Region 1 – On November 13, 2011 a hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear that he misidentified as a black bear in the Bear Creek drainage south of Libby. The hunter contacted Tip-Mont and turned himself in to FWP officials. The hunter was fully cooperative and took FWP personnel to the bear.
Troy Warden Phil Kilbreath and Conflict specialist Kim Annis identified the bear as a collared male grizzly. The hunter told warden Kilbreath he followed a set of bear tracks over a hill and saw a dark colored bear in the timber. He thought it was a black bear, so he shot it. The hunter pled guilty in Lincoln County Justice court to hunting during a closed season. He received a $735 fine and 30 hours of community service.
All black bear hunters should refer to literature available at all FWP offices for practice in distinguishing between black and grizzly bears. Hunters can also log on to FWP’s website and study the Bear Identification Program
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