A popular Montana hobby took a deadly turn that led to a bear cub losing its mother.

It's the season when thousands of Montanans start to take to the woods in search of prize sheds. Antler hunting is very popular and can also be very lucrative. And there are bound to be dangerous encounters at times.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that a man searching for antlers shot and killed a female grizzly bear on April 25 during an encounter on private land northwest of Wolf Creek in Lewis and Clark County. The account tells a story of a protective mother and an extremely close encounter.

60 FEET. 30 FEET. 10 FEET...

A ridge covered with low trees and brush. Two dogs at his side. The wind at his back. A fresh bear track in a snow patch.

The antler hunter continued searching for shed antlers. Moments after seeing the fresh track, he saw the bear standing on its hind legs near the top of the ridge about 20 yards away. The bear dropped to all four legs and charged the man. He said he drew his handgun and fired five shots from distances of about 30 feet to 10 feet, grazing the bear with one shot and hitting and killing it with another shot.

The man was not injured nor was he carrying bear spray.

Montana FWP says the adult female grizzly was in good condition, weighing around 300 pounds and estimated to be about 12 years old. She had a single cub-of-the-year nearby  that was later captured by bear management specialists and taken to FWP’s wildlife rehabilitation center in Helena.

FWP is currently looking for placement for the cub at a zoo.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

LOOK: The most popular dog names of 2022 in every state

Hey dog lovers, check out this awesome list of the most popular dog names in 2022 for every state, and get ready for some serious cuteness overload.

Gallery Credit: Amber Spencer-Knowles