A Pennsylvania hunter who shot and killed a large grizzly bear has been fined and stripped of his Montana hunting privileges for 2 1/2 years.
John Kropp of Williamsport, Pa., killed the 350-pound male bear this month, apparently after mistaking it for a black bear, the state wildlife agency said. The bear was killed in a river drainage above Hungry Horse Reservoir, in northwestern Montana.Black-bear hunting is legal at this time of year, and Kropp had arranged for the services of a guide. The guide was not with him when the shooting occurred, said John Fraley of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
"It was the hunter's mistake," Fraley said. "He had been counseled about telling a black bear from a grizzly bear," but failed to heed the instructions.
Instead of observing the bear for a period of time to be sure of its species, Kropp shot the animal as it moved through an opening in the brush and trees, Fraley said.
He said Kropp recognized his mistake and it was reported to a warden, who went to the site.
Kropp was cited for taking a grizzly during a closed season and appeared in Justice Court. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution in addition to suspension of hunting privileges.