Utah Hunter Attacked By Grizzly Bear While Hunting With Son

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

A 65-year-old hunter is currently recovering at the University of Utah Hospital after he sustained injuries from a grizzly bear attack in Wyoming on Friday (October 21st). 

According to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, the man, identified as Lee Francis, was out hunting with his son when they came across the grizzly bear around Wyoming’s Rock Creek. He drew his handgun and fired several rounds. This caused the animal to take off, but one of the rounds hit him in the lower leg. 

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and Tip Top Search and Rescue responded to the incident. After the altercation with the bear, Francis’ son activated the SOS device and began to provide first aid. Francis’ son was able to assist him on a horse and get him back to the late. Search and rescue members were able to extract Fracnsi from the area and get him to the hospital. 

Authorities went on to add, “Wyoming Game and Fish was also notified and Game Wardens are currently conducting an investigation and trying to locate the grizzly bear. This marks the second grizzly bear attack this month in Western Wyoming.”

Wrestlers Fend Off Grizzly Bear While Hunting in Wyoming Earlier This Month 

The attack on Lee Francis is reportedly the second altercation with a grizzly bear this past month. As previously reported, two Northwest College students were seriously injured when they were attacked by a bear while out hunting near Bobcat Houlihan trailhead in the Shoshone National Forest.

Sophomores Kendell Cummings and Brady Lowry, both on the wrestling team at Northwest College, were out with two other teammates when they were attacked by the grizzly bear. “It was a big bear,” Lowry explained. “Looked scary, mean. Teeth, drooling, breath stank. It bit me on the arm, shoot me around, threw me.” 

While the bear had a hold of Lowry’s arm, Cummings began to use his body as an attempt to distract the bear. Although it left Lowry behind, the large animal went after Cummings. He sustained injuries in the face and the head. “That’s when it got my head and cheek,” Cummings said. Lowry’s father thanked Cummings for helping his son through the incident. He was described as a hero. 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department also reported that Lowry and Cummings made their way to a vehicle with the help of the two uninjured wrestlers. A nearby hunter and local resident also assisted in getting the college students to get medical aid. Park County Search and Rescue and WGFD personnel arrived at the scene after the group called 911.

Cummings was eventually life-flighted to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana. Lowry was sent to Cody Regional Hospital in an ambulance.