by Hal Herring
Hunter shoots charging griz in Badger-Two Medicine area
By Karl Puckett
A Kalispell elk hunter shot and killed a charging grizzly bear in the Badger-Two Medicine Area of the Rocky Mountain Front on Wednesday. It was the third instance of hunters shooting grizzly bears in self defense on the Front — and at least the eighth in northwestern Montana — since big-game rifle hunting season began three weeks ago.
In an interview, Ben Laster, 28, described the shooting of the female grizzly as "the worst thing I've had to do in my life."
I was hunting just east of the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary, about a week ago. In the half-light before dawn, the tracks in the snow on the game trail looked like they might be human. As the light came up, though, it was clear that they were grizzly tracks, the improbably huge mitten-like print with the perfectly round toes, the frozen steep ground scored by the big diggers, like a badger print blown up, a badger from an old black and white Godzilla movie. Most of the tracks were blurred—there was more than one bear traveling here, and it looked like we were all going to the same place, a little pass about a mile and half off.