“’At least nobody got hurt,’ [Rocky Oblander] said. ‘It’s just too sad because it was a beautiful bear.’ The warden determined the shooting was justified in self-defense, said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Chrissy Webb.”
The shooting of a black bear weighing 250 to 300 pounds took place in Thomas Bolkcom’s living room at 3:00 a.m. yesterday. Bolkcom was awakened by his barking dog.
Bolkcom, 27, a commercial painter and elk hunter, went to investigate and tried to coax the lab-pit bull mix downstairs when he turned around “and there’s this black bear standing in the living room five feet away,” [his fiance Seeley] Oblander said.
The bear had gotten into the house through an open window covered only by a screen. Dressed in nothing but his skivvies, Bolkcom quickly retrieved a handgun and shot the four-legged intruder. A number of times.
The deceased bear was likely after food.
Black bears frequent the area and in recent weeks one had been prowling the neighborhood, getting food from unsecured garbage cans and other sources, Webb said. Although the house that was broken into did not have unsecured food or garbage, Webb said the bear likely became habituated to associate humans with food, creating a dangerous situation for local residents and the animal.
“This is pretty abnormal behavior to have a bear entering a home,” Webb said. “This large male black bear ended up dying because of improperly stored attractants in the community.”
What’s the biggest critter you’ve found in your house?