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Missing Montana hiker found dead near Yellowstone after apparent encounter with a grizzly bear, authorities say

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 3/28/2022 Theresa Braine

A missing hiker was found apparently mauled to death by a grizzly in the Montana wilderness, authorities announced Saturday.

Craig Clouatre, 40, of Livingston, Montana, had been missing since setting out for a hike last Wednesday with a friend, possibly in search of antler sheds, the Sheriff’s Office in Park County in the southern part of the state said. They were in the Six Mile Creek area of the Absaroka Mountains, north of Yellowstone National Park, on the Montana side.

Park County authorities said Friday, March 25, 2022, that a hiker was killed in the area in a suspected encounter with a grizzly bear. © Matthew Brown Park County authorities said Friday, March 25, 2022, that a hiker was killed in the area in a suspected encounter with a grizzly bear.

Park County authorities said Friday, March 25, 2022, that a hiker was killed in the area in a suspected encounter with a grizzly bear. (Matthew Brown/)

“After an extensive search this morning we have located Craig. It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive,” Sheriff Brad Bichler wrote in a statement on Friday. “We will continue to work through the afternoon to bring Craig home. Please keep his family and all those involved in your thoughts and prayers.”


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The sheriff’s office had been notified of an “overdue hiker” when Clouatre’s friend returned to their car after they became separated, and Clouatre did not. Rescuers spent all day Thursday searching with on-the-ground teams in the Absaroka Mountains and helicopters overhead “searching diligently” about 30 miles south of Livingston, Montana. Area residents also volunteered, reported The Livingston Enterprise.

Officers were working to bring the man’s body back to his family, Bichler said.

Clouatre grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Montana about 20 years ago, his father told The Associated Press. He stayed when he met Jamie, who he would marry. He left behind his wife and three young children.

The mountains that Clouatre loved to hike in lie along the Yellowstone River, with dense forests housing bears and other wildlife. Dangerous encounters with humans are rare, AP said, though at least eight people have been killed by grizzlies in the Yellowstone region since 2010.

His friend Anne Tanner said the family’s home had burned down just a couple of years earlier and that they were just getting their new one fully set up.

“He was a joy to have as a son all the way around,” his father, David Clouatre, told AP. “He was a good man, a good, hardworking family man.”

With News Wire Services

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