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A sow grizzly bear was shot with a pistol and killed after an encounter with bow hunters in the Gravelly Mountains on Tuesday morning.

The two men who were hunting said the sow had charged them, said Ron Aasheim, spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The sow had two large cubs that were likely 2 years old.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“We need more information before we exonerate or condemn anybody,” Aasheim said.

In certain situations, shooting a grizzly in defense is allowed, he said. According to the FWP website, Montana law allows for a person to kill a bear to defend him or herself, another person or a domestic dog.

Aasheim said he didn’t know if the hunters were carrying bear spray.

Last year, there were two grizzly attacks on bow hunters in the Gravelly Mountains. The first occurred Sept. 12, when a grizzly attacked Bozeman bow hunter Matt Menge, who was hospitalized for his injuries.

The second occurred Sept. 17, when Kalispell bow hunter Kim Wunderlich and a partner surprised a female grizzly with two cubs. The hunter was hospitalized for a bite wound.

Carly Flandro may be reached at 582-2638 or cflandro@dailychronicle.com.

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