Hunt Leads to "Worst Thing I've Had to Do in My Life"
On Wednesday Ben Laster was elk hunting in the Badger-Two Medicine Area of the Rocky Mountain Front. With the opening of rifle season more hunters are quietly stalking elk at dusk and dawn. Laster heard something while he was walking, and stopped, he thought it might be an elk he spooked. Then he heard huffing sounds. He had not startled an elk, but a sow grizzly that was charging at him.
"I took the safety off and fired from the hip — and the bear landed at my feet," Laster said.
This is not a one time occurrence as this is the 8th grizzly that a hunter has killed in self defense since hunting season started in the North Continental Divide Ecosystem.
This was Laster's first hunt in the Badger-Two Medicine Area. He regrets putting his bear spray on his left hip, as he is right handed. The bear came out of nowhere, she was defending her two cubs that were estimated to be about 2 years old. It was just the wrong place, and the wrong time for both parties. Both of the cubs have high potential of survival because they are old enough to live on their own and are about to den for the season as well.
Laster, in an interview said it was "the worst thing I've had to do in my life. It's going to haunt me 'til the day I die. As it was running away, I could hear that bear bellowing and bawling." From GreatFallsTribune.com.