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Hunter attacked by grizzly

October 18, 2011

By Gib Mathers, PowellTribune.com

An elk hunter had a run-in with a grizzly bear on Sheep Mountain just west of Buffalo Bill Reservoir early Saturday night, but officials say his injuries were very minor.

A Cody man surprised the bear at close range at around 4:50 p.m., said Brian DeBolt, Wyoming Game and Fish Department bear management officer in Lander.

The grizzly charged from about 12 feet, took a swipe at him and left, Debolt said.

“He (the victim) said it took just a few seconds, then it was over,” said Mark Bruscino, Game and Fish bear management program supervisor in Cody.

The man suffered a scalp injury, minor abrasions to his face, and sore ribs, although none of his ribs were broken. A friend drove the victim to West Park Hospital in Cody. He was treated and released the same night, Bruscino said.

The bear was simply reacting to a perceived danger. Once that threat was neutralized, the grizzly fled, DeBolt said.

The department does not believe this grizzly poses a hazard to humans. “We have no intention at this point to trap the bear,” DeBolt said.

DeBolt reminds hunters to hunt with a partner. Following an animal’s harvest, pack it out as soon as possible.

He urged hunters to get bear spray as well. “Have it accessible and know how to use it,” DeBolt said.

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