Hayden man attacked by grizzly last year makes Animal Planet television debut tonight

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/sep/04/hayden-man-attacked-by-grizzly-last-year-makes-ani/

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 4, 2019, 7:50 p.m.

After being attacked by a grizzly bear last October,  Bob Legasa has started working with Counter Assault. Here he is pictured demonstrating how to use the company’s bear spray. Legasa’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I was Prey” on Wednesday. (Bob Legasa/Freeride Media / COURTESY OF FREERIDE MEDIA)
After being attacked by a grizzly bear last October, Bob Legasa has started working with Counter Assault. Here he is pictured demonstrating how to use the company’s bear spray. Legasa’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I was Prey” on Wednesday. (Bob Legasa/Freeride Media / COURTESY OF FREERIDE MEDIA)

Nearly a year ago, Bob Legasa was bloody and broken in the Montana backcountry, the unfortunate recipient of the maternal fury of an adult grizzly bear.

“It certainly was something I hope I don’t have to endure again,” Legasa said this week. “As far as the emotional and physical aspect of it, I’m lucky that I didn’t get mauled. That I wasn’t being rag dolled and tossed around. It was short and sweet. Or fast and vicious.”’

Tonight, Legasa will relive his Oct. 13 experience on national television. The Hayden resident’s story will be featured on Animal Planet’s “I Was Prey” show.

This is what happened: As Legasa and his partner, Greg Gibson, walked through tall sagebrush – between 6 and 8 feet – they startled a grizzly bear cub and its mother.

The mother bear tackled Legasa. Gibson, of Sandpoint, sprayed the bear with bear spray. The bear dropped Legasa, but not before breaking his arm with her mouth and clawing his face. She then started to charge Gibson. Gibson sprayed the bear again and she retreated.

Covered in blood and nearly blind from the spray, which had blown into their faces, both men hiked out.

In February, Legasa traveled to New York for an interview for Animal Planet’s show. Legasa, who owns his own outdoors media company, said he hesitated when first asked to participate. He worried that the show would overdramatize his experience or put an “anti-hunting” spin on it.

After being attacked online by hard-core vegans last year, he wondered if appearing on a television show would again make him a target. Ultimately, he decided to do it, reasoning that it provided him a good platform to spread a few important messages.

“Hunting has been in a weird limelight lately,” he said. “It seems like there are more people that are understanding hunting … but then there are also … some activist groups that are really going hard on trying to cut down or stop hunting.”

1 / 3

In February, Hayden resident Bob Legasa was interviewed by Animal Planet for their show “I was Prey.” Last fall, Legasa was attacked and injured by a mother grizzly bear while bowhunting for elk in Montana. The episode featuring Legasa will air Wednesday Sept. 4, 2019. (Animal Planet / COURTESY)

Legasa hopes to emphasize on the show that he hunts for many reasons. He loves being in the mountains and the challenge of stalking prey. He enjoys the pride and accomplishment of killing an animal that provides food for him and his family.

Showing the diverse reasons people hunt is a job many hunters are increasingly taking upon themselves. Only 5% of Americans 16 years and older hunt, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study published in 2017. Fifty years ago, 10% of Americans 16 years and older hunted. Those decreased numbers mean that fewer people, especially in urban areas, know anyone who hunts.

“I was hoping that I could at least get a positive message across in that respect,” Legasa said.

In addition to burnishing the reputation of hunters, Legasa hopes to reiterate the importance of carrying bear spray, for hunters and nonhunters alike. Since his attack, he’s done promotional and testimonial work for Counter Assault bear spray, “preaching that bear spray works.”

“It should be the first line of defense,” he said. “It just gives you a better option than shooting.”

In Legasa’s case, if the two hadn’t had bear spray, they would have been out of luck. Because the bear was on top of Legasa, Gibson wouldn’t have been able to safely shoot the bear with his handgun.

With hunters and hikers heading to the hills this fall, that message couldn’t be more important.

As for Legasa, he’s mostly recovered from the attack last year. While he still has some residual pain from where the bear broke his arm, it hasn’t slowed him too much. Emotionally, he said the fallout has been minimal. Although recently, he did have his first bear-related dream.

“It wasn’t a nightmare, but there was a bear running at me,” he said. “It made me think for a second.”

That won’t stop him from hunting this year. In a week, he’s again heading to Montana for 12 days of bow hunting for elk.

“I’m going to get back on that horse and ride,” he said. “This is in my DNA. Being in the mountains is good for my soul. I’m just counting the days until I get back out there.”

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.

Story continues below

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.

Facebook

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

Injured hunter rescued

http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20171030/injured-hunter-found-by-search-and-rescue

Man accidentally stabbed while field dressing.

Angel CarpenterBlue Mountain Eagle

Published on October 30, 2017 1:06PM

Long Creek Ambulance crew member Craig Palmer assists injured hunter James Moyer (out of view) with other volunteers. In the foreground is the six-point bull elk, shot by Moyer, which he was field dressing when he wounded himself.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Long Creek Ambulance crew member Craig Palmer assists injured hunter James Moyer (out of view) with other volunteers. In the foreground is the six-point bull elk, shot by Moyer, which he was field dressing when he wounded himself.

An injured hunter was flown to a hospital in Bend Thursday afternoon, after emergency workers packed him out of a remote site in northern Grant County.

James Lee Moyer, 51, of Mapleton shot a six-point bull elk across the Indian Creek drainage, about 15-20 miles east of Meadowbrook Summit, early that morning, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said in a press release.

Moyer made his way to the elk and was field dressing the animal when the knife he was using slipped, accidentally stabbing himself about two inches above the navel, Palmer said.

Moyer’s wife, who was 650 yards across the canyon with her husband’s parents when the incident took place, made it to his side where cellphone service was available and a call was made to 911 at 11:31 a.m.

Long Creek and John Day medical units were dispatched as well as the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the sheriff’s Grant County Search and Rescue team. Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also responded.

Palmer said Air Link from St. Charles Medical Center in Bend landed about 150-200 yards above Moyer’s location.

Palmer credited search and rescue crews as well as hunters in the area, with clearing logs, trees and regrowth from the road where the helicopter landed. Moyer was carried on a backboard to the helicopter.

Search and rescue personnel, ODFW and Oregon State Police assisted Moyer in field dressing and packing the bull elk to an awaiting vehicle.

Hunter rescued after being impaled by elk horn during ATV crash

http://nbc4i.com/2016/11/07/hunter-rescued-after-being-impaled-by-elk-horn-during-atv-crash/

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A hunter impaled by the horn of an elk was rescued in the Maury Mountains on Saturday, according to deputies.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office said Gary Heeter, 69, of Bend was involved in an ATV rollover crash, and that’s when he was impaled by the elk horn.

Deputies said prior to the crash Heeter had been dragging the elk back to a hunting camp behind an ATV. When he started to drive up a steep hill, the front end of the ATV came up, and Heeter was impaled by the elk horn when the vehicle rolled backward.

More: http://nbc4i.com/2016/11/07/hunter-rescued-after-being-impaled-by-elk-horn-during-atv-crash/

Armed Agriculture

by   http://foranimals.org/armed-agriculture/

The current issue of New Mexico Stockman, the official publication of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, shows the close connection between hunting and public lands ranching. In an article titled “Hunting – Another Arm of Agriculture,” the executive director of the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides describes the New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s E-plus and A-plus programs allowing ranchers to profit from elk and pronghorn (“antelope”) hunting, respectively. “While it’s not widely spoken of,” the article says, “for many in production agriculture, hunting revenues can mean the difference between staying on the land or moving to town.” The article cautions ranchers that this state giveaway technically only applies to the privately owned portion of a ranch, but, they acknowledge, “sometimes landowners agree to hunting arrangements that violate state and federal regulations.”

While hunting and ranching organizations are well aware of need to support each other, conservation organizations remain blissfully ignorant of the connection between the two. Some conservationists hope to “reform” game department by seeking out areas where there are minor disagreements between the livestock industry and their hunting comrades in arms. Others appeal to “ethical hunters” to oppose “unsportsmanlike” coyote hunting contests.

What sort of ethic promotes killing wild animals for pleasure? This is not a rhetorical question, as it has a clear answer. Conservationists who look to Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic” for guidance should be aware that Leopold literally wrote the book on Game Management. As a long-time hunter and government bureaucrat, Leopold defined wildlife as a resource to be managed for human use. Like his bosses at the U.S. Forest Service who managed forests for the benefit of the logging industry, Leopold sought to make hunting sustainable, i.e. to assure that future generations would be able to enjoy killing animals.

We should heed the final words of advice in the New Mexico Stockman article: “It’s time we realize hunting is really just an extension of the agricultural industry and vice versa.”

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Washington group puts up anti-wolf billboards

http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/washington-group-puts-up-anti-wolf-billboards/article_f734776f-30eb-51f3-80a6-c24f024ff950.html

2014-11-21  Washington group puts up anti-wolf billboardsBy Rich Landers The Spokesman-Review The Billings Gazette

A newly organized anti-wolf group says it’s targeting Spokane with a billboard campaign to highlight members’ concerns about the increasing number of wolves in Washington State.

Four billboards featuring a snarling wolf are being put up, according to Washington Residents Against Wolves, a group that says in a media release that it’s promoting “sound management of the predator.”

“The aim of the billboard campaign is to encourage people to ask more questions about what having wolves in Washington really means,” said Luke Hedquist, WARAW member.

“People need to consider the challenges associated with wolves. Wolves can and will attack people, livestock will be killed and maimed, private property will be compromised and local economies will be impacted. We want to make sure people thoroughly understand the issue, so we started by trying to get people’s attention with the billboards.

“As the elk and other ungulates are impacted by wolves, we will see fewer animals for other predators like cougar and bear, a decline in the number of animals available to hunt and significant impacts to local economies as hunters go elsewhere.”

Buck Fever

Robert Scheer/The Star

This is X-Factor, an Indiana deer that in his prime was worth an estimated $1 million.

His value as a stud comes not from research and not from the quality of his venison. Instead, his value is in those freakish antlers, the product of more than three decades of selective breeding.

In less than 40 years, a relatively small group of farmers has created something the world has never seen before — a billion-dollar industry primarily devoted to breeding deer that are trucked to fenced hunting preserves to be shot by patrons willing to pay thousands for the trophies.

An Indianapolis Star investigation has discovered the industry costs taxpayers millions of dollars, compromises long-standing wildlife laws, endangers wild deer and undermines the government’s multibillion-dollar effort to protect livestock and the food supply.

To feed the burgeoning captive-deer industry, breeders are shipping an unprecedented number of deer and elk across state lines. With them go the diseases they carry. Captive-deer facilities have spread tuberculosis to cattle and are suspected in the spread of deadly foreign deer lice in the West. More important, The Star’s investigation uncovered compelling circumstantial evidence that the industry also has helped accelerate the spread of chronic wasting disease, an always-fatal deer disease similar to mad cow. CWD now has been found in 22 states.

CWD’s spread roughly coincides with the captive-deer industry’s growth. In half of the states where CWD was found, it first appeared in a commercial deer operation. Officials in Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Canada think captive deer or elk introduced the disease to the wild.

So far, government programs have failed to halt CWD’s spread, largely because there is no reliable way to test live animals for the disease. So infected deer may be shipped into disease-free states, where they can infect other animals, captive or wild. The Star’s investigation uncovered examples of deer escaping from farms, shoddy record keeping and meager penalties for those caught breaking the rules, which further undermine state and federal efforts to contain the disease. Plus, in less than a decade, more than a dozen people have been charged with smuggling live deer across state lines.

More: http://www.indystar.com/longform/news/investigations/2014/03/27/buck-fever-intro/6865031/

 

Idaho Wildlife Officials Hire Hunter to Kill Wolves

528624c939a88_preview-620

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State wildlife officials have hired a hunter to eliminate two wolf packs in a federal wilderness area in central Idaho because officials say they are eating too many elk calves.

Fish and Game Bureau Chief Jeff Gould tells the Idaho Statesman that hunters are having a difficult time getting into the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness, so the agency hired hunter-trapper Gus Thoreson of Salmon to kill the wolves in the Golden and Monumental packs.

The U.S. Forest Service allowed the state agency to use an airstrip and cabin in the Payette National Forest as a base.

Fish and Game paid $22,500 for aerial killing of 14 wolves in the Lolo area in 2012. Gould said Monday he didn’t know how much the agency would end up paying for Thoreson’s salary and expenses.

_______________________

Make no mistake, Idaho officials and their constituents aren’t concerned about elk for the elk’s sake. They want ’em all for themselves–especially the big-antlered, trophy ones. Here are headlines for a couple more articles on the subject, linked from the same page:

Hunters Bemoan Idaho Elk Numbers, Blame Wolves

Elk Hunters Face Tougher Test with Wolves in Woods

ST. MARIES, Idaho (AP) — Calob Wilson sat on the tailgate of his dad’s pickup, dangling a rack of antlers on his knees. Read more: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/idaho-wildlife-officials-hire-hunter-to-kill-wolves/article_c6d2a9c4-6733-11e3-8002-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

MT Sentators Host “Sportsmen’s” Town Hall

Bitterroot Valley legislators to host sportsmen’s town hall on regulation changes

HAMILTON – Two Ravalli County state senators will host a sportsmen’s town hall meeting this week on proposed changes to hunting in the Bitterroot Valley.

The meeting will be held at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, and Sen. Scott Boulanger, R-Darby, will host the event.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow sportsmen to offer ideas, comments and concerns about proposed changes to the local hunting regulations, including requiring all hunters to obtain an unlimited permit to hunt elk in three of the four districts in the valley.

Other topics will include the youth cow elk season, whitetail doe seasons, hunting district boundary changes, anti-trapping initiatives and wolves.

Guest speakers include Keith Kubista of the Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, who will address the anti-trapping ballot initiative.

Safari Club Regional Representative Jon Wemple will talk about the loss of elk hunting opportunity under the

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

proposed valleywide permit system.

……Meanwhile in Oklahoma……

local OKC hunting news:

Oklahoma deer hunters have a final opportunity to take firearm into the woods
when the 10-day holiday antlerless gun season opens Saturday in most
of the state.
Deer taken during the antlerless season are not included in the hunter’s combined season limit.
Okla. state wildlife officials encourage a high doe harvest to reduce overpopulation and improve buck-doe ratio for a more healthy deer herd.

Archery deer season continues thru Jan. 15th statewide.

The Washita National Wildlife Refuge, which is located west of Butler, Okla., still has duck blinds available for three midweek hunts this season.
This refuge offers some of the best goose hunting in the state.
All the weekend dates have been filled. However, the midweek hunts are still available.