Hunter Penalized for Shooting Grizzly Bear

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA – A Bigfork man who killed a grizzly bear received a $135 fine and a suspended jail sentence of six months.

Lawrence Lefebvre contacted wildlife officials after killing the bear near the upper east shore of Flathead Lake on Oct. 25. The state wildlife agency says Lefebvre was hunting black bear and mistakenly shot the grizzly, a protected species.

The killing brings to 11 the number of known grizzly bear deaths caused by humans this year in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem, stretching roughly from the Canadian border to Montana 200, and from Kalispell to Choteau.

Causes of the 11 deaths include self-defense, traffic and response to livestock depredation. A homeowner shot a bear observed rummaging in a garbage can.

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