Bear bites back
News Release – 6/28/09
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Three eastern Idaho bear hunters got an unpleasant surprise Sunday morning, June 28, when their hounds surrounded a female grizzly with cubs.
The bear took after the hunters, knocked one man down, bit him on the right arm and tossed him around.
The names of the three men haven’t been released. All are from the Idaho Falls area and two are brothers. The victim was transported to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg. He suffered lacerations to his right arm but no other apparent injuries.
Idaho Fish and Game officials are in the area looking for the bear. But they warn area residents, other hunters and anyone in the backcountry that the bear may be wounded and dangerous.
The three men were hunting black bears with hounds about 6 a.m. Sunday, on Bishop Mountain near Harriman State Park.
They released their hounds on a scent, and the dogs soon surrounded what the men thought was a black bear. When the men arrived they quickly realized they had a grizzly.
The bear charged. The men ran.
When the bear knocked the victim down, his brother struggled to get his pistol out of his backpack. With the bear on top of his brother, he fired a shot from his .44 Magnum from five to eight feet away.
The bear let go, got up and ran off.
The man was not sure whether his shot hit the bear or not.
“We don’t know whether the bear was hit, if we have a wounded bear, a dead bear or an unharmed bear,” said John Hanson, Idaho Fish and Game regional conservation officer from St. Anthony.
The hunters reported they saw at least two cubs with the female grizzly.
Bear researchers are aware of a radio-collared bear with three cubs in the area. It is unknown at this time if it might be the same bear. But Fish and Game biologists are looking for a signal from a radio collar.
Officials with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service are assisting with the investigation.