Hunters shoot grizzly as it charges toward them in Montana wilderness, officials say

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A group of hunters shot and killed a grizzly as it charged toward them, Montana wildlife officials said.

The hunters were processing a hunted elk Oct. 3 when the grizzly appeared nearby, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said. The grizzly started charging toward the group.

“The hunters shot and killed the bear during its charge and were not injured,” wildlife officials said Wednesday in a news release. “The bear was a 3- to 5-year-old female without cubs.”

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

Grizzly bears are listed as an endangered species in the continental U.S. Montana law, however, says it’s legal to kill a grizzly in self-defense or if the bear is attacking livestock, according to the Montana Free Press.

In Wyoming, a hunter killed a grizzly after a surprise encounter with the bear and its cubs, McClatchy News reported.

The grizzly attacked the man after he came in close range to its cubs. He was flown to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries, wildlife officials said.

The majority of bear encounters don’t involve conflict, and bears are typically seeking a food source or protecting their young.

People recreating outdoors in bear territory should always carry bear spray and know how to use it, secure food, and keep a safe distance from wildlife.

“Activities that are deliberately quiet or fast moving, such as hunting, mountain biking or trail running, put people at greater risk for surprising a bear,” wildlife officials said. “Bears will be active throughout the general hunting season.”

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