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Black Bear Hunter Kills Grizzly In Montana's Swan Valley

Grizzly bears vs. black bears.
Grizzly bears vs. black bears.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says a black bear hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear in the Swan Valley after misidentifying it in May. The male bear weighed 500 pounds and was about 18 years old.

The agency says a man from Pennsylvania told game wardens he mistakenly shot the bear on May 20 in the Piper Creek drainage during black bear hunting season. He had a black bear license.

Grizzly bears cannot be legally hunted in Montana.

Black bear hunters are required to pass an identification test before purchasing a license. FWP spokesman Dillon Tabish says bear identification is also a part of hunter education courses.

“It’s something we take very seriously as an agency, and it’s very important for hunters to know, when they’re afield, the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear," Tabish says.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently investigating the incident.

Rosie Costain is a former MTPR reporter.
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