Agencies investigate grizzly shootings near St. Ignatius
The Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking information on the shootings of two female grizzly bears on the Flathead Reservation that occurred more than two months ago.
According to information from tribal officials, around the time of Oct. 12, one bear was found shot to death in a field near Moiese Valley Road and Kuntz Lane, west of Charlo.
On Oct. 19, wildlife officials were notified of another injured grizzly bear with a large wound on its face that was found north of St. Ignatius in the area of Lemery and Watson Roads, east of U.S. 93. The female grizzly was located, captured and later euthanized due to the extent of her injuries.
The carcass was transported to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks lab in Bozeman where examination revealed the sow had been shot in the face at close range with bird shot.
Both female grizzlies were lactating at the time of death and may have had cubs of the year or yearlings.
Tribal officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are asking for anyone who may have heard or seen anything related to either of these cases to call Tribal Dispatch at 406-675-2700 or the Service Special Agent at 406-329-3000.
Callers do not have to identify themselves and a reward of up to $3,000 is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction.