibility of positively identifying a bear before they attempt to take it.

This violation carries a restitution of $2000 and fine of up to $2,000 to be determined by the judge.

Hunters are reminded to review the characteristics of black and grizzly bears. Hunters must pass a bear identification test before purchasing a black bear license. To complete the bear training and test, go to the FWP Web site, and follow links to the bear ID test from the main page. Paper versions are also available at all FWP offices.

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