Published September 17, 2012
A bowhunter in Idaho who had shot an elk the night before and was tracking it by a trail of blood found his quarry - and a grizzly bear that was claiming the dead animal.
The unidentified man was bitten on the shoulder by the ferocious bear near Sheridan Creek, west of Shotgun, in Clark County, according to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game report. He and his hunting partner, who were not carrying guns or bear repellant, were following the elk’s blood trail when they saw the grizzly bear's tracks. They came face-to-face with the bear when they found the carcass of the bull elk, according to the Island Park News.
The bear charged them, according to the report, biting one hunter on the shoulder before running back to guard the carcass. The hunters fled, hiking four miles out of the wilderness before driving to the Ashton Medical Clinic, where the hunter was treated for minor injuries and released.
The victim is from Michigan and was described as an experienced bowhunter, according to the report. The state agency and the United States Forest Service are investigating the encounter.
Idaho officials said that because the bear appeared to only defend its food and did not act more aggressively, they will not send agents to investigate the scene until the bear has had a chance to consume the carcass, said Gregg Losinski, IDFG Regional Conservation Educator.