A father and son hunting trip in the Spotted Bear Wilderness came to an abrupt end when a grizzly bear attacked them on Sunday, September 24. Fish, Wildlife and Parks Wildlife Program Manager Neil Anderson describes what happened.

"The father and son were out hunting black bears on the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir," Anderson said. "It's pretty steep country out there, pretty thick vegetation in places. The bear eventually did charge and ended up attacking the son, biting him on the elbow. When they originally saw the bear it was about 20 to 25 yards away, they actually saw brush moving, but they didn't know it was a bear."

They didn't know it was a grizzly bear until it charged into within 12 feet of them, then, as the bear clamped down on the son's arm, the father took aim.

"The bear grabbed the son's right arm and the father was close and saw that the bear had his son and attempted to shoot the bear to get it off of him. The bear did release him and then he shot again and the bear ran off, then they were able to hike out and get to the hospital."

The son received treatment for minor injuries at the hospital. Wardens investigating the area found the grizzly bear the next day, it was a 12-year-old female, weighing around 250 pounds. Anderson says they believe the bear was trying to protect cubs that are about a year old.

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