September 20, 2011
Hunter Mistakenly Shoots Grizzly, Killed by Wounded Bear
By David Maccar
Two hunters going after black bears along the Idaho-Montana border mistakenly shot a grizzly and one of the men paid with his life. Steve Stevenson, 39, of Nevada yelled to draw the wounded, 400-pound grizzly away from his hunting partner when it charged them and was mauled to death.
From this story on Missoulan.com:
"They both shot it and it kept coming," Steve Stevenson's mom, Janet Price, said on Saturday. "Steve yelled at it to try and distract it, and it swung around and took him down. It's what my son would have done automatically, for anybody."
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Montana said Stevenson, of Winnemucca, Nev., died Friday after 20-year-old Ty Bell wounded what he thought was a black bear and the two men tracked it into thick cover along the Idaho-Montana border where it attacked at about 10 a.m. Friday.
The two were members of a four-member hunting party from Winnemucca that had been going after black bears in the mountainous, heavily forested region near the Canadian border when the attack occurred. It's unclear if the attack happened in Idaho or Montana. The sheriff's office said GPS coordinates put the attack directly on the state line.
Authorities said Bell used his cell phone to call for help after the attack, but Stevenson died from his injuries. Stevenson's family said he was an active outdoorsman who had made previous hunting trips to the area. He worked as a gold and silver miner for a company called Hycroft, said his stepfather, Christopher Price. Stevenson was married and had two daughters, ages 14 and 10…
...Fraley said the grizzly was one of about 45 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates live in the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem Area in northwest Montana and northern Idaho. Fraley said the bear is being taken to the agency's lab in Bozeman for a necropsy...
...Janet Price said the hunters had the necessary licenses to hunt black bears in both states and had decided to hunt in pairs after spotting what they thought were signs of a grizzly bear in the area. She said they planned to leave the area if they spotted one. Janet Price said that after Bell shot the bear, the two hunters waited until they thought the bear had died and then tracked it into thick cover.
"They tracked the bear into an area of heavy cover where Mr. Stevenson was attacked by the wounded grizzly bear," Lincoln County Undersheriff Brent Faulkner said in a news release late Friday. "Mr. Bell was able to shoot the bear multiple times, eventually killing it." Fraley said Montana hunters are required to take a black bear-grizzly bear identification program. He said identifying them can be difficult, and that the two species typically behave differently...