Two separate Madison County grizzly attacks within 24 hours

Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2020-05-13 20:32:12-04

ENNIS — Three hunters were injured Monday September 16 in two separate grizzly bear attacks in Madison County.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) say both attacks occurred in the Cottonwood Creek area southwest of Ennis.

The three hunters received moderate to severe injuries.

The first attack happened around 7:30 a.m. Two bowhunters were heading south from Cottonwood Creek when they were charged by the grizzly.

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.

Shedhorn staff told MTN the men said they were able to deploy bear spray which ultimately drove the bear off.

The second attack happened in the same general area around 6:30 p.m. Two other men were hunting north of Cottonwood Creek when they were attacked. One of the hunters was badly injured and taken to Sheridan for treatment, and then transported to Butte.

FWP say both incidents are still under investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Wardens are asking hunters to leave this Cottonwood Creek area while the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest closes Cottonwood Road.

FWP reminds people to be cautious when in the field as bears are active during the spring, summer and fall months. Some recommended tips for avoiding negative encounters with bears include:

• Be prepared and aware of your surroundings.

• Carry and know how to use bear spray.

• Travel in groups whenever possible.

• Stay away from animal carcasses.

• Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.

• If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

For more information on bear safety, visit