Idaho Elk Hunter Attacked by Bear Near Yellowstone Park
September 27, 2011
By Martin Leung, FieldAndStream.com
A 40-year-old man and his hunting partner were bowhunting elk
near Yellowstone Park when they startled a bear that attacked them.
One man suffered a broken arm and other non-life threatening
injuries, unlike the Montana hunter, who was killed last week.
The bear charged at the hunter, who was nearer the animal than
The partner used a bear spray canister, which shoots an aerosol
mixture of hot pepper, as the animal retreated.
Idaho conservation officers said early indications suggested the
bear was a grizzly but they were awaiting confirmation from DNA
evidence gathered from the scene.
Wildlife officials decided not to capture the animal, based on
the description of the attack provided by the hunters, both from
Island Park, and an investigation of the scene.
"It's very clear from the incident that the bear was surprised
and ran away.
It did not intend to kill or consume the men," said Losinski, who
is a member of a federal-state task force on grizzly bears.
Thousands of black bears roam Idaho but their out-sized,
hump-shouldered grizzly cousins are fewer in number. There are about
600 grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone area, which spans parts of
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
Grizzly attacks on humans are rare in the Northern Rockies, where
the vast majority of conflicts between people and bears involve
damage to property — from trash cans to livestock — by the bruins.
Even so, the number of deadly grizzly encounters in the region so
far in 2011 is higher than the average of one every two years,
government figures show."
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