Bear bites camper through her tent near Big Sky

Bear bites camper through her tent near Big Sky

Beehive Basin

Wildflowers fill the Beehive Basin area near Big Sky in July 2018. 

A woman camping was bitten through her tent by a bear on private land near a popular trailhead outside Big Sky, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks announced Tuesday. 

It's unclear what type of bear bit the woman, and FWP officials believe the bear's behavior was investigatory and defensive, not predatory. 

The woman told authorities that she and another person were camping near the Beehive Basin trailhead when they woke early Thursday to a large animal pushing or “falling” on their tent, according to an FWP press release.

The campers kicked and yelled at the animal to scare it away, and it bit one of them on the leg from outside the tent. It then left the campsite, and the campers did not see the animal.

The injuries were "relatively minor," according to the press release. Officials said the incident was still under investigation and that they would monitor the area for bear activity. 

No tracks were found near the trailhead to determine whether it was a grizzly or a black bear, but the bite wound indicated it was from an adult bear.

The incident comes after a grizzly bear attacked a mountain biker in a surprise encounter near Big Sky in late May. 

FWP issues advice for outdoor recreationists to help avoid dangerous bear encounters:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, and look for bear signs.
  • Carry and know how to use bear spray.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses.
  • Travel in groups, and make noise 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.
  • If a bear approaches your tent, make your presence known gradually. If it attempts to enter your tent, fight back.
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With mountain goat territory — such as the Bridger Range near Bozeman and the Flathead Range near Kalispell — also popular for recreation, outdoors people are being reminded of ways to reduce possibly dangerous interactions.

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