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Wounded during Gilford chicken coop raid, bear is euthanized

GILFORD — A woman trying to protect her neighbor's chickens was within her rights when she fired a shotgun blast at a bear Sunday night, authorities said.

The incident occurred across from 231 Stark St. at about 8 p.m.

The woman told Fish and Game officials she heard chickens squawking across the street.

"There was a bear right in the chicken coop," said the woman, who asked not to be identified and was not identified by police or state Fish and Game officials.

"I have to protect my neighbor; she couldn't stop a bear," the resident said. "I went over there and shot him."

Fish and Game Officer Ron Arsenault said the woman shot the bear with a shotgun, and the bear left the area wounded.

Gilford police had to search for the bear later Sunday night and euthanize it, he said.

Arsenault said the woman was protecting personal property and a person's safety; even though it was a neighbor's property, she acted lawfully.

"The report we have is that a bear tore a hole in the chicken coop and was actively threatening a person's property," Arsenault said. "She had a right to protect a person's property."

Fish and Game officials said it would have been better if the woman had used a rifle instead of a shotgun, as she likely would have killed the bear with a rifle.

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