Investigation: Hunters killed griz in self-defense

By on March 7, 2013

Hunters who shot and killed a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving Day last year have been cleared of any wrong-doing after an investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Grand Teton National Park law enforcement rangers. No criminal charges will be filed.

David Trembly, 48, from Dubois, was hunting the east bank of the Snake River north of Schwabacher Landing with his two sons, age 20 and 17, early on the morning of November 22. The report stated members of the hunting party made “sound decisions” after the encounter with the bear by immediately reporting the incident and fully cooperating with the ensuing investigation.

Grizzly scene

According to the report, Tremblay noticed the bear first at approximately 42 yards away. He tried to scare the bear off. What Trembly couldn’t have known at the time was the adult male griz – estimated at 18-20 years of age and 534 pounds – was working on an elk carcass nearby. The griz charged.

Tremblay deployed pepper spray. His two sons opened fire. Nearby park rangers counted five shots in all; all fired in less than five seconds. One bullet struck the bear in the back, two impacted the bruin’s head. It dropped immediately.

Park rangers estimated the bear probably caught a whiff of pepper spray just as the shots rang out. Hunters described the bear as “moving like a cat,’ running low and snapping branches as it came. “The hunters were forced to make rapid decisions in close proximity to the bear,” the report stated. All three hunters were carrying bear spray per park regulations for the elk reduction hunt.

Tremblay called his wife and she called Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 7:32 a.m. to report the incident while her husband and sons hiked out of the area.

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