GREAT FALLS — Three hunters were injured Monday in two separate grizzly bear attacks on the west side of the Gravelly Mountains, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
The three survivors sustained moderate to severe injuries.
Both attacks involved a single bear, but it’s not clear at this point whether the same bear was involved. FWP wardens are asking hunters to leave this area while the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest closes Cottonwood Road.
The first attack happened at about 7:30 a.m. on Monday. A bear charged two bow-hunters as they were heading south from Cottonwood Creek, west of Black Butte. Both hunters were injured but were able to drive the bear away and get medical treatment in Ennis.
The men were able to drive the bear away and get medical treatment in Ennis.
The two hunters came into Shedhorn Sports in Ennis dressed in hospital gowns looking for new clothing.
A Shedhorn employee told MTN News that the men said they were able to deploy bear spray which ultimately drove the bear off. Terri Lynn James posted on Facebook: "Workin at Shedhorn today, a couple of guys came in just after the Grizzly attack! They had guns but said the bear spray is what finally did the trick!"
The second attack happened in the same general area at about 6:30 p.m. as two adult male hunters were heading north toward Cottonwood Creek. One of the hunters was injured before they drove the bear away. The injured hunter was initially treated in Sheridan and later in Butte.
FWP is continuing to investigate the attacks, and said that more details will be provided as they become available.
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