You may have heard about the Billings teen who could face charges for killing his best friend with an “heirloom” revolver after the friend tapped on his window in the dead of night. But what do you know of 10 dead bears, sheep eradicating ragweed, and a lawsuit over the Garden of Read’n Christian bookstore?

The Montana Missoulian newspaper truly has it all. There is, first, the much-discussed accidental shooting by a 17-year-old who thought he was deterrin’ a criminal rapping on his bedroom window:

The unidentified suspect had been startled when 15-year-old Mackeon Schulte and another friend knocked on his window early Sunday, Billings Police Capt. John Bedford said.

The alarmed teen grabbed a revolver, described as a family heirloom, and shot through the glass, striking Schulte in the head, Bedford said.

Experts expect the teen to defend his actions under the state’s “castle doctrine” of self-defense, as in “a man’s home is his.” It’s a risky gambit, as castles tend not to have many windows. And windows tend not to be hard to look through. But you never know, because Montana.

Speaking of which:

The owner of the Missoula Maulers hockey club and the Christian bookstore Garden of Read’n has filed a lawsuit after Southgate Mall allegedly denied him permission to open the bookstore in a rental space “based on religion or based on some other malice.”

Turns out the mall requires its stores to be open year-round, and hockey dude Michael Burks’ Maulers ice-skate shop wasn’t doing so well in the summer. So he proposed to reopen his space as the Garden of Read’n, but the mall gods banished him from the Christian bookstore business, forever forced to wander the wilderness of seasonal unprofitability, according to his lawsuit. “I conclude that the mall simply did not want to afford me the opportunity to sell Christian material in the mall,” Burks writes. Damn that Montana war on Christians!

Relatedly, there’s a Montana war on the war on bears:

A Hamilton man will serve jail time, pay restitution and lose his hunting privileges after pleading guilty to his part in what’s been called the largest bear poaching case in state history.

Richard Sublette, 56, pled to three misdemeanor counts for his role in “killing nine black bears with the aid of bait.” He got 180 days in jail, 173 of them suspended. Also, he’ll never hunt in this town again.

Neither will this guy, probably:

KALISPELL – A Wisconsin hunter who mistakenly shot a grizzly bear near Spotted Bear in the Hungry Horse area Saturday will have to pay $2,235 in fines and restitution.

Richard Kutcher of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty Monday to killing a grizzly in a closed season. Kutcher was staying at a hunting lodge, and hunting black bear in the area.

As soon as he discovered he had shot a grizzly, Kutcher immediately reported the incident to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Game warden Perry Brown responded.

Lesson learned: If you shoot the wrong bear, don’t go telling the game warden.

Hopefully nobody shoots the wonderful sheep of Missoula, though:

Missoula sheep’s appetite for weeds has paid off on Mount Jumbo – in a way that’s both unexpected and “remarkable,” according to conservation lands manager Morgan Valliant.

“We’re seeing what we believe is a large-scale population crash of spotted knapweed on the saddle,” said Valliant, with the city Parks and Recreation Department.

Sheep fight invasive plant species! What could go wrong? Well, they could be eye-legal Messican sheep, for one:

In previous years, Enrique Marquez Banda of Mexico has overseen the sheep. Earlier this year, it appeared changes in immigration regulations would jeopardize the ability of the Chihuahua shepherd to participate in the program.

Valliant, though, said Banda arrived in Missoula in February to help sheep rancher John Stahl with lambing, and he would care for the sheep on Jumbo this year, as he has in the past.

Thank God. Whatever it takes to preserve the mysteries of Mount Jumbo, and Montana at large.

[Photo credit: Shutterstock/Joseph Sohm]

Contact the author at
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: FD97 D50A DE57 3943 4534 1A49 FA8B 74B4 A7A0 07BE