41-year-old Spencer Smith from Cody, Montana was severely mauled by a grizzly bear while hunting for shed antlers.
Smith was in “steep, moderately heavy timber” when he came into contact with the bear, who had been in its nearby daybed.
“This is an unfortunate example of just how quickly these things happen. He [Spencer Smith] wasn’t able to get his bear spray out of his holster because it just happened so fast. He didn’t have any warning that it was coming,” Cody Region Wildlife Supervisor Dan Smith said in a Tuesday interview. He added in a statement that, “the bear was likely behaving in a defensive manner resulting from an unexpected, close encounter.”
Smith was able to ward off the attack with bear spray, and activate the SOS on his inReach device, which was received by Search and Rescue Coordinators at the IERCC, who alerted Park County Fish and Game officers. Smith then hiked a mile and a half out of the area where he made contact with officers who assisted Smith until a helicopter transported him to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, MT.
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