Bear charges jogger near Priest Lake

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NORDMAN — A jogger near Priest Lake was slightly injured when charged by a black bear on Monday afternoon, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game reported on Tuesday.

The injuries were minor and did not require medical attention.

The adult man was about two miles in on the Kalispell-Reeder trail. As he was returning to the trailhead, he saw a black bear in the timber near the trail. As he passed by, the bear ran onto the trail and chased him a short distance. The runner stopped, faced the bear, and raised his arms in an attempt to frighten the bear off. When the bear moved toward him, he dropped to the ground. The bear made brief contact with the man, resulting in lacerations to his lower leg. He did not seek medical help, Fish & Game officials said.

Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Rob Soumas contacted a local man who brought trained hounds to the scene in an attempt to locate the bear. Due to the extremely hot and dry conditions, and the time it took to get the hounds to the site, the scent had dissipated and the dogs were unable to track and pursue the bear.

The U.S. Forest Service, Priest Lake Ranger District closed the Kalispell-Reeder Trail and the nearby Lakeview Trail from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m., when the closure was lifted. Signs warning trail users of bear activity in the area have been posted at several trailheads in the ranger district.

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