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MFWP: Woman killed in bear encounter near West Yellowstone 

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced on Monday, July 24 that a woman was killed in a bear encounter on the Buttermilk Trail just eight miles west of West Yellowstone. This afternoon, the Gallatin County Coroner’s Office along with MFWP identified the woman as 48-year old Amie Adamson of Derby, Kansas. 

“Sheriff Dan Springer wishes to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Amie Adamson during this time,” the release from the Gallatin County Coroner’s office stated. 

MFWP received the call that a hiker had found the woman on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. “FWP wardens and bear specialists, along with staff from other agencies, found that the woman had wounds consistent with a bear attack,” the release stated. The Gallatin County Coroner’s Office confirmed the cause of death was due to bear mauling. 

There were no signs of a daybed or animal carcasses in the nearby area. “The hiker was believed to be alone during the encounter, and no bear spray or firearms were found at the scene. The incident is still under joint investigation by FWP and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,” the release said. 

An emergency closure of the area followed in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. FWP bear specialists and game wardens are conducting capture operations due to the site of the incident being close to campgrounds and residences. A search of the area was also conducted via an aircraft. The release stated: “No bears have been captured to date.”

The release included bear safety measures and how to avoid and handle bear encounters:

  • 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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