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Lull in Grizzly Encounters Comes to End

October 17, 2007.

In previous updates on October 4 and October 9, we documented the growing list of run-ins between hunters and grizzlies in the northern Rockies this year.

A lull followed the 2 run-ins between hunters and grizzlies that occurred on October 6. The lull ended Monday afternoon when a Montana man was attacked and briefly mauled by a grizzly near Valier, Montana. Valier is located in northern Montana along the Rocky Mountain Front, whereas the majority of earlier problems have been closer to Yellowstone.

The hunter, 38-year-old Brian Grand, of Stevensville, Montana, was pheasant hunting with friends in the thick, brushy bottom of Dupuyer Creek. He apparently spooked the bear off his day bed in an area know for a good chokecherry crop. The grizzly, believed to be a young male, had also been feeding on the carcass of a domestic cow that was also found within 300 yards of the site.

The lone bear charged him, mauled him for about 10 seconds, then took off. Wildlife officials believe the bear's behavior was consistent with a natural defensive reaction to the unexpected encounter.

During the encounter, the hunter got off one shot with his shotgun but did not injure the bear.

The hunter is recovering , although his 100 centimeters of stitches are reported to hurt like hell.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks intends to capture the bear. If the bear is believed to have a clean record with regards to human encounters, it will be relocated. If it is a known problem bear, it will likely be destroyed.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks press release.

Coverage and photo from the Great Falls Tribune.



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