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Man Kills Grizzly In Self Defense

Headlines - Region 1

Fri Oct 31 00:00:00 MDT 2008

On October 27, Shawn Damschen of Coram was charged by an adult female grizzly bear while hunting in the Marias Pass area. Damschen said that he was elk cow-calling when he heard a crashing sound. When he looked up he saw three grizzly bears, one adult and two younger bears, coming at him. Damschen yelled at the bears and the two younger bears ran off, but the sow lowered her head and charged. Damschen fired two shots from his rifle at approximately 10 feet and knocked the bear down.

After he shot the bear, Damschen was joined by a hunting companion, who heard Damschen yelling. The two immediately hiked out and used a cell phone to call FWP Warden Perry Brown and reported the incident.

A few hours later, Brown and warden Kqyn Kuka met Damschen and his companion near the trailhead and accompanied them back to the site of the shooting. They followed a blood trail left by the bear and found the badly wounded animal moving in the brush. Brown had to fire a shot into the bear to dispatch it.

The wardens upon investigating the scene found the shooting to be consistent with self-defense. FWP Biologists believe the two bears that ran off were more than likely 2 year-olds and should have a good chance of survival. Normally grizzly bear cubs stay with the sow for 2 years and separate on their own in the spring.