Browning Man Sentenced in Grizzly Killing

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS – A Browning man has been sentenced to three years of probation and fined $500 for shooting a grizzly bear that scared him while he was deer hunting in northwestern Montana.

Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Cree Medicine was sentenced Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Keith Strong.

Cree Medicine told investigators he shot the bear when it approached within 20 yards while he was hunting on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in 2009.

Cree Medicine was charged with failing to report the shooting. If someone kills a grizzly bear in self-defense, they are required to report it because the bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Cree Medicine also cut off the grizzly’s claws, a misdemeanor offense.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.