No word on the condition of shot hunter in incident near Cooke City, MT-

I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often. The news story so far is sketchy.

Here is a little more (newer) information. Man Attacked by bear near Cooke City, MT.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

21 Responses to Griz attacks hunter; hunter's companion shoots at bear, hits other hunter

  1. Where’s the pepper spray when you need it! Not with the hunter that’s for sure.

  2. bob jackson says:

    Prior to bear spray the old time rangers told us young bucks if a bear is on someone you are with, you run up right next to that bear, put the pistol, not the rifle, to the bears head and fire. The rifles long barrel can not react fast enough to such fast change of “action”. Yes, if that is all you have then that (the rifle) is what you have to risk.

    I carried bear spray, a 45-70 rifle and a 44 pistol. Never had to use any but since bear spray came on the scene that would have been my choice in a situation like this…and it has worked a number of times for others in this exact scenario.

    I had reservations about posting this because of…”here we go again” but thought the chance for good outweighed the tedium to come.

  3. Nathan says:

    So how did the attack end? was the sound of gun fire enough to cause the bears retreat?

  4. timz says:

    “So how did the attack end? was the sound of gun fire enough to cause the bears retreat?”

    I want to know the same thing. I’m hoping the bear wasn’t hit.

  5. The article was very brief. I followed it up with a more detailed one when one appeared. Eventually, I assume, the whole thing will come out.

  6. Mike Bickley says:

    While on a 14 day backpacking trip in Alaska a few years back this type of scenario frightened me as much as a bear attack. Both my companion and I carried firearms and I had bear spray as well. Each of us had a small tent to allow us gear storage and sleeping room in the rain. At night the prospect of my partner blasting away with his 44 next door was not too comforting. For me I doubted that a bear would allow a time out while I found my glasses at night. During the day I came to feel more comfortable with spray as my first line of defense too. Overall I came away from that experience considering bear spray as my #1, go to choice. I know it’s not perfect and it’s not going to be 100%, but nothing else will be either. We did see seven grizzlies, three at close range, none aggressive …… all impressive.

    Since then I have had the opportunity to see two grizzlies in full attack mode and frankly I can’t imagine a firearm being of much value to ME in that situation and I consider myself a fair shot and comfortable around firearms. They won’t be standing on their back legs swatting the air with their paws and waddling towards you like you see on TV. They will come low and moving faster than you can imagine a large animal can move. It may not work but I believe that my best chance at stopping an attack starts with bear spray.

    Being in either of the positions these two fellows found themselves in with only a firearm for defense would not be comforting to me.

  7. Rusty says:

    I don’t want to be mean but I found this story very amusing. Hopefully the hunter is okay so that I won’t have to live with the guilt of my laugh. I’m sure some federal agency is out in full force trying to rid the wild of the assaulting grizzly. That is the sad part.

  8. Cindy says:

    Maybe I was on to something last week when I commented on “folks up there starting to shoot each other”….I can’t wait to hear if they’d been wolf hunting.

  9. Steve C says:

    Did this end with a pie fight? It sounds like a three stooges episode.

  10. Mykk D. says:

    This is truely an unfortunate chain of events that could have all been avoided if one of the hunters had Bear Pepper spray with them. It requires allot less accuracy which would have been helpful considering the other hunter shot his buddy instead of the Bear. The other hunter under normal circumstances is probably quite the marksman but even the surest of shots can fold like a camp chair in a fight or flight situation.

  11. Alan says:

    I have seen it asked on this blog more than once, “Why, when I am carrying a perfectly good means of defense, my gun, would I want to drop that means of defense in favor of bear spray?”
    This is a perfectly good example of why, in certain circumstances, you might want to do exactly that. It is also a perfect example of why hunters should be required to carry bear spray. Not necessarily be required to use it, as all cases are going to be different; but be required to carry it.
    Walking up to a bear thrashing around attacking your buddy, and pointing a pistol point blank to the animal’s head as Bob suggests above as an alternative, would take nerves of steel and a hand just as steady, to say the least. Even if your partner gets a face full of spray there is no permanent damage.

  12. bob jackson says:


    Maybe you are noting just one aspect of defense and actually read and understand what I said, but to be sure for other readers sake….I said the pistol was the choice BEFORE bear spray came into existence…for a situation like this.

  13. Alan says:

    Yes, I did. You clearly wrote, “Prior to bear spray….”

  14. Mike says:

    Looks like another plus for bear spray. ahd they been properly equipped, the other hunter would not have been shot.

  15. pointswest says:

    This is the fouth mauling so far this year.

    1) Near Lionshead west of West Yellowstone, MT
    2) Bishop Mountain in Island Park, ID
    3) Head of Green River, WY
    4) This one near Cook City

  16. pointswest says:

    “I don’t want to be mean but I found this story very amusing. Hopefully the hunter is okay so that I won’t have to live with the guilt of my laugh. I’m sure some federal agency is out in full force trying to rid the wild of the assaulting grizzly. That is the sad part.”

    I feel very sorry for the guy who shot his partner when trying to save his life.

  17. pointswest says:

    “Maybe I was on to something last week when I commented on “folks up there starting to shoot each other”….I can’t wait to hear if they’d been wolf hunting.”

    Geeweeze…that would be funny! How about one attacking and eating the hams off a an animal rights activist while she was trying to eat her vegie burger.

  18. Cindy says:

    I realized I should have included my whole comment from Friday, not the fragment I posted yesterday. A Lakota proverb: “Once a rifle has been used to shoot a wolf, it will never aim straight again”. Then I went on to say, “I sure hope folks up there don’t start shooting each other”. Then this unfortunate incident came up and to be truthful for a peaceful loving soul like myself, it felt a little creepy. Has anyone found out what happened to to the bear?

  19. pointswest says:


    OK sorry. I just find it appalling that people find these maulings funny or amusing just because the victims were hunters. I did mistunderstand your point.

  20. Cindy says:

    I could tell from your tone (sharp) that you hadn’t seen my other comment. But just as I ask anyone whom I’m having a conversation with, let’s be nice. Let’s all get to the collective table together and work things out for the greater good of our earth and all it’s being. Let’s move away from the dangerous and very frightening motto, “Your either with us or you against us”. Although I do consider myself an animal rights activist, and gun control advocate, I am reasonable and I am listening. You did get the part right about my veggie burger though. I proudly gave up the almighty cow the first week of April 2008. I still have the local paper showing 2 headlines that changed my life. One concerning the massive murder of 2,000+ bison on the border of our first National Park, (the releasing of the buffalo spirit ceremony I attended at Stephens Creek Penitentiary was very healing for me) and the second headline concerning 13 wolves being taken in one week here in my beloved Wyoming, right down the road actually Some torture and other questionable means were being reported as well (that’s when I created the Wolf Meditation Cards). So while many of my friends enjoy those juicy burgers on Saturday night, I quietly thank God above that I made a small difference in the livestock industry by boycotting their products for the rest of my life. Now, off to see if Mrs. Raccoon and her 3 charges took over the bird feeders again.


October 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey