Hunter attacked by grizzly bear near Ennis

BILLINGS- A man is recovering in the hospital after he was attacked by a grizzly bear while hunting with a friend near the Dry Gulch, Cascade Creek area south of Ennis.

The two hunters were bugling for elk on Monday morning when they came upon a grizzly bear eating a carcass, said Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Chief Information Officer Greg Lemon.

The two men yelled at the bear, and it began to charge, according to a post from the victim’s friend.

The two men attempted to spray the animal with bear spray, but only one man’s spray deployed.

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The grizzly bear then attacked Tom Sommer, scratching at the man’s head and shoulders as he tried to shoot the bear.

The bear bit through Sommer’s thigh and then put the victim’s head in its mouth, according to Sommer’s friend.

Sommer was then able to spray the animal with bear spray from about two feet away and escaped.

Sommer was taken to the hospital, where his friend said he received 90 stitches in his head.

It’s unclear where Sommer is from.

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Lemon said the area where the two men encountered the bear is a very remote section near the headwaters of the west fork of the Madison River.

In the past few years, Lemon said there’s only been a handful of bear encounters in that area.

Lemon said FWP would not attempt to capture the bear because it’s believed the bear attacked in self-defense.

Sommer’s friend posted the photos to Facebook said Sommer was being released from the hospital on Tuesday, though the Madison Valley Medical Center would not confirm that information.

-Aja Goare reporting for MTN News

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