Hunter Mauled by Grizzly Bear While Tracking Deer in Southwest Montana

A deer hunter was attacked by a grizzly bear over the weekend in Montana’s Custer-Gallatin National Forest. According to Gallatin County Search & Rescue (GCSAR) the man required immediate medical attention and was quickly life-lighted to a nearby medical facility.

“The GCSAR team members along with law enforcement arrived on scene of the attack then quickly transported the patient to Life Flight Helicopter waiting at a nearby helicopter pad,” the search and rescue department stated in a Sept. 8 Facebook Post. “The patient ultimately was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center for further evaluation.”

The incident occurred in the Buck Ridge Yellow Mule area of the Custer Gallatin National Forest, near the resort community of Big Sky. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has closed a large swath of the forest along Forest Service Road #2599 in response to the mauling.

Read Next: Hunter Shot, Grizzly Bear Killed During “Self-Defense Encounter” in Montana

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

According Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman Greg Lemon, the state agency is no longer searching for the grizzly that was involved in the attack. “We were up there on Saturday (Sept. 9) looking to get some more information about the encounter,” Lemon tells Field & Stream, “and to make sure that there was no wounded animal that we had to deal with as well.”

No additional details about the hunter’s condition or the circumstances that gave rise to the attack have been released at this time. Custer Gallatin National Forest District Ranger Cory Lewellen did not immediately respond when contacted by F&S for comment.

Related: Grizzly Bear Kills Woman Near Yellowstone National Park

The attack comes on the heels of two similar encounters involving grizzly bear and hunters in the region. On Sept. 1, a pair of elk hunters shot and killed a grizzly in self defense as it charged them during a surprise encounter in thick brush. In late August, two hunters were scouting for elk in northwest Montana when they were charged by a grizzly bear in dense cover. One of the hunters involved in the August incident was accidentally shot in the back of the shoulder by his partner, but the two men managed to kill the charging grizzly before it could reach them.

On September 2, officials euthanized a sow grizzly near West Yellowstone, Montana after it entered a home with its cub and removed a container of dog food. Genetic tracing linked that bear to the July 22 attack of hiker Amy Adamson. Adamson was running along a popular trail in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest when she encounter the sow grizzly and its cub. She was mauled and ultimately died from her wounds.