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Overdue hunter found dead near Truman Gulch trailhead

Truman Gulch trailhead
Truman Gulch trailhead
gallatin county search and rescue sar
Posted at 12:47 PM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 17:03:51-04

(UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.) The Gallatin County Sheriff/Coroner's Office has identified the man as 65-year old Joseph Raymond Balyeat of Bozeman.

Balyeat's death has been determined to be due to natural causes.

Balyeat was a former member of the Montana Legislature. He was elected to Senate District 34 representing Bozeman in 2004. Before that, he served two terms in the Montana House of Representatives.

(1st REPORT) An overdue hunter was found dead in Gallatin County on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that on Tuesday, October 4, at 10:51 p.m., dispatchers received a call about an overdue hunter.

The reporting party drove to the area where the person was hunting, which was near the Truman Gulch trailhead, and found the hunter's vehicle still there. Due to the hunter being several hours overdue with a known medical history, a search was initiated.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search & Rescue volunteers from the Valley Section, the SAR Drone Team, and the SAR Dog Team responded to the area to search for the hunter. LifeFlight Network also assisted by searching the area utilizing night vision.

The reporting party was able to give an approximate area of where the individual was hunting and family members directed Search & Rescue teams to the hunter's tree stand.

A Gallatin County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue dog team located the body of the hunter in the early hours of the morning of October 5.

The name of the hunter and suspected cause of death have not yet been released.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office says it will release more details pending family notification.