SPECIAL REPORT: Montana 2021, ‘Year of the Bears- ‘Night of the Grizzlies’ (Documentary Included)

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Years ago, a chilling and haunting book entitled “Night of the Grizzlies” became a national success. At the time, it seemed as though half of Northwest Montana read it, resulting in haunted and spooked campers for nearly two decades.

With all the Grizzly attacks we’ve seen this year, including the news that there was another attack on two campers last Tuesday in the Bear Creek area, we might as well dub this summer ‘Montana 2021, Year of the Bears’ given how many similarities are shaping up between the two.

Montana PBS has the film available for free here, where the book synopsis reads:

“Since the opening of Glacier National Park in 1910, there were no reported fatal bear attacks until one summer night in 1967, when two grizzlies in two remote areas of the Park attacked campers and killed two young women. The dramatic and tragic story of that night, and how it eventually influenced the fate of the grizzly bear in the continental United States, is the subject of a historical documentary, Glacier Park’s Night of the Grizzlies.

The story began on the afternoon of August 12, 1967, when seven young park employees set off on long hikes for overnight camping. That night, Julie Helgeson, at a campsite near Granite Park Chalet, was attacked and killed by a grizzly; Roy Ducat was severely mauled. That same night Michele Koons was also killed by a grizzly while camping at Trout Lake; Paul Dunn and three other campers escaped by climbing trees. For everyone involved, it was an unforgettable night of crisis, intense fear, bravery, and, ultimately, grief. But it was also a night that marked a watershed moment for bear management, a night that many would later say “changed everything.”

You can see more articles about different bear attacks in our state in the last year Here, Here, and Here, but frequently the cause of the attacks is either on account of uncontained food or interrupting a mother and her cubs.

When hiking, camping, or even living on remote properties, it is wise to exert extra strategic precautions to deter bears, especially grizzlies.

For an excellent guide on how to stay safe in the presence of bears, click here


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