An out-of-state archery hunter survived an encounter with an Idaho grizzly bear Friday, suffering only minor injuries despite being bitten by the large animal, which was protecting a fresh elk carcass, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The Michigan bow hunter, along with a hunting companion, wereattempting to locate a bull elk they had shot near Sheridan Creek, west of Shotgun, in Clark County, the IDFG said.
However, when they found the carcass, a grizzly bear had claimed the elk and was consuming the spoils. The grizzly charged them, biting the one man on the shoulder before running back to guard the carcass, according to the Island Park News.
Neither hunter was carrying bear spray or firearms on the four-mile hike into the backcountry. The pair was able to hike out and drive to the Ashton Medical Clinic, where the wounded man was treated for minor injuries and released.
From the Island Park News:
Because the grizzly bear appears to only have been defending what it considered to be its food and did not prolong the encounter, IDFG will not risk sending in personnel to investigate the scene until the bear has had a chance to consume the carcass, said Gregg Losinski, IDFG regional conservation educator.
IDFG encourages hunters to be ready to encounter a bear when retrieving game, and to always carry bear spray.