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Game wardens confirmed Sunday that a female grizzly bear shot by a Pennsylvania elk hunter in Tom Miner Basin on Saturday has died of its wounds.

Kevin Frey, a bear management specialist for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the bear weighed about 300 pounds and was probably between 8 and 10 years old.

It attacked a pair of bow hunters early Saturday afternoon. One of them used bear pepper spray and halted a charge within nine feet, but the grizzly turned and charged a second time. That's when the second hunter shot it twice with a .44 magnum pistol.

&#8220It hit her and turned her," FWP Warden Captain Sam Sheppard said of the spray. &#8220Then she whirled and came back over a log at them."

Without the spray, the bear likely would have mauled one of the men before they had a chance to pull the pistol, Sheppard said.

&#8220It's not foolproof," he said. &#8220But it's still the best thing going."

The first pistol shot entered the bear's body just under the chin, traveled through the sternum and clipped the aorta, Sheppard said. The second hit the bear in the chest. Both likely would have been fatal.

Investigators on Sunday looked over the scene, which had received about 20 inches of snow, and performed a field necropsy.

&#8220It happened just like they said it did," Sheppard said. &#8220It's self defense. The matter is closed."

Frey said the bear, accompanied by a cub, had dug a day bed in a piece of thick timber during the snowstorm and the hunters just wandered into her.

&#8220If they'd walked 100 yards to either side they probably would have never known she was in there," he said.

The team did not see the cub Sunday, but found its tracks, indicating it is at least a year old, meaning it has a fairly good chance of survival.

Sheppard also released the name of a man attacked earlier Saturday in the Beattie Gulch area, about 14 miles east of the Tom Miner attack.

Roman Morris, a student at Carroll College in Helena, had been bow hunting for elk with two others early Saturday. Morris was hiding behind a sagebrush when a mother grizzly with three cubs wandered by, nearly close enough to touch.

Only after the mother passed Morris did she become aware of his presence and turn to attack him.

He suffered puncture wounds on his leg and shoulder, Frey said, but they were not life threatening.

One of his companions shot at the bear, but Frey and Sheppard followed its tracks Saturday and could find no evidence it had been wounded.

This is the second time in a month that a bear has attacked an elk hunter in Beattie Gulch after wandering within a few feet of them. The area is now closed to all human entry.

The death of the bear Saturday also marks the second loss this autumn of a breeding-age female grizzly, critical components of the grizzly's continuing recovery. The Yellowstone area population of grizzlies was removed this spring from the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. Environmental groups are suing to reverse that move.

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