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FWP removes grizzly bear wounded in attack on hiker near Dupuyer

Fish & Wildlife

Thursday, April 09, 2020

On Thursday morning, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks euthanized a female grizzly bear that had been injured the previous evening during an encounter with a hiker just outside of Dupuyer.

The incident happened late in the evening when the hiker encountered a sow with a cub at close range. The sow attacked and bit the hiker in the thigh. The hiker had a pistol with him and shot the bear, injuring it. The injured bear moved off and the hiker walked back to his house in Dupuyer. He met emergency services along the roadway in route to the hospital.

The bear’s behavior indicated it attacked to protect her cub from a perceived threat posed by the hiker.

FWP wardens and bear specialists searched for the wounded bear late into the night. The search resumed this morning with an FWP helicopter and ground crews. The injured sow was found and euthanized by FWP personnel.

Though it is still early in the spring, people recreating outdoors in Montana need to be prepared to encounter grizzly bears as they emerge from winter hibernation. This time of year, bears are hungry and looking for food, and often sows have cubs close at hand. Also, with bears expanding their population and habitat, they can often be found in prairie settings, well away from the mountains.

In Montana, people should be prepared to encounter grizzly bears anywhere in the western half of the state.

  • FWP strongly encourages people to carry bear spray.
  • Travel in groups of people.
  • Make noise to avoid surprising bears.
  • Let people know where you’re recreating.

Keep a close eye out for fresh bear sign, including scat, tracks and overturned logs and rocks