Originally Posted by DeadAye
Grizzlies and Black Bears are easy to tell apart.
While I agree with much of your post, this is not always the case. Young grizzleys can look much like color phase black bears. Therefore, it isn't always easy to tell the difference between a black and grizzley bear.
The last kill I was in on in an area that held both species, my partner and I discussed the ID for a couple of minutes before we finally got a good look at the profile of the bear's face, and could be sure it was a black.
This one ended up in a blood trail into a willow thicket, and a close encounter (less than 10 yards) before we got a chance to make the kill. Both of us connected with rifle shots at nearly the same instant and the bear fell close enough for me to poke him with my rifle barrell without moving forward!
If the bear had been in attack mode in that thick stuff when we finaly saw it that close, instead of flight mode, we very well could have been hurt. If we hadn't been cordnating our movements in the thicket, with only one moving at a time and the other covering, we easily could have been in danger of an accidental shoot.
My partner, who first shot the bear, was a former marine and was at that time a professional hunting guide. I am a veteran of a special Coast Guard unit had received combat firearms training, both in service and from the FBI, as well as training as a law enforcement officer. (I'm no longer an LEO, and am retired from the Criminal Justice System.) I consider myself a reasonably experienced hunter, having killed well over 100 head of big game animinals, although no prior bears. I have however, trailed/chased/captured humans in wooded and urban settings, and find the tensions and dangers much like that wounded bear track.
Also, if a bear is wounded, especially in an area with other hunters, there is a responsibility to finish the job, however unpleasant it may be.
It is unfortunate that the hunter died, and I feel for the surviving hunter and the grief and guilt he is suffering.