NORTH OF BONNER'S FERRY, Idaho - Bill Bell's son Ty shot and killed the grizzly Friday morning after it mauled 38-year-old Steve Stevenson to death and on Sunday Bill said his son remains shocked by the incident.
"We came up to have a good time, and Steve was a very well-liked guy," Bell said.
Bill says early Friday Ty and Steve were hunting black bear when around 8:30 Ty shot at one, but it ended up being a Grizzly. Bell says his son would never purposely shoot at a grizzly.
"He's a very truthful kid, he's got hunter ethic, true hunter ethic, a trait which not many people have," he said.
When Ty and Steve approached the bear 45 minutes later Bell says the bear lunged at his son.
"Before they could put the bear out of his misery the bear was on all four feet, and in my eyes what happened is this bear played dead," Bell said.
Bell said Steve yelled to distract the bear from Ty, and the 350 pound bear then attacked and killed Steve. Bill says Steve made an extraordinary move to save his son.
"For somebody to (go) right into a bear that's mauling somebody, and walk up and get point blank and try to kill this bear with no thought of his own life...They were trying to save each other," Bell said.
According to Bill, Ty shot at the bear three times, then ran out of ammunition. Ty then ran back to camp, grabbed Steve's gun, and was able finally kill the bear. Ty pulled the bear off Steve, and tried to revive him but he was too late.
"These two were looking out for each other, it was just a bad deal, a freak accident, and nobody else can contest that," Bell said.
Bill added that he's hunted and guided for 30 years and that many grizzly bears "don't look like the ones in magazines, they are very hard to identify."