Grizzly Killed In Grand Teton Was Self-Defense

U.S. National Parks Service, Bear Hunting Magazine

See original News Flash here.

Records show that a grizzly that was shot and killed while charging hunters in Grand Teton National Park last Thanksgiving closed in from 50 feet away in fewer than 10 seconds.

Investigators determined the shooting to be self-defense and Federal prosecutors will not file charges against the two young hunters (ages 17 and 20) who fatally shot the bear.

Records show that investigators believe that this was a very fast moving and dynamic event where the individuals had only seconds to react. They believe that the bear was defending its food as a partly devoured cow elk was found 42 feet from where the grizzly died.

All three hunters were carrying bear spray, a requirement in the park, and had licenses. The eldest man in the party did use his bear spray canister, but the bear continued moving towards the group.

Once the bear was shot and had stopped moving, the men dropped their packs and bear spray in place and hiked out. They returned with investigators to re-enact the encounter. All party members’ stories were found to be consistent. Two park rangers heard five shots fired in rapid succession “minutes before” receiving the initial call and freshly broken branches were found between the elk carcass and the bear’s carcass.

The report stated, "After reviewing all evidence, oral and written statements, and conferring with all involved [National Park Service] law enforcement and [Wyoming] Game and Fish personnel, it appears as though the group’s actions were in self defense.”

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