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Attorney: Wyoming hunter acted in self defense

October 29, 2009 at 03:43 PM

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - The attorney for a Wyoming man accused of taking a grizzly bear without a license says the shooting was done in self defense.

Authorities say Stephen Westmoreland, of Teton Village, shot a female grizzly on Sept. 19 from 40 yards away while he was helping carry a deer his hunting partner shot in Bridger-Teton National Forest.

State Game and Fish officials questioned whether the shooting was necessary.

Westmoreland’s attorney, David DeFazio, says it’s easy to indict someone when not faced by a grizzly bear.

DeFazio says Westmoreland feels terrible about the shooting but was fearful of being attacked.

The bear was from a well-known Grand Teton National Park bear family that was raised by a mother bear by the roadside in 2006-2008.

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