An elk hunter shot a charging grizzly bear Tuesday morning near the Sun River Canyon west of Augusta on the Rocky Mountain Front.
The encounter took place mid-morning, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
The Great Falls-area hunter, whose name has not been released, apparently surprised the grizzly at the head of Home Gulch, about three miles south of the Sun River Canyon Road, wardens said.
The hunter told wardens he fired a warning shot in the air, but the bear charged him anyway. The hunter shot at the bear, and said he thought he hit it three times. The bear turned and ran, and the hunter left the area and then notified FWP.
An FWP bear management specialist soon flew over the area, but could not see any sign of the bear. FWP game wardens are now on the ground trying to locate the bear.
The U.S. Forest Service has posted warnings in the area, which is popular among elk hunters. FWP’s Augusta check stationed also has warnings posted for hunters.
FWP has responded in recent weeks to numerous reports of grizzlies showing up in and near Choteau, Valier, Conrad, Dutton, Augusta, and Ledger looking for food.
FWP says that bears are very active this time of year across Montana as they try to put on weight prior to hibernation. This can put bears in conflict with people and livestock.