When you live in a rural, wooded, isolated community at over 5,000 feet, you probably are accustomed to encountering wildlife.

But what you are not accustomed to is one of the state's larger species snarling at you in your living room. And you're standing between it and the exit.

Matthew Brown with Associated Press reports that was the middle-of-the-night shock received by Thomas Bolkcom and his fiance Seeley Oblander. And Thomas, with pistol in hand, did not have a lot of options.

Thomas and Seeley live in Luther, Montana (formerly Linley MT), a community in Carbon County, near the base of the Beartooth Mountains on Highway 78. They share the home with their two dogs, one of which, Maizey, started barking hysterically at about 3:00 a.m. on a recent Thursday morning and woke the couple. Thomas cautiously proceeded from the downstairs bedroom up to the living room on the main floor. That's where he was met by a large black bear that had torn open a window screen and crawled through.

With the bear positioned between Thomas and the front door, there was going to be no chance to coax it back outside, certainly not now, with it enraged and panicked by the barking dark. Thomas went back downstairs, grabbed his pistol, came back upstairs and shot the bear. It ran into another room, where Thomas shot several more times and killed it.

After dragging the animal outside, game wardens were notified. The bear was estimated to be about 10 years old and weighing between 250 and 300 pounds.

Interesting side-note provided by Matthew Brown of AP: the couple was flying from Billings to Arizona later that morning for their bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Not the kind of early morning wake-up call anyone needs to make sure they get to the airport on time.

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