Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reminding hunters, hikers and other outdoor users that the Muddy Creek Falls Trail on the Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area remains closed due to bear activity.

In June, a hiker in the area contacted FWP about a moose carcass found on the trail. The trail, which is on the west-central edge of the WMA, goes into a narrow canyon and dead ends in rough, rocky terrain. The Blackleaf WMA is used by multiple grizzly bears from March through November. FWP is not able to remove the carcass due to its remote and inaccessible location, and it remains a significant attraction to grizzly bears. To avoid conflict with bears, the trail remains closed, likely through the end of the fall season.

Blackleaf WMA is west of Bynum in Teton County.

FWP reminds recreationists to be cautious and prepared for a bear encounter when recreating in Montana. Bears — especially grizzlies — can be protective of food sources like animal carcasses. Some recommended precautions for avoiding negative encounters with bears include: being aware of one’s surroundings and looking for bear sign; carrying and knowing how to use bear spray; staying away from animal carcasses; traveling in groups whenever possible; making noises whenever possible to prevent surprising a bear and following U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.

If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area. For more information on staying safe in bear country, visit fwp.mt.gov.