A Michigan man who was on an elk hunt in eastern Idaho last week is recovering after a harrowing encounter with a grizzly bear.

The unnamed Michigander shot a bull elk in the evening last week near Sheridan Creek west of Shotgun in Clark County. The man had been hunting elk in the area for 14 years, according to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) release.

The morning after the shot, the man and his bow hunting partner went to retrieve the carcass. While they were on the blood trail, they spotted bear tracks and before they knew it, a bear had charged them. The Michigan hunter was bitten on the shoulder, then the bear ran back into thick cover.

The hunters were not carrying bear spray or firearms. The two managed to hike out four miles and drive to a medical clinic in Ashton where the hunter was treated for minor injuries and released.

The IDFG and U.S. Forest Service is handling the rest of the investigation, but notices have been posted to the public warning them of grizzly bear activity in Clark County near the border of Fremont County.

The hunters may receive a replacement tag since a bear claimed his harvest.

The IDFG reminds hunters retrieving a carcass to carry bear spray and have it readily accessible, to make lots of noise and be ready for a bear encounter. If a hunter has time to field dress an animal, but not remove it from the wild before nightfall, “the entrails should be moved as far as possible from the carcass and items with human scent left in the area”.

Image from Ed Ogle on the flickr Creative Commons

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3 thoughts on “Michigan Bowhunter Survives Bear Attack During Idaho Elk Hunt

  1. I carry both bear spray and a .44 mag, but your fist choice should always be the spray, if possible. If you use a gun as your first choice your placement better be exact or you’re in for a severe mauling by a pissed-off, wounded grizzly.

  2. It is hard to belive that hunters go into the bush without bear spray. That is my first line of defense out here in BC. The second line is my gun and the third is to run as fast as I can!

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