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Grizzly bear encounter near Clancy, says Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Posted at 9:41 AM, May 28, 2024

HELENA — The Helena Ranger District is urging caution after a reported grizzly bear encounter east of Clancy.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest posted the warning on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon.

According to the post, a grizzly bear charged a visitor to the Casey Meadows area.

The encounter comes less than a year after Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks confirmed the presence of grizzly bears in the Elkhorn Mountains, Grizzly Gulch and the Helena Valley's North Hills.

Grizzly bear populations have been on the rise between the Northern Continental Divide and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystems.

In recent years grizzly bears have expanded into areas they have not been seen for a century or more.

The encounter east of Clancy follows an incident in late April where a shed antler hunter shot and killed a grizzly sow in the Wolf Creek area.

The bear had a cub of the year that was captured by FWP. FWP planned to transfer the cub to an accredited zoo.

Anyone recreating in bear country should take the following steps to lessen the possibility of an encounter with grizzly bears and to protect them self:

  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it
  • Make noise to avoid surprising bears
  • Travel in groups if possible
  • Securely store food and other attractants
Casey Meadows map

Editorial note 06/11/2024: A previous version of this story identified the bear as a grizzly bear. The original report from the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest (HLCNF) identified this bear as a grizzly. We have updated the story to include the change from HLCNF