The chicken-killer had been caught red-pawed, but because he was a first-time offender, he was released on his own recognizance.

Montana wildlife officials trapped a 211-pound grizzly bear Monday that reportedly killed chickens at a home near Columbia Falls, west of Glacier National Park.

The 3-year-old bruin had no known previous conflicts, so officials with the Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency fitted him with a radio collar and released him in the forest 34 miles away.

Now they are trying to trap four black bears that have been ranging close to homes.

Conflicts between people and bears are starting early this spring in Montana.

Wildlife officials say bears are emerging earlier than ever after a mild winter. Bears usually don't leave their dens before mid-April, and they usually spend a week or 10 days nearby.