An Idaho Falls elk hunter is recovering from wounds received when he was attacked by a grizzly bear sow with three cubs.
Mike Adams of Idaho Falls, Idaho was bowhunting in the Island Park area near Sawtell Peak when his hunt was interrupted by a mother grizzly and her three cubs.
The left-handed Adams could not reach the pepper spray he had been carrying, but was able to fire several shots at the bear with his .44 caliber sidearm using his right hand.
Adams had no broken bones from the incident, but did have damage to his left hand and arm area.
The hunter was able to regain his composure and use his cell phone to call 911. Officials responding to the call used an advanced pinpointing system to ascertain his whereabouts, helping to direct him the several miles it took him to get out of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said, “He had an arm chewed up pretty good. He was able to wrap it up and stop the bleeding and walk out.”
Though Adams told officials that he thought he struck the bear with the .44, they say they could find no signs that the bear had been wounded.
Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game Commission said, “He was doing off-hand shooting while being attacked by a bear. How accurate he may have been no one knows.”
Investigators say that upon reaching the area, which the quick-thinking hunter had marked with a GPS, they found a cached deer that the sow was likely feeding on, giving the team the direct evidence they needed of a grizzly bear in the area.
The hunter will have no charges against shooting the bear in self-defense.