Skip to main content

Idaho Fish and Game

grizzly walking in Fall colored bushes August 2011

Hunters prepared with bear spray survive attack in Island Park


On the morning of Sept. 18, an archery hunter was attacked by a bear while pursuing elk in a remote area of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest south of Two Top Mountain in Island Park. The victim and his hunting companion encountered the bear from a close distance while in thick brush. Though not confirmed by Fish and Game, the hunters described the bear as a grizzly.

Both hunters carried bear spray and were able to successfully deploy it during the attack. The victim began to deploy his bear spray just before being knocked to the ground by the bear. The hunting companion came to his aide and deployed his own bear spray canister, shortening the duration of the attack and causing the bear to flee the area. 

Their preparedness and use of bear spray allowed both hunters to walk out of the backcountry on their own accord to call for help. The victim was transported by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg to recieve treatment for his injuries.

Signs are being placed on nearby roads warning of bear activity in the area. Hunters and other forest users are reminded to always be prepared when in bear country by carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it.

For tips on hunting safely in grizzly country click here.