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Montana Grizzly Attacks Racking Up!


In the fall of 2018 we experienced a tragedy in some of Wyoming’s more remote country when a sow grizzly attacked a guide and his hunter while they were breaking down a recent elk kill. That hunt ended in tragedy and my prayer is that we don’t experience that in any state this year.

With four separate attacks now in the Gravelly Range it appears that Montana would be the most likely place to have a major incident. According to NBC Montana, as of Tuesday, it is unclear if all four attacks have come from the same bear.

I won’t beat a dead horse on the need for a season as that has been done in this blog very well on several occasions. I also won’t go into detail on the negative effects of courtroom decisions inhibiting our ability as western residents to responsibly manage all of the species here in the West. It’s a tough pill to swallow for respective states to be hamstrung in their decisions for what is best for the big picture of the North American Model Of Wildlife Conservation.

What seems to be new about the incidents this year is that the Gravelly hasn’t seen a grizzly bear conflict in a long time. Morgan Jacobson of FWP note that “The Gravelly is an area that they’ve kind of grown into, so [the bears’ geographic distribution is growing and their density within that area is also growing.” To me this sounds like they are outgrowing the range they have called home for a long time.

My question for this then becomes how long will growing populations of grizzlies be considered endangered? How long will we have to rack up attacks and conflict before we are able to manage the largest predator in the Lower 48?

What say you? If you live in a grizzly populated area have you noticed population growth and expansion?

About Scott Reekers

Scott Reekers

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16 comments

  1. I was actually down in that area during the week of back to back attacks.. I didn’t hear about them until I came out and know there was a Sow and cub in a different spot than one of the attack days because I saw her. They are getting out of control!!

  2. Our hunting group has had property there since the 60’s less then one mile from where the first attack happened a week ago. In the last 30 years we have not Seen any grizzlies until about 5-7 years ago . Now it’s becoming common place to see them and even worse , we are stacking up attacks now !! Time for grizzly tags ! I’d like to see the judge that stopped the grizzly season and his family go tent camping at cottonwood creek . Unfortunately this type of thought process of stopping the hunts would only change if the judge witnessed a traumatic event such as a grizzly attack . Unfortunately not all people can comprehend the danger of a animal that’s that large and dangerous.

  3. I certainly don’t foresee these attacks decreasing in the near future. Don’t confuse the antis and the judges with facts.

  4. Based upon my first hand knowledge involving a grizz attack in the southern Gravelly’s about 6 years back, FWP informed us that the Gravelly’s had been a relocation (dumping) ground for Yellowstone problem grizz for at least the decade before. Given that these critters live a long time, it doesn’t surprise me that problem grizz are continuing to be a problem there.

  5. Is everyone to chicken shit to realize and address the problem themselves? Nuff said.

  6. That is exactly what we were discussing today ! I bet they are dumping problem bears from the park here !!

    • And they’ve been dumping problem Bears in Potosi next to Pony, So now we’ve got them threw out the Tobacco Roots and into the Whitetail reservoir.

  7. The big problem in my mind is we have a lot of lawyers and judges that dont hunt or know much about conservation. On the other hand we have a lot more hunters in the woods with little experience with that type of country and are not prepared for an encounter with a large predator. Also we all need to realize that we are entering the Grizzlies home and hunting on their land . The Grizzlies were there before us. Bottom line all animals need to be managed and not let the population get out of hand.

  8. Michael Andrew Mulligan

    I sent a coworker that direction before the attacks happened, to an area that’s holds a good amount of elk early in the year on the North end of the range. The first morning he saw 5 different grizzlies in 1 drainage. Last year on the east slope I was bluff charged (luckily that was all, I woke him up) by a griz a mile from my pickup. Talked to a couple of guys that work for fwp that were hunting opening week of rifle last season in the North end and was told between the two of them they had seen 7. It’s nuts. Not to mention the closure in the south end because they slaughtered a bunch of cattle.

  9. We (common sense/outdoor/conservationist/hunters)need to push for an end to the control of wildlife management by the courts and by the general populous! The question is who will lead the push and how do we approach the problem.
    Here in Califrado (Colorado) there is a push to vote for reintroduction of the wolf, yet they are naturally arriving here! The pro reintro’s are organized, the opposition is all over the state with no central focus or lead.
    Here is to organizing an offense.

  10. Interesting that the Gravellys is/was a dumping ground for griz. The Bear Trap canyon area on the lower Madison was used in the 60s/70s to relocate problem bears. The Park Service spray painted a 1 or 2 on them to signify 1st strike or 2nd strike bears. There were no 3 strike bears. The Gravelly, Madison and Gallatin ranges all have grizzlies. Some locals say there were 100 collared bears within 10 drainages around the Bozeman area during the early 2000s. I believe the bears have very limited local wild areas to expand. It makes sense to expand their range to enhance their gene pool with bears in the Cabinet Range/Glacier Park area, but it’s not happening quick enough. The griz are running out of room around here.Coupled with a bad berry crop this year, the # of bear/hunter conflicts will probably increase. One of the local wardens said they’ve been trapping both black and griz problem bears all summer long. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

  11. Yep, everyone is to chicken-shit.to say that we need to engage and clear these government supplied and supported terrorist from “OUR” public lands or “WE” will be driven off these lands.
    Why Not …Human Hunters First ?

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