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Montana Grizzly Rips Woman From Tent

65-year-old Leah Davis Lokan, a registered nurse from Chico, California was ripped from her tent and killed by a grizzly bear earlier this week in Ovando, Montana. The bear had awakened Lokan and others earlier in the night and returned later when it killed her. Fellow campers rushed to her aide with bear spray and ran the grizzly off but their efforts were in vain as Ms. Lokan had already passed. 

This news is eerily reminiscent of the stories of man eating lions and tigers in the late 20th century. The bear’s behavior earlier in the night raises eyebrows as to its intentions as it appears to have stalked Lokan before killing her. Man eating grizzly bears are rare indeed and even though the bear in question didn’t appear to feed on its victim one can speculate that the only reason is due to not having the chance as other campers chased the grizzly away before it could begin consuming Ms. Lokan. 

This tragic event is a stark reminder that there are no safe spaces in grizzly country as it appears this event happened in or very close to a town. Please follow bear safety protocols at all times in grizzly country and we encourage the training in and use of both lethal and non-lethal self defense measures. 

The crew here at Eastmans’ Hunting Journals offers our prayers and condolences to Ms. Lokan’s family and friends during this horrific time.

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7 comments

  1. It’s a tragedy and my thoughts and prayers to Ms. Lokan’s family and friends. It is essential to know your surroundings and know how to handle such a situation; you are in bear country.. It seems everyone did what they were supposed to do in this emergency. Unfortunately Ms. Lokan did not survive her injuries. I am not sure why they did not have a gun or why it was not used in this case? My condolences….

    • Brandon McHenry

      Actually and unfortunately, they did not. The couple that scared the bear away acknowledged that earlier in the evening, prior to the bears first visit they both had foods stored in their tents.

      It is an unfortunate tragedy, but, it was not as avoided as it could have been.

      I live in Montana, not far from where this happened and I see all too often visitors do not take the bear precautions seriously. I just had family visiting and gave them a lesson on using bear spray and provided them three bottles. They scoffed at it even though they were visiting both Yellowstone and Glacier. this occurred in the middle of their visit, I sent the the initial news articles and reinforced the necessity. They STILL scoffed.

      Thank god they did not have an incident, but it can happen anywhere at anytime as this incident demonstrates.

  2. Horrible outcome for the Lokan’s. Not sure how many persons are skilled at laying on their back asleep and quickly taking defensive actions immediately coming out of sleep? Best option we used in Alaska was having early warning, strung up bells around the tents as well as we often stacked brush directly behind the tents and sides ( I mean like big piles of willows, etc)- to only allow a narrow clear access towards front of the tents. That way u can sit up and shoot forward and not be attacked as easy from the back/rear. Your in fantasy land that Being in a sleeping bag and getting ur arms out in fast response in the dark, with bear at your side or back is a hailmary. Try to shoot behind you or your sides you idiots laying on your back. In addition bear spray inside a tent is foolish idea to deploy, good to have inside then react outside with, but see what happens when you pop out in stone cold darkness and try to get ur wits for employment, that idea may make u feel better but your dead meat. After having 8-9 grizz/browns visit our camps over the years, your first best reaction is to scream, yell etc and get an idea of the azimuth or direction of the bear. If you have barricaded/channelized your tent correctly your shooting lane should be right in front of you. Once the bear makes contact with the tent you can unload with a little more confidence of a hit. You still have to be aware of anyone else in your camp as well. One Dennis had a large sow brown make it thru our system and to his tent, he was able to lift his feet right into the bears chest thru the tent straight on, then shoot, even though he missed it was enough to scare the bear off and not sustain injury. Bottom line from my experience is barricade and Bells, or “trippers”. You will lose sleep in the wind cause every time that bell rings once you have a big bear in your camp you will be paranoid after the first time. One other trick is set a trip wire, you actually dont need “wire” but string works, we used to bring a sports buzzer I rigged up, its loud as hell when Mr Bear sets the damn thing off, you get scarred but so does he and it gave us reaction time and we knew the sector of fire since we channeled it, which reduces the guessing/confusion. Have never confirmed but we spread/sprinkle cayenne 2-3 feet around that opening each night as well. Or you can keep a gun and spray in your tent and go on believing you can wake up with you wits and react when a grizz/brown is already on top of your tent. Good luck.

  3. Growing up in Alaska, we never went into the woods or up rivers and streams without a powerful side arm. I still won’t now that I’m in Florida in case I come accross a wild hog which are far more plentiful.

  4. “The bear initially woke the campers but then ran away. The three campers removed food from their tents, secured it, and went back to bed.”

    https://fwp.mt.gov/homepage/news/2021/july/0707-fwp-keeps-traps-in-ovando-area

    I don’t much care to see bears killed in retaliation of your ignorance. If you cant follow the rules and respect our mountains, and wildlife, stay home

  5. Reports state that the group of cyclist campers that were camped together and all had food in their tents, (this is a critical error by the campers you you failed to mention in your story). After the bear made its initial pass through camp at approx. 03:00 hrs. the camper awoke and removed food from their tents and then went back to sleep. The bear returned approx. 30 minutes later and fatally mauled Ms. Lokan. Also evidence suggests that the bear was habituated to garbage and chickens because previous individuals did not properly secure either with led to the untimely demise of Ms. Lokan and the bear. Your article is sensationalistic and lacks key facts- piss poor reporting Eastmans- I thought you were better than just trying to sell magazines.

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