FWP Concludes Investigation Into Grizzly Attack
The following information was provided by Montana FWP
Officials with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks have concluded their investigation into a grizzly bear encounter that wounded the bear and a hunter, Tuesday.
The hunter said he was walking through blow-down timber that morning when he was attacked by a bear at close range.
He reportedly fired multiple shots at the bear until it left. The hunter later met up with other members of his hunting party and was treated for his injuries.
FWP wardens began an investigation the same day and also conducted an extensive ground search on Wednesday.
During the investigation, they examined the site of the attack and found some evidence that the bear had been wounded. However, due to minimal evidence and dense forest vegetation, they were unable to locate the bear during the search.
The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has posted signs warning visitors of bear activity in the Coal Creek/Twin Springs area.
Last week a closure was issued along Cottonwood Road, about eight miles north of Tuesday’s incident, as FWP wardens investigated two separate maulings that happened on Sept. 16. That closure was lifted Friday now that the field investigation is finished.
According to wildlife officials, the Gravelly Mountains are used heavily by grizzly bears as their population distribution becomes denser and more widespread across southwest Montana. Bears are also hyperactive during the fall as they seek protein- and calorie-rich foods in preparation for hibernation. This increased activity, coupled with hunting and other forms of recreation, can lead to frequent encounters between bears and humans. Attacks happen most often in surprise close encounters in dense timber and vegetation.