A bird hunter narrowly avoided disaster when he was charged by a nearly 700-pound grizzly bear near Glacier National Park, state officials said.
The Washington state man, 51, whose name has not been released, was hunting with his wife Tuesday afternoon on a private property east of Choteau when the 677-pound male grizzly stormed out of the brush, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) said.
Authorities said that the hunter was knocked down and trampled by the bear. He stopped the attack by wounding the bear with a handgun and a shotgun.
The man spent Tuesday night in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The…bear had no known previous history of human conflict and had never been handled by bear managers,” the agency said.
“Evidence at the site suggested the attack was the result of a surprise encounter.”
After the couple left the area and notified authorities, FWP specialists, game wardens, and county officials used a drone to locate and euthanize the bear after consulting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Although grizzly bear attacks are rare, the agency urged hunters to prevent deadly run-ins by carrying bear spray, traveling in groups, and being cautious in areas with limited visibility.
Close calls with bears are not limited to the Big Sky state. Less than a month earlier, The Post reported on a 9-year-old child in Alaska who was viciously mauled by a bear before an adult relative shot and killed the animal. The child was seriously injured while the relative escaped with minor injuries.