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Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3431
A hunter in Grand Teton National Park was injured by a bear just after 11:30 a.m. Sunday October 30. The incident occurred along the east side of the Snake River between Blacktail Ponds and Glacier View Overlooks. Park managers have instituted a quarter mile closure around the site of the incident.
A team of law enforcement rangers and resource management personnel are conducting an investigation of the incident. At this point it is too early to determine what species of bear injured the individual, the nature of his injuries, or if this was a defensive or predatory encounter.
The 32 year-old Jackson, Wyoming man was carrying bear spray and following the recommended protocols for hunting in bear country. The hunter told rangers when he spotted the bear he dropped to the ground and covered his head. He did not fire any shots at the bear and he had not killed any elk on Sunday morning.
A team of rangers responded to the scene along with Teton County Sheriffs deputies and provided emergency medical care before transporting the injured man in a wheeled litter to the roadside where he was met by a park ambulance and transported to St. Johns Medical Center in Jackson for further treatment.
Attacks by bears are extremely rare. There have been six reported bear attacks in the history of Grand Teton National Park- none were fatal. In 2007 a female grizzly bear with cubs mauled a jogger near Jackson Lake Lodge in a surprise encounter.
All hunters participating in the Elk Reduction Program in Grand Teton National Park are provided a bear information and safety packet. The following guidelines are suggested for participating hunters:
- Hunt with a partner.
- Carry bear spray (required).
- Avoid "dark" timber during mid-day when bears may be using a day-bed.
- Have a predetermined plan of action for retrieving harvested game from the field.
- Be extra cautious after making a kill and when hunting in areas where animals have recently been harvested.
- Avoid hunting in areas where fresh bear sign is repeatedly observed.
- Avoid gut piles.
More information will be forthcoming as it is available. News media seeking interviews on Sunday, please contact Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles at 307.739.3431.