Yellowstone Club Security Guard Pays $1,735 for Killing Black Bear

By Beacon Staff

BUTTE – A security guard at the ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club has paid $1,735 in restitution and fines for illegally killing a black bear while trying to haze the animal away from a paintball course.

Shane Barstad paid $1,000 in restitution and a $735 fine in Justice Court in Madison County this week, the Montana Standard reported.

Justice of the Peace Mary Ann O’Malley said Barstad paid the penalties for the misdemeanor citation for killing a large animal out of season.

Barstad told state Fish, Wildlife and Parks officers that he killed the bear Aug. 11 when he accidentally used a live round instead of a rubber bullet while trying to haze the animal.

The bear had two cubs with it. Biologists captured one and took it to the state wildlife state wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena with plans to return it to the wild when it is older. FWP officials could not locate the other bear and said it was unlikely to survive without its mother.

Pat Flowers, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Region 3, sent a letter to Hans Williamson, the club’s general manager, criticizing the club for using paintballs that contain vegetable oil, which can attract bears, and for not consulting with the agency about wildlife issues.

Flowers ordered the club near Big Sky to shut down its paintball course and has prohibited employees from hazing bears with any kind of firearm.

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