RONAN - No charges will be filed against a Ronan-area landowner who shot and killed a female grizzly bear that had killed chickens on May 14.
It was one of two grizzlies killed in Montana that weekend.
Pablo Espinoza, chief of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Fish and Game Department, said Monday that authorities determined the death of the grizzly was a justifiable self-defense shooting.
The bear had been on the man's property earlier in the day and was shot when it returned.
Tribal officials are encouraging landowners who have, or could have, similar problems with bears to attend a free electric fencing clinic next month.
"A properly constructed electric fence is safe for people and pets," said tribal bear biologist Stacy Courville, "and has proven to be effective in deterring bears."
Germaine White, information and education specialist for CSKT's Natural Resources Department, said electric fencing can help deter bears from apiaries (beehives), fruit trees, gardens, livestock pens, rabbit hutches, garbage containers, dog kennels, chicken coops, compost piles, storage sheds and more.
The clinic is Wednesday, June 8, from 5-8 p.m. at Cenex Mountain West Co-Op in Ronan. It is free and open to the public.
The death of the grizzly three miles east of Ronan was the fourth grizzly lost from the Flathead Indian Reservation in the past 10 months.
An adult female and two cubs that had developed a taste for chickens last year were captured and removed to the Louisville (Ky.) Zoo in August.
The same weekend the grizzly was shot in Ronan, an antler hunter shot and killed a sow grizzly in the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials determined that, too, was a justifiable self-defense shooting, and no charges were filed.
Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.