PINEDALE, Wyo. – A Wyoming man accidentally shot himself Friday when he and his son were trying to escape a grizzly bear attack in the remote wilderness of Wyoming.
65-year-old Lee Francis was hunting with his son in the backcountry of Sublette County when they were attacked by a grizzly bear, according to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.
While the pair were being attacked, Francis was able to draw his handgun and fired several rounds, which caused the bear to run away. Law enforcement officials said one of the rounds struck Francis in the leg.
Francis’ son activated a satellite-based SOS device to notify emergency services and began providing first aid to his bleeding father. Francis’ son arranged for a rendezvous with Tip Top Search and Rescue personnel at Water Dog Lake.
His son was able to put his father on a horse and make their way to the lake while search and rescue members in utility task vehicles traveled to the lake from the south.
Search-and-rescue met up with the pair at 9:20 p.m., over three hours after the attack.
Francis was then taken by UTV to a waiting helicopter. He was flown to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Game wardens are currently investigating and trying to locate the grizzly bear. Because it was snowing, the state Game and Fish Department planned to try to search for the bear again on Monday, weather permitting, Sgt. Travis Bingham told The Associated Press.
This is the second grizzly bear attack this month in Western Wyoming, according to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.
Two Northwest College wrestlers were attacked by a grizzly bear while they were searching for antlers shed by deer and elk in the Cody area on Oct. 15, the AP reported.
In that incident, the bear first attacked Brady Lowry of Cedar City, Utah, breaking his arm and causing other injuries.
Kendell Cummings yelled at the bear, kicked it and threw rocks at it before pulling on its ear to get it to stop. However, the bear turned its fury on Cummings, attacking him twice. Cummings, from Evanston, underwent several hours of surgery and ended up with about 60 staples in his head and hundreds of stitches to treat his injuries, his father said in a social media post.