The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information on the shooting of a grizzly bear in northwest Montana. FWP Regional Information and Education Program Manager Dillon Tabish explains.

“FWP officials trapped the bear on Sept. 23, 2019 near Pothole Drive in Olney and the bear was euthanized due to its deteriorating condition from a gunshot wound,” Tabish said. “Investigators believe the bear was likely shot in the Olney area sometime around September 20-21, but we don’t have any additional information to share this time. We are asking the public to report anything they may have heard or seen related to this case.”

To report any information, please call FWP at 1-800-TIP-MONT. Callers do not have to identify themselves and a reward of up to $2,000 is available for information leading to a conviction. According to Tabish, shooting at a bear is not an effective way to deter it from you or your property.

“It can lead to the bear becoming more food conditioned because it is injured and can’t naturally forage for its own food,” Tabish said. “Then it starts needing human food like garbage. Grizzly bears are protected as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. We don’t need to unnecessarily kill any bears, or wildlife in general for that matter.”

In Montana, Tabish says it is illegal to haze, shoot or kill grizzly bears unless you are defending your life or property.