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Another Hunter Survives Grizzly Bear Attack In Western Gravelly Mountains

A grizzly bear track is left behind on a trail.
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A grizzly bear track is left behind on a trail.

Another Hunter Survives Grizzly Bear Attack In Western Gravelly Mountains

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the hunter was taken to Ruby Valley Medical Center in Sheridan, Wyoming. The Ruby Valley Medical Center is in Sheridon, Montana. YPR News regrets the error.

Another hunter survived a grizzly bear attack Tuesday in the western Gravelly Mountains. The attack happened between the Coal Creek Drainage and Eureka Basin Road, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It was about eight miles south of where three other hunters were injured last week in two separate grizzly bear attacks.

The elk hunter from Ohio, who’s name hasn’t been disclosed, told FWP wardens and Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies he was walking through blow-down timber when a bear attacked from a very close range. He said he fired multiple shots with a pistol at the bear until it left and was able to meet up with other members of his hunting party.

He was treated at the Ruby Valley Medical Center in Sheridan, Montana. FWP wardens and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement notified other hunters and campers in the area and began searching for the bear.

The investigation is ongoing, and FWP wardens are requesting that people stay out of the Coal Creek and Twin Springs area.

Morgan Jacobsen with FWP Region 3 says hunters are often at higher risk of encountering bears than other recreationists.

“Hunters are usually moving quietly across the landscape; sometimes they can be alone; sometimes they’re wearing cover scents. Those can be potential risk factors for hunters,” Jacobsen says.

He recommends people hunt with a partner or group, have bear spray and know how to use it.

“We recommend that if a hunter harvests an elk, for example, and needs to make multiple trips to pack it out, to separate the entrails from the carcass that your processing and then to leave that carcass that you’re packing out in an area where you can observe it from a distance as you come back in,” Jacobsen says.

If a hunter sees a bear eating the carcass, Jacobsen says to leave the area and call FWP. He says the number of attacks this fall isn’t unprecedented, but the number of bear-human conflicts has been on the rise.

At least 23 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have been killed this year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Copyright 2019 Yellowstone Public Radio

Rachel is a UM grad working in the MTPR news department.
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