Teenage Boy Fends Off Grizzly Bear Attack Using his Bear Spray

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Grizzly bear. Credit: Arthur Topham | Pixabay

A 17-year-old boy was attacked by a grizzly bear on Sunday while he was out in the woods searching for shed antlers south of Ennis, MT reports USA Today.

The teen was vacationing in a cabin with his family when “he was walking down a hill around 2 pm and heard a ‘thump’ behind him,” Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) stated in a news release issued Monday. “He turned around to see a bear charging at him.”

Caught by surprise the teen was unable to react quick enough and use his bear spray to prevent the initial impact. The bear pinned him against a tree, then briefly backed off, allowing him to fall to his knees and crawl between two trees in an attempt to protect his head and vital areas. While on the ground the teen was able to reach over his shoulder and deployed his bear spray, causing the animal to flee.

grizzly, bear attack, Montana
Ennis, MT

The teen managed to contact his family while returning from the area. He was treated for relatively minor injuries at Madison Valley Medical Center.

FWP stated that if a hiker should encounter a grizzly bear, “Never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.”

Based on the teen’s description the bear was most likely a grizzly and grizzly bears typically respond in this manner during surprise encounters. The incident occurred at a time when bears are waking from hibernation.

Hikers are urged to be aware of their surroundings and always keep bear spray handy; to stay in groups if possible, and to make noise to avoid surprise encounters. 

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