by Rose Bier - Friday, September 8, 2017
A bowhunter in southwestern Montana had a close call on Monday, September 4, when a grizzly bear charged and attacked him, resulting in a 16-inch gash in his head that required 90 stitches to close.
According to the Associated Press, Tom Sommer and his hunting partner were tracking an elk they had been calling in the southern end of the Gravelly Range just north of the Idaho border when they spotted the grizzly feasting on an elk carcass. When the bear suddenly charged toward the men, Sommer, 57, attempted to deploy his bear spray but was unable to release the safety.
After the bear chased him around a tree twice, Sommer drew his pistol but the grizzly viciously lashed at him, knocking him to ground. “It bit my thigh, ran his claws through my wrist and proceeded to attack my head,” Sommer told the Associated Press. “I could hear bones crunching, just like you read about.”
Sommer’s hunting partner was able to blast the grizzly with bear spray, which thankfully ended the attack. After a mile walk back to camp, a 4-mile mule ride and a 2-hour car ride, they arrived at a hospital in Ennis, Montana where Sommer received treatment for his injuries. Sommer reported that besides scarring, he doesn’t foresee any long-term complications.
“I’ve been a hunter my whole life” said Sommer. “I have no grievance against the bear. He was just doing what bears do. But I would have shot him just the same.”
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