Skip to comments.Grizzly death case could set precedent(MT)
Posted on 05/31/2010 5:52:39 AM PDT by marktwain
Jackson, Wyo. » The successful prosecution of a Jackson Hole hunter who claimed self defense after killing a grizzly could set a precedent in Greater Yellowstone, where the grizzly population is expanding and loaded guns are now allowed in national parks, experts say.
A jury recently found 41-year-old Stephen Westmoreland guilty of a misdemeanor charge of illegally taking a grizzly bear stemming from an incident in September when he shot a bear. He argued self defense in a trial that hinged on the behavior of the bear, among other things.
Mark Bruscino, bear management program supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, testified at the trial about how bears act before they attack a person and told jurors that most often bruins will retreat during an encounter.
"This whole thing adds up to that people need to make sure they are in a self-defense situation," Bruscino said in an interview after the trial. "You can't kill wildlife based on an undemonstrated fear of an unrealistic threat."
Last year, seven grizzly bears were killed by hunters and hikers in self defense situations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Teton County Attorney Steve Weichman, who prosecuted the Westmoreland case, said it is one of the first instances in the country where a person was convicted of taking wildlife when claiming self defense.
Westmoreland shot the animal at 40 yards after he encountered it feeding on a moose carcass. The animal died on the other side of the moose from Westmoreland and without charging.
(Excerpt) Read more at sltrib.com ...
It's a damn Griz!!! Any threat is realistic with a Griz on a trail!
It’s illegal to poach the King’s animals.
Don't act like you're going to interrupt his meal and what's the problem?
A guy goes into the bear’s domain and for that the bear dies?
But you do understand that the Left is trying to make people as helpless before wildlife as they are before criminals.
In the not-too-distant future, the prosecution will be claiming, “Well, yes, the grizzly did charge the defendant. The grizzly did knock him down and bit his foot off. He clawed his scalp off. But the defendant had no reason to believe that these attacks were a threat on his life, because people have survived such injuries. I repeat, someone being attacked by a grizzly can only employ lethal force if that grizzly is biting the neck of the victim.”
Leftists are trying to take over MT. Their toehold for their totalitarianism is the national parks and any other “public land” that enables them to set up their autocracies.
Not much self defense at that range or situation.
What was he defending against?
First requirement, except under Castle Doctrine, is to try to disengage. The bear did not charge, it kept eating the carcass. Westmoreland should have just walked away.
So anywhere I encounter a Grizzly bear in a protected game preserve park, even if he is 40 meters away, and showing no aggressive behavior, I can shoot him??
The typical bear at the zoo poses a greater threat than the bear in this case.
Hate to say it, but the verdict sounds 100% correct. A yahoo out looking to shoot an animal for kicks.
I take a side arm with me when I hike in the desert. If I come across a bunch of illegals I just turn and walk away.
There was an incident where a guy was hiking and a illegal shoved a gun in his face and told him to leave.
Agreed, if that was truly the case. It's the difference between a truly life threatening situation and the privilege of seeing one of these monsters in it's natural habitat, a wonder that people specifically travel to the park to see.
Not as easily decided as it sounds. Here are a few facts:
A male grizzly can move 109 yards in 6 seconds, so 3 seconds away from this guy.
Here are the most likely reason for attack:
“The Alaska Science Center ranks the following as the most likely reasons for bear attacks:
3. Invaded personal space (this includes a mother bear protecting her young)
5. Hunting wounded
6. Carcass defense
7. Provoked charge
1, 3, and 6 give three reasons in this case for this guy to be concerned, and why wait for a bear to charge you and be on you in 3 seconds? Maybe he stumbled into an area where there was no place to back out?
Bears now have civil rights?
Seems the jury might be right on this one. If the Grizz was on his side of the meal and had made efforts to attack him, I could see self-defense, but if the Grizz was in place at his meal and no other signs of attack were present it seems someone shot a Grizz just to do it.
“A male grizzly can move 109 yards in 6 seconds, so 3 seconds away from this guy.”
It’s probably a bit scarier if you’re actually there and are aware of the animal’s capabilities. Tough call though - unless I’m sure that I can hit the thing in the face while it’s charging me, I might have been tempted to do what he did also.
You don't have grizzly bears in your state do you? They don't act or display like black bears.
City folks don’t seem to understand grizzlies are not black bears, I have had black bears make fake charges and grunt when encountered, I slowly backed away, no problem, usually they just run with an amazing speed in the other direction. Grizzly bears do not warn, 40 yards is nothing, it would be on you in seconds, if he took a step towards me, I would fear for my life. Grizzlies to black bears, like pit bulls to poodles.
A backpacker recently fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska’s Denali National Park.
Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It’s legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.
The whole planet is humanity's domain. By order of the Creator.
Bears are dangerous. They are given to attacking suddenly and for no apparent reason. Ever been around them in the wild? No? I have, in the Cherokee national forest in NC. I came close to shooting a mama bear once. Those things are HUGE, and you suddenly feel very small.
Yes!...and the horse he rode in on.
I try to avoid hiking anywhere grizzlies are. I also don’t like to swim with sharks or drive into Memphis, TN.
This country was settle that way in case you missed that ...used to be Grizz about everywhwere.
If they are humanity’s domain then why is it that He didn’t supply us with fire arms to deal with the rest of His creations?
Bear’s rule the forest as the apex predator. If you go into their domain because you want to be in nature then be clear that you might run into them and there is a chance you don’t come out alive. Same goes for sharks or orcas in the ocean.
Well aware of that fact but the fact remains, they do exist and if you go into their domain you might not come out.
all the more reason to be prepared
maybe the guy panicked...who knows?
Well, if the bear decided to charge you at that close a distance, you would be dead before you could get a shot off...ever try to hit a running griz?. they could cross that distance is 2 seconds..
That's pretty close. The human record for that distance is under 4 seconds. I'm guessing a bear could do it about as fast. What constitutes aggression at that distance? Eye contact? Not much time for a rational decision.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.