Three hunters suffered moderate to severe injuries in two separate grizzly bear attacks on the west side of the Gravelly Mountains in southwest Montana.
Both attacks involved a single bear, but it is unclear whether the same bear was involved. Wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks asked hunters to leave the area while the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest closed Cottonwood Road.
The first attack happened at about 7:30 a.m. (on 9/17/2019) when a bear charged two adult male hunters as they headed south from Cottonwood Creek, west of Black Butte. Both hunters suffered injuries but they were able to drive the bear away and get medical treatment in Ennis.
The second attack happened in the same general area later that same day at about 6:30 p.m. as two adult male hunters headed north toward Cottonwood Creek. One of the hunters suffered injuries before they drove the bear away. The injured hunter was initially treated in Sheridan and later in Butte.
Details of these attacks are still unclear. Both incidents are still under investigation.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)