The men tracked the bear into heavy cover, where the 400-pound animal attacked Stevenson. Bell fired several shots trying to kill the bear. Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe called the shooting a “horribly tragic accident.”
will affect families for a very long time,” he said, adding that he doesn’t
expect charges will be filed. That decision will be up to the county attorney.
It is illegal to kill grizzly bears in the lower 48
states, where the animals are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Grizzlies were largely exterminated across the lower 48 last century, but their
population has rebounded dramatically in recent decades.
The bear shot by Bell was one of about 45 of the
animals that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates live in the
Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem Area in northwest Montana and northern Idaho.
The area the men were hunting in is a grizzly bear