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Bear shot in St. Regis

A black bear shot in the front yard of a St. Regis family's home can't be used for donated food. 

MISSOULA -- A St. Regis woman who shot a black bear in her yard is upset that the meat is going to waste.

“I can’t keep the bear -- I get that,” Brandy Taylor said Thursday morning. “But there’s hundreds of pounds of meat rotting in my front lawn. If I do this as a hunter in the woods, I go to jail.”

Taylor said she and her husband were watching a movie about 1 a.m. Thursday when they heard something crash into their garbage cans. Her husband went to investigate, and the bear charged him.

“We keep a weapon by the dining room window,” Taylor said. “I opened the window, and the bear started charging at me. I shot him 10 feet from my window -- trying to come in my window at me.”

She said she killed the bear with a single shot to the head from a .22-250 rifle. Taylor measured the distance to the carcass in daylight, and found the bear dropped 7 feet, 9 inches from her house wall.

She called the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department, which referred the matter to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Tyler Ramaker. Ramaker told her to leave the carcass alone until he could investigate, which couldn't happen until late Thursday morning.

The Taylors’ house is about two blocks from the St. Regis elementary school. Taylor said it was the first time in three years living there that she’s had wildlife problems in her yard.

FWP spokeswoman Vivica Crowser said Ramaker is the only game warden working the Interstate 90 corridor area between Missoula and St. Regis. She also said community food banks generally will not accept bear meat because of its potential to carry hazardous parasites.

Montana law allows people to take the meat from road-killed ungulates such as deer, elk, moose and antelope with a special permit available online. But the roadkill law does not include bears.

“I think something needs to be done about that law,” Taylor said. “It’s collecting flies now. I have animals I can’t let outside. The neighbors are upset. I had to lead my kids around it this morning.”


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