Montana Hunter Escapes Death Using Two Guns Against Charging Grizzly Bear

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

A Montana bird hunter managed to escape death by using two guns against a grizzly bear that was charging at them. 

According to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the hunter, who is originally from Washington, was hunting for upland game birds on Tuesday (October 11th) with his wife and dogs in a creek bottom east of Choteau when the encounter with the grizzly bear occurred. 

Per the hunter’s accounts about the situation, the grizzly bear had charged out of thick brush at close range. While avoiding death, the hunter fired at the animal with a shotgun and handgun. This wounded the bear and stopped the attack. The hunter managed to escape with their life and dogs. They also notified authorities about the attack. 

Following the incident, Fish, Wildlife, and Park bear management specialists, game wardens, and Teton County deputies made their way to the site. They then located and euthanized the grizzly bear later that afternoon. This was done after a consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The 677-pound adult male bear had no known previous history of human conflict and had never been handled by bear managers,” the description reads. “Evidence at the site suggested the attack was the result of a surprise encounter.”

Officials also share some advice on how to avoid grizzly bear encounters. Carrying bear spray in an easily accessible location is necessary. It is further noted that those out in the wilderness should be prepared to use the spray immediately. It is important to hunt with a group of people. Making localized noise can alert bears to presence.  

The Grizzly Bear Did Injure the Hunter 

USA Today reports that the hunter involved in the grizzly bear encounter was actually injured during the incident. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks spokesperson, Dave Hagengruber, shared more details about the situation. “Their dogs were on point, and the husband was going to go in to flush out the breeds. His wife was back, watching the dogs the way a bird hunter does.”

However, the movement was due to the grizzly bear and the animal ran over the hunter. “It knocked him down- didn’t bite him – but knocked him down,” Hagengruber explained. “That’s how he was injured, as it literally stepped on him and ran him over. Then it circled around and went back into the brush.”

Hagengruber reiterated that the grizzly bear did not bite anyone. “It just knocked the man down and stepped on him. He was clawed, but really only as a result of being hit and knocked down. That’s how he was injured.”

Hagengruber then spoke about euthanizing the bear shortly after the attack. “Whenever possible, the decision (whether or not to euthanize a bear) is made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unless there’s some immediate human safety concern. They suspected there was a wounded bear out there so they didn’t waste any time.”