MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following is a press release from Glacier National Park:

At approximately 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 26, park dispatch received notification from a park volunteer backcountry ranger of a hiker-bear incident on the Mt. Brown Lookout Trail, on the west side of the park.  Initial investigation indicates that a 57-year old hiker from Texas was hiking alone on the Mt.Brown Lookout Trail when a bear charged him from an area below the trail.  The hiker deployed his canister of bear spray and then discharged one round of his handgun.   It is believed the bear was wounded, and ran away.  The hiker then turned around and quickly hiked back to the trailhead, warning other hikers on the trail of the incident.  The hiker met a park volunteer backcountry ranger on the trail, and the ranger notified park dispatch of the situation.  The hiker received no physical injuries.

Park rangers immediately closed the trail and initiated an investigation.  They staffed the trailhead to communicate the situation to other park visitors and began a search for the bear.  Park rangers and bear specialists hiked from the trailhead, and were transported via helicopter to the summit of Mt. Brown, to investigate and search for the bear.  It is unknown if the bear was a grizzly or black bear, but evidence indicates the bear was wounded.  The investigation and search for the bear will continue, and the trail will remain closed until further notice.