They find the body of a backward hunter from Montana

This was not a case of foul play or failure to defend against an animal attack.

But there’s probably little comfort in that for the friends and family of a man who’s probably been doing something he loved all his life. In what is attributed to health issues, the Montana hunting community lost one of their own this week.

Although challenging, the Truman Gulch area is forgiving enough for many recreation lovers of various skill levels to take advantage of all it has to offer along the western side of the Bridger Range. But with abundant wet and bushy vegetation, that does not mean that a person cannot stray from the main paths and go unnoticed. And its beginning is where Gallatin County authorities began a search, leading to the worst news that search and rescue personnel inevitably sometimes face as part of their job.

The online publication Explore Big Sky reports that the Gallatin County Dispatch received a call Tuesday from family members concerned about a hunter who was overdue. The callers knew where the hunter’s vehicle would be, near the Truman Gulch trailhead. And although the truck was there, there was no sign of the hunter. Since he was now several hours late and had a medical history, a drone team, a dog team and a helicopter were called in to participate in the search as night fell.

And it was the Gallatin County Sheriff’s search and rescue dog team that located the deceased hunter Wednesday morning. He has been identified as Joseph Raymond Balyeat, 65, of Bozeman. It was determined that he died of natural causes.

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Mr. Balyeat was a former Montana state legislator.

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