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Grizzly Bear Attacks Hunter Near Big Sky, Montana

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Grizzly Bear Attacks Hunter Near Big Sky, Montana

Posted 2023/09/18  by  Stephanie Mallory

Authorities closed a section of Custer Gallatin National Forest to prevent further attacks

A grizzly bear severely mauled a hunter in Custer Gallatin National Forest in southwestern Montana, resulting in a closure of the area.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronical, a hunter was tracking a deer on Friday, September 8, 2023, when the bear attacked. Members of the hunting party shot at the bear and called 911. Emergency crews used a Life Flight Helicopter to fly the hunter to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center.

“Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind hunters that having a plan for contingencies along with being able to call for aid is crucial in the backcountry,” reads a Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Authorities with Custer Gallatin National Forest implemented an emergency area closure in the Buck Ridge/Yellow Mule area.

“The closure is necessary after an individual was attacked by a grizzly bear and shot at and likely wounded the bear,” reads a U.S. Forest Service press release. “Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Forest Service staff are investigating the incident and are trying to locate the bear.”

The attack occurred a few days after authorities killed another grizzly after it broke into a house near West Yellowstone. That grizzly had attacked and killed a woman on a forest trail west of Yellowstone National Park in July and also attacked a person in Idaho three years ago.

“Montana is bear country,” reads a Friday statement from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Region 3. “Grizzly bear populations continue to become denser and more widespread in Montana, increasing the likelihood that residents and recreationalists will encounter them in more places each year. This time of year is when bears are active for longer periods as they consume more food in preparation for hibernation. This period overlaps with hunting season and other fall recreation activities.”

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