An eastern Idaho bear hunter was bitten by a grizzly Sunday when his hounds surrounded a female with cubs.
The bear knocked over Keith Klingler, bit him on the arm and tossed him around. The 38-year-old Idaho Falls man was taken to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, where he was treated for lacerations, Idaho Fish and Game officials said.
Klingler and two other 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 surrounded what the men said they initially thought was a black bear but quickly realized was a grizzly.
The men told Fish and Game officers that the bear charged. They ran.
When the bear tackled his brother, Eric Klinger fired a shot from his .44-caliber 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 bear may be wounded and dangerous, he said.
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.