The boy managed to discharge his bear spray while pinned to the ground by what Montana wildlife officials say was ‘most likely a grizzly.’
A 17-year-old boy now has a doozy of a story to tell after a bear charged and pinned him in southern Montana this week.
According to a statement by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MDFWP), the boy was walking alone near Ennis around 2 p.m. in search of shed antlers when he heard a “thump” behind him. The boy told authorities he turned to see a bear charging toward him.
He claimed the bear pinned him to a tree before he could deploy his bear spray. When the bear let go, the boy fell to the ground and tried to crawl between two trees while protecting his head and vitals.
The teen said the bear then pinned him facedown to the ground. But, he told MDFWP officers, he finally managed to discharge the bear spray over his shoulder, driving the bear away.
He then managed to walk out and radio his family. He was taken to the hospital, treated for minor injuries, and then released. Based on the boy’s statement, MDFWP officials believe the bear to be a grizzly and said the incident “appears to be typical of surprise close encounters.”
Authorities also said residents in the area were notified and that while the investigation is ongoing, no further management action would be taken at this time.
Hiking this spring? We encourage all our readers to know their bear safety, including how to avoid bears and how to use bear spray.