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Second Grizzly Attack in Montana Closes Part of Custer Gallatin National Forest

A hunter is in a hospital in Montana after being attacked by a grizzly bear on a Custer Gallatin National Forest trail. 

National forest search-and-rescue officials said the attack occurred Friday afternoon. A group of hunters say they were tracking deer when a bear mauled a member of their group. After calling 911, officials chose to airlift the victim to the hospital. There is no word on the victim’s condition.

Custer Gallatin National Forest officials issued an emergency closure in the area. The hunters fired a shot during the attack, which may have injured the bear.

The Buck Ridge Yellow Mule area closure remains in effect while officials search for the bear.

The national forest is outside of Yellowstone National Park. A separate bear attack in July in Custer Gallatin resulted in the death of one woman who was hiking alone on a trail. Officials put a similar closure in place but could not locate the bear.

Preparing for Grizzly Country

Wildlife officials remind everyone to be vigilant in bear country.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) released these reminders for anyone in brown bear territory.

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.
  • Travel in groups whenever possible and make noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow food-storage orders from the applicable land management agency.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Leave the area when it is safe to do so.
  • Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food, and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas.
  • Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food-conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.
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