Investigation concludes on grizzly bear attack

Hagadone News Network | September 24, 2020 1:00 AM

An attack on two bow hunters in the Upper Pack River drainage by a sow grizzly bear was defensive in nature and no further action is needed, Idaho Department of Fish & Game officials said.

The two hunters were attacked while hunting in the Upper Pack River drainage on Sept. 9 but managed to escape severe injury. According to Idaho Department of Fish and Game representative Kiira Siitari, the hunters thought they saw an elk in some forage, but a sow grizzly bear with two cubs came out.

The sow grizzly bear attacked the first hunter and tackled him to the ground. The hunter managed to spray bear repellant and used his bow as a defense against the bear.

During the first hunter attack, the second hunter used bear repellant as well but was then attacked and tackled by the sow bear.

The commotion startled the cubs, and they fled off; and the first hunter tried to stab the sow bear with an arrow but was unable to penetrate the hide. The sow bear than decided to flee and catch up with the cubs.

The hunters could walk back to their vehicle and only suffered minor injuries, with one person requiring two stitches.

The location is home to grizzly bears, and the investigation concluded with no foul play, and no actions will be taking place against the bears.

Since the attack was defensive in nature and not due to repeat offending bears searching for human food, enforcement agencies have concluded no action is further needed.

Fish and Game officials recommend carrying bear spray in grizzly country, which includes all of Game Management Unit 1 in the Panhandle.

For more information on living and recreating in bear country, visit