Forest Service issues warning about injured bear near West Yellowstone


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    BOZEMAN, Mont. - The following is a media release from the Custer Gallatin National Forest:

    Forest Service officials are warning visitors of an injured bear near West Yellowstone and are asking visitors to the area to be very cautious when in the general vicinity.

    The bear was injured Tuesday evening, September 27 th through an encounter with an archery hunter near Johnson Lake Trail (#90) not far from the trailhead. It is unknown if it is a black or grizzly bear or the extent of injuries.

    The Forest Service has posted warning signs at Johnson Lake Trailhead, Whits Lake Trailhead (#75), Red Canyon Trailhead (#205) and on Tepee Cr. Rd. (Road #986) and will continue working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to search for the bear and monitor the situation. There are no closures in place at this time.

    Some general safety tips when visiting bear country to keep in mind are:

    · Avoid hiking or hunting alone if possible and never let your small children run ahead or wander.

    · Make noise by talking, clapping and singing to avoid startling a bear.

    · Stick to the trail. It may take some of the adventure out of your visit, but by staying on the trail you'll minimize potential bear encounters.

    · Be aware of your surroundings. Use caution and make plenty of noise before approaching areas where a bear may not hear, smell or see you coming and avoid bear food sources. If you smell something dead or see birds circling overhead avoid the area.

    · Hike during the daylight hours. Bears are most active during early morning and late afternoon hours in the spring and summer.

    · Watch for signs of bear - tracks, scat and markings on trees are all good indicators.

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