Grizzly Bear Wounded After Encounter with Hunters Near Bigfork

FWP encourages hunters, recreationists to be “bear aware”

By Justin Franz

A female grizzly bear was injured after being shot by two hunters during a surprise encounter near Bigfork, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

On Nov. 26, three hunters were in the Peters Ridge area. Two of the men were walking down a ridgeline and a third man was nearby. The two individuals entered a brush-covered area when an adult female grizzly bear emerged approximately 60 yards away and charged them. There were two cubs with the bear at the time of the incident, according to FWP.

The two individuals yelled at the animal before firing their rifles at the grizzly bear. They each fired another round in the general direction of the bear while fleeing. They met up with the third individual at their vehicle and left the area. Wildlife officers were later notified. The individuals were not carrying bear spray.

The hunters were not injured during the encounter. Wildlife officials are unsure of the bear’s condition or where it is at this time.

FWP is reminding the public that bears are still active and searching for food before denning for wintertime. Residents are reminded to remove food attractants, such as garbage and bird feeders, to avoid conflicts with bears.

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