Man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a memento
A Montana man told authorities that he cut off a grizzly bear's claws as a memento after shooting it in self-defense.
January 20, 2020
A Montana man told authorities that he cut off a grizzly bear's claws as a memento after shooting it in self-defense because he was mad that the bear was going to eat him, according to court records.
Bryan Berg, 35, appeared in court on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula after pleading guilty to illegal transport of grizzly bear claws, a misdemeanor, according to the Flathead Beacon. A judge sentenced the man from the northwestern Montana town of Marion to three years of probation and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.
Grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are classified as a threatened species.
Prosecutors said Berg shot the bear in self-defense in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in 2017. He cut off its claws and pushed the carcass over the side of the mountain.
Berg never reported the shooting to law enforcement and he later took the bear claws to Washington state, prosecutors said.
Acting on a tip, authorities interviewed Berg in March 2018. He admitted he shot the bear in self-defense, handed over the claws and provided investigators with photos and videos of the scene, according to records.