Thanks, Taku, for the good link to the bear spray info. A friend who resides in Dillon notified me of the biologist attack last night and I understand the jury is still out on the cause. I also understand the location is very much in the same neighborhood of a sharp increase in Griz activity just in the fall of last year, Sept-Oct 2019. After hiking in to a lake also in the Elk Lake area in September 2018, along a narrow path in a ravine for about a half-mile, I decided "no mas" on the hiking in my favorite parts of Montana without bear spray. We'll also be in the Big Hole within a handful of miles of the location at which the first confirmed Griz sighting in decades occurred in 2016. Seems pretty clear the Gravellies, Beaverheads, Snowcrest, and maybe soon the Pioneers may see some new neighbors moving in.
If we were prone to succumbing to fear we sure as heck wouldn't be driving +2,500 miles, camper in tow, to do so
Interesting that Mr. Sagebrush's tips included bear spray's effectiveness on human's, too--in the process of lining up campsites for the road trip getting out to Montana, I was advised of some situations in Nebraska where campground owners had recently been overrun by squatters during the overnight hours with groups of individuals arriving between long after dark and 1-2 am. According to local law enforcement, the groups were believed to be "protesters" traveling between cities and their MO was to overwhelm small facilities, refuse to pay, and vandalize the bathhouses. So, part of our situational awareness is to be prepared for unwanted and unsolicited interactions with those who may take exception to our North Carolina license plates or well-groomed senior citizen appearance. I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs, fit, and I can take care of myself and my wife, especially with a couple of dispensers of chemical backup at hand.
Thanks again, all.