A search for a grizzly bear believed to have been shot in an attack on a deer hunter has shut down part of a Montana national forest, officials reported.
A hunting party notified authorities of the attack on Yellow Mule Trail near Big Sky shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team said in a news release.
A grizzly attacked a hunter who was stalking a deer, sheriff’s officials said. The local sheriff’s office requested help from Gallatin County.
A helicopter airlifted the injured hunter to a Bozeman medical center, the release said. No information was provided on the hunter’s medical condition, but the Billings Gazette reported the hunter was severely injured.
The Buck Ridge Yellow Mule area in the Custer Gallatin National Forest has been closed to visitors while officials try to track down the bear, rangers said in a news release.
The hunter shot at the grizzly and may have wounded the animal, rangers said.
“Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Forest Service staff are investigating the incident and are trying to locate the bear,” the release said.
Call 406-522-2520 for more information on the closure.
What to do if you see a bear
Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.
There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.
Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.
Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.
Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.
Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.
Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.
Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.
Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.
Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.
Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.
Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.