Agency: Hunter Shot Bear in Self-Defense

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The state wildlife agency says a hunter was defending himself when he shot a grizzly bear in the Marias Pass area of western Montana. The federal government classifies the bear as a threatened species.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks says an adult female grizzly charged Shawn Damschen of Coram on Monday.

The agency says Damschen reported that the adult bear and two younger ones approached him, he yelled and the younger bears ran off, but the sow charged. State officials say Damschen fired two shots from his rifle, at a distance of about 10 feet, and hit the bear. Later a wildlife warden, Damschen and a companion returned to the area, followed a trail of blood and found the wounded bear. The warden killed it.