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Hunter Shoots And Injures Grizzly Bear Near Fairfield

A hunter shot and wounded a grizzly bear on Tuesday near Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area near Fairfield.

The surprise encounter happened on the morning of Sept. 12. The hunter was walking along a shelter belt hunting for upland birds on private land when he was charged by the bear, which based on evidence of the animal found at the scene is believed to be an adult male. The hunter fired twice with his shotgun at less than 15 feet, hitting the bear at least once and causing it to run off. The hunter was not injured in the encounter, which is still under investigation.

FWP bear management and law enforcement staff searched for the bear on foot and using drones on Tuesday and continued their search today with a helicopter, thoroughly covering more than 4 square miles. Although they found evidence that it was wounded, they have been unable to locate the bear and believe that it is likely it has left the immediate area. Hunters and nearby residents are still advised to be cautious as the bear is likely to seek hiding cover in and around abandoned buildings and in areas of thick brush and heavy cover. FWP is also placing signs around the area advising hunters of the incident and to be vigilant for bears.

With pheasant hunting season approaching and other upland bird seasons already open, FWP reminds all hunters to be extra cautious when afield.

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