Tent Camping Banned in 3 Montana Campgrounds

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Last July, Kevin Kammer was camping in Soda Butte campground outside of Cooke City, Montana. In the middle of the night he was drug from his tent and killed by a grizzly bear. The grizzly bear a large sow was killed, and her cubs relocated. Since this incident officials have decided to ban tents in 3 campgrounds near Yellowstone National Park. The 3 campgrounds that are banning tents are: Soda Butte, Colter, and Chief Joseph.

Gallatin National Forests officials are being very cautious, and the ban will be for the entire summer. Only campers made from metal or strong composite plastic will be allowed in these campgrounds, pop-up campers are banned as well. Managers of six national forests surrounding Yellowstone are evaluating management options to prevent grizzly-human incidents. From the Yellowstone Insider.


arrowflipper's picture

no ban needed

Wow!  I don't think they would need a "ban" to keep campers from using a tent.  I wouldn't want to put myself or a loved one in that kind of a situation.  I'm not so sure I would want to camp anywhere in Yellowstone with my tent.

It's another case of bad interactions between humans and wild animals.  The more we encroach on their home land, the more problems we are going to have.  I remember as a child, driving through Yellowstone Park and having to stop every few miles because of a bear on the road, sticking its head into the car window as people would feed it.  Those days have long since passed.  All the bears were removed from the area and relocated deep into the wilderness.  Wouldn't it have been nice if we could drive along and still see them without people having to stop and feed them?

We have heard over the years that it's not safe to camp in a tent in bear country if a female is along and in her period.  We've also been warned not to leave food things in the open or uncovered to keep the smell down.  I'm guessing neither of these contributed to the problem in this case.  With small cubs in tow, it was more than likely an angry sow trying to protect her cubs, whether they were in real danger or just her perception.

I love to hunt and hike in the wilderness, but I am one careful dude when it comes to wildlife.  I got chased by one black bear sow with cubs and I don't ever want to go through that again.  I would hope campers would respect the ban and do whatever it takes to be safe.