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Montana man hunting for pheasants shoots, kills rapidly-approaching grizzly bear

File photo / National Park Service

PENDROY, Mont. — A Montana man is lucky to be alive after he was charged by a female grizzly bear while pheasant hunting Saturday, Nov. 4.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, two men and a hunting dog were pheasant hunting along an irrigation canal on a farm a few miles southeast of Pendroy, Mont., when a female grizzly charged out of a patch of willow trees after one of the hunters shot a pheasant.

Initially, the grizzly bear charged at the hunting dog, but then shifted its attention to the hunters after one of them yelled at the bear, according to Wesley Sarmento, an FWP grizzly bear management specialist. The bear then proceeded to charge at one of the hunters, who then fired a round from his 12-gauge shotgun into the air.

"The bear kept coming, and then he shot the bear twice," Sarmento said.

What ended up being the final shot came when the bear was within 10 feet of the 69-year-old hunter, according to the Montana FWP. Sarmento says the bear suffered gunshot wounds to both the chest and face.

After the incident, the bear returned to the willows where her cubs had remained, the FWP said. By the next morning, FWP officials went into the willow patch and found the sow dead and the bear cubs gone.

Biologists determined the sow was 9-years-old and weighed approximately 500 pounds.

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson