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Grizzly attack in Buck Ridge/Yellow Mule recreation area

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Photo of the Buck Ridge trailhead via Google Maps from September 2020.


This is a developing story. Please check back for updates – we will provide them here as they become available.

Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9:00 p.m.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks flew through the Buck Ridge area to search for the bear. No bears were found in the area. An area closure from the Custer Gallatin National Forest remains in effect.

According to a 4:09 p.m. Facebook post by the agency, the victim was injured in a surprised attack. They suspect the grizzly attacked in defense; investigators found a cached animal carcass near the site. One of the victim’s companions fired a pistol at the bear before the bear left. The victim remains in “serious but stable condition.”

Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9:00 a.m.

A hunting party was in need of rescue on Sept. 8 at 1:47 p.m. following a grizzly bear attack, according to a Sept. 9 press release from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue volunteers from the Big Sky Section and Heli Team, Montana Fish & Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, Life Flight HelicopterTeam and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies, responded to the request for aid and transported the patient to Life Flight Helicopter. The patient ultimately was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. Their condition is not known at this time.

Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 a.m.

As of Sept. 9. The Custer Gallatin National Forest issued an emergency trail closure following a grizzly bear attack on an individual on the afternoon of Sept. 8. According to a Facebook post by the agency, the bear was shot during the incident and may be roaming the area injured. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Forest Service is investigating this incident.

The closure includes Buck Creek Ridge Road (FS road #2599) through the Buck Ridge Trailhead continuing west along Buck Ridge Trail #10 where it meets the Custer Gallatin/Beaverhead-Deerlodge boundary. The closure also includes the northwest boundary to section 16 and continues east back to Buck Creek Ridge Road (FS road #2599).

Bears are extremely active right now as they experience hyperphagia before hibernation. If you are recreating this weekend use extreme caution; bring bear spray, make noise and hike in groups.

Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:56 p.m.

On the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 8, there was a bear-related attack south of Big Sky in the Buck Ridge/Yellow Mule recreation area. The incident is under investigation and the victim was life flighted from the scene.

Marna Daley, public affairs officer for the Custer Gallatin National Forest, told EBS that they are asking people to take extra precaution if they are in the Buck Ridge or Yellow Mules area, or to avoid the area all together. Updates on possible trail closures would be available through Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

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