Multiple grizzly attacks for the month of May

A grizzly bear attacked an antler hunter in the wilderness east of Dubois, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Monday.

The man was later taken to an area hospital for treatment of injuries that were described as “non life-threatening” by a Game and Fish statement.

The female bear was killed during the encounter, according to the agency.

The attack occurred on Saturday while the man was looking for shed antlers in the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission’s Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy Wildlife Habitat Management Area. An investigation by Game and Fish found the attack was a surprise encounter with a female grizzly that was accompanied by a yearling.

No bears were presents when Game and Fish performed its on-site investigation. “Our thoughts are with the individual who was injured, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery,” Lander Regional Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter said in a statement. Saturday’s attack is the second by a bear this spring in May. A Wyoming man was injured on May 1 near Cody in a grizzly attack. He was also a shed antler hunter. The man, 42-year-old Spencer Smith, was unaware of the bear until it bit down on bear spray that was holstered to his hip, the Billings Gazette reported.

A female grizzly bear attacked a man in Montana at around 8:30 am Tuesday, May 19, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

He sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the attack and was transported via helicopter to a hospital following the attack.

“The man was part of a group who were floating and camping on the Sun River, west of Augusta,” Montana FWP said on Tuesday. “The group was packing up their campsite when the attack occurred at about 8:30 a.m. After stepping into some brush, the man found himself between the female grizzly and her 2-year-old cub.”

“The group was able to call 911, and the man was carried out by helicopter and taken to a hospital.”

Montana FWP say that in their investigation, they determined the adult female grizzly “acted as expected during a surprise encounter with a human.” Therefore, they don’t plan to take further management action.

Grizzly attacks have occurred in Wyoming this May as well, including an attack on a man east of Dubois on Saturday, May 16 and an attack on a man in Park County on May 1. Both of the men had been shed antler hunting in Wyoming.

Montana FWP says that grizzly bear populations are expanding in some areas.

“Grizzlies can be found throughout western Montana, not just the Rocky Mountain Front, Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Yellowstone Ecosystem,” they said. “In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded, and bears are re-colonizing historic ranges.”

They offer the following safety tips for people in bear country:

-Inquire about recent bear activity in the area. -Carry and know how to use bear spray for emergencies. -Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. -Travel in groups of three or more people whenever possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours. -Stay on trails or rural roads. -Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs and turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses. -Keep children close. -Make your presence known by talking, singing, carrying a bell, or other means, especially when near streams or in thick forest where visibility is low. This can be the key to avoiding encounters. Most bears will avoid humans when they know humans are present. -Use caution in areas like berry patches where bears occur. -Don’t approach a bear; respect their space and move off. Montana FWP

Safety tips for people camping in bear country include:

-Camp away from trails and areas where you see grizzly signs. -Keep a clean camp at all times. Keep tents and sleeping bags free of odors. -Avoid cooking smelly foods. -Hang all food, trash and other odorous items well away from camp and at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from any vertical support, or store in a bear-proof container. Livestock feed should be treated the same as human food. -Don’t sleep in the same clothes you wore while cooking or eating. Montana FWP

Montana FWP add that anglers should also be bear aware:

-Don’t leave fish entrails on shorelines of lakes and streams. -Sink entrails in deep water. -If you don’t properly dispose of entrails you increase danger to yourself and to the next person to use the area. Montana FWP

Please remember to be safe carry bear spray and follow all the bear encounter recommendations.

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