June 29, 2009 in Idaho

Grizzly chases Idaho hunters with dogs

The Spokesman-Review
 

Three eastern Idaho bear hunters got an unpleasant surprise Sunday morning when their hounds surrounded a female grizzly with cubs.

The bear took after the hunters, knocked one man down, bit him on the right arm and tossed him around, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The three men are from the Idaho Falls area. The injured man, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg for treatment of lacerations to his right arm.

Idaho Fish and Game officials are in the area looking for the bear. But they warn area residents, other hunters and anyone in the backcountry that the bear may be wounded and dangerous.

The three men were hunting black bears with hounds about 6 a.m. Sunday on Bishop Mountain near Harriman State Park. They released their hounds on a scent, and the dogs soon surrounded what the men said they initially thought was a black bear, but soon realized was a grizzly.

The men told Fish and Game officials that the bear charged. They ran.

When the grizzly knocked the hunter down, his brother fired a shot from his .44 Magnum from five to eight feet away. The bear ran off.

“We don’t know whether the bear was hit, if we have a wounded bear, a dead bear or an unharmed bear,” said John Hanson, Idaho Fish and Game regional conservation officer from St. Anthony.

The hunters reported they saw at least two cubs with the female grizzly. Researchers are aware of a radio-collared bear with three cubs in the area, but don’t know if it’s the same animal.

Fremont County Sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers are assisting with the investigation.


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