(Updated 12:30 p.m. MDT, 09/11/2023)
The Custer Gallatin National Forest has implemented an emergency closure in the Buck Ridge Yellow Mule area south of Big Sky after a person was attacked by a grizzly bear.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said in a press release on Saturday that the grizzly attacked a hunter tracking a deer. Another member of the hunter's party placed a 911 call to Madison County Dispatch, saying the attacked person needed immediate medical attention.
Madison County requested aid from Gallatin County due to the location near Yellow Mule Trail. Volunteers with Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded, along with Montana Fish & Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers, US Forest Service Law Enforcement, Life Flight Helicopter Team, and Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies.
The hunter was transported via Life Flight helicopter to Bozeman Deaconess Regional Medical Center.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) said on social media the victim is a man who remains in serious but stable condition. According to FWP, investigators found a cached animal carcass near the attack site, indicating the attack was likely defensive in nature.
FWP has not yet located the bear and continues to investigate the incident.
According to the post from Cuter Gallatin, the closure encompasses the following areas:
The closure includes the area from the Forest boundary along Forest Service Road #2599 (Buck Creek Ridge Road) to its terminus at the Buck Ridge Trailhead. The closure continues westerly along Buck Ridge Trail #10 to where it meets the Custer Gallatin/Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Boundary. It then follows the Forest boundary northwesterly and northerly to section 16 and continues easterly along the Forest boundary back to Buck Creek Ridge Road (FS Road #2599).
We will update you if we get more information.