A hunter survived a bear attack near Island Park Friday after using bear spray on the animal.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reports the archery hunter, who has not been named, was in a remote area of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest south of Two Top Mountain looking for elk. The victim and his hunting partner ran into the bear while moving through thick brush. Then bear attacked them.

Both hunters were carrying bear spray and were able to successfully deploy it during the attack, according to a department news release. But the victim was knocked down to the ground in the process of spraying the bear.

The hunting partner continued to deploy the bear spray, shortening the attack and eventually scaring off the bear. The hunters said it was a grizzly, but Fish and Game officials have been unable to confirm that.

The hunters walked out of the area to call for help and the victim was taken to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg for treatment. IDFG spokesman James Brower says the victim only received minor injuries from the bear’s claws.

Fish and Game say they are placing signs on nearby roads about the attack to warn of bear activity in the area.

Officials remind anyone traveling in bear country to be prepared and carry bear spray.


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