Montana Public Radio (and every other news source) reports that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says a black bear hunter shot and killed a grizzly bear in the Swan Valley after misidentifying it in May. The male bear weighed 500 pounds and was about 18 years old. The agency says a man from Pennsylvania told game wardens he mistakenly shot the bear on May 20 in the Piper Creek drainage during black bear hunting season. He had a black bear license. Read the full story here.
Those of us who live with both black and grizzly bears know that it’s not always as easy to make the correct identification as these photos lead you to believe. Some grizzly bears are very dark and some black bears very brown. FWP has a great resource for helping novices and experts alike to make this all important identification. Check it out here and take the test. You might be surprised. Better yet, how about not shooting at any bears?