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A grizzly bear mauled a hunter in Montana on Friday, forcing wildlife officials to temporarily close part of Custer Gallatin National Forest as staff tried to locate the animal.
The hunter was tracking a deer with a hunting party when they encountered the grizzly around 1:45 p.m. Friday near Yellow Mule Trail, outside Big Sky, the Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue said in a news release. Big Sky is a popular resort area about 55 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
The bear was shot at and likely wounded during the encounter, the U.S. Forest Service said.
Multiple crews responded to the remote area where the hunter was attacked and airlifted them to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. No update on the extent of the hunter’s injuries or their current condition was immediately available.
GRIZZLY BEAR THAT KILLED WOMAN NEAR YELLOWSTONE EUTHANIZED AFTER BREAKING INTO MONTANA HOUSE
Rescue crews reached the injured hunter near Yellow Mule Trail and airlifted him to a hospital in Bozeman. (Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue )
As officials track the bear, the USFS announced the emergency closure of the Yellow Mule Trails, along with all access to Buck Ridge Trail, until further notice.
The extent of the hunter’s injuries were unclear. No update on their current condition was immediately provided. (Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue )
The sheriff’s office reminded hunters that having a contingency plan and being able to call for help “is crucial in the backcountry.”
The Montana Department of Fish and Game warned in a press release issued Friday that the likelihood of encounters between grizzlies and humans is increasing as the bear population grows more widespread in Montana.
MONTANA MEN SURPRISE MOMMA BEAR WITH CUB, ENCOUNTER ENDS WITH ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING
Last week, authorities killed another grizzly after the bear and its cub broke into an unoccupied house near West Yellowstone and took a container of dog food. The cub was captured alive.
The grizzly bear population is growing more widespread in Montana, wildlife officials warned. (Trevor Hughes / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Genetic analysis and other identifying factors determined that bear had fatally mauled Amie Adamson, a 48-year-old former teacher from Kansas, on a forest trail west of Yellowstone National Park in July. Officials were unable to capture the bear at the time.
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The adult female grizzly had also injured a person near Henrys Lake State Park in 2020, about 16 miles from West Yellowstone.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.