Montana closes Muddy Creek Falls Trail due to grizzly bears
After a hiker discovered a moose carcass on the Muddy Creek Falls Trail in the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (Montana FWP) decided to temporarily close the area to the public for safety reasons. Increased grizzly bear activity occurs in the Blackleaf WMA from March through November, KRTV News reports.
The trail, which is located about 85 miles northwest of Great Falls, Montana, “goes into a narrow canyon and dead ends in rough, rocky terrain,” making retrieval of the moose carcass nearly impossible because of “its remote and inaccessible location.” Montana FWP also cautions that the carcass will probably attract grizzly bears to the area.
If you happen to be hiking, scouting or hunting in known grizzly territory, Montana FWP recommends the following precautions, according to KRTV News:
- Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
- Carry and know how to use bear spray.
- Stay away from animal carcasses.
- Travel in groups whenever possible.
- Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.
- If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.
Also, for more info on how to stay safe in grizzly country check out these articles by Dave Barnett:
- Hunting in grizzly bear country: sidearm vs bear spray
- Hunting in grizzly bear country: safety after you get an animal down
- How to camp safely in grizzly bear country