Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the death of a grizzly bear from a reported self-defense shooting in the Cabinet Mountains south of Troy.

FWP Regional Information and Education Program Manager Dillon Tabish explains.

“Two backpackers from Sanders County reported shooting an adult female grizzly bear in self-defense on a forested trail near Dad Peak in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness,” Tabish said. “The reported surprise encounter occurred along a section of trail with huckleberry bushes. The incident occurred August 2 and the individuals notified authorities August 4 after exiting the backcountry.”

Tabish encourages folks to “Be Bear Aware” and to follow precautionary steps to prevent bear conflicts.

“When you’re out hiking, make sure you are making noise and travel in groups,” Tabish said. “When you are around berry patches and densely forested areas, you want to make sure you are making a little bit of noise so you don’t surprise the bear if it is near the trail with hit’s head down eating berries. If the bears gets surprised, it will act defensively just like any person would if they got surprised without being aware of what is going on.”

According to Tabish, bear spray is also a very effective deterrent and he recommends that all hikers carry bear spray with them at all times.