This week we’re looking back at some of the most popular stories from 2017, including this one. Enjoy!
There’s a great deal to be feared from a grizzly when you’re in elk country. You’re sneaking along through close cover, trying to surprise an elk, all while running the risk of surprising a bear instead. If you do kill an elk then you’re elbow-deep in elk blood, so there are certainly reasons to fear bears while afield . . . but when you’re already home and the elk is hanging safely—“safely”—in your garage, you don’t expect any trouble from Old Ephraim.
Not so, at least in the case of a hunter near West Yellowstone, Montana. The incident occurred October 22 following a successful elk hunt, with the resulting carcass hanging in the man’s garage. A 15-year-old sow grizzly approached the house, breaking through a metal door and gaining access to the meat.
The commotion got the hunter’s attention. He came to the front door with a gun and found the grizzly only ten steps away, standing on the front porch. It turned and began to approach him, at which point he shot it.
A spokeswoman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the shooting had been investigated and deemed self-defense. The bear’s bloody paw prints were found all around the house, on the front porch where the hunter shot it, and even pressed against some of the house’s glass windows. While the grizzly had previously been trapped by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, it had never had an encounter with humans until this one.
Photo: Moose Henderson/iStock