Bear attacks reported in Wyoming and Washington

Hunter shoots self in leg during Wyoming bear attack
Posted at 8:44 AM, Oct 24, 2022

A Wyoming hunter was injured when he shot himself in the leg fending off a grizzly bear, and a black bear was killed by officials in Washington state after a woman was attacked while letting her dog outside.

The Wyoming incident happened Friday afternoon in the Sawtooth Mountains. The Sublette County Sheriff's Office reported it received a 911 call of a hunter injured following a grizzly bear attack shortly before 6 p.m.

A search and rescue team located the man, 65-year-old Lee Francis of Evanston, Wyo., and he was brought out of the wilderness with the assistance of a helicopter.

Authorities said Francis was hunting with his son in the Rock Creek area when a grizzly bear attacked him. Francis was able to draw his handgun and fire several rounds, which caused the bear to flee. However, one of the rounds struck Francis in the lower leg.

Francis was flown to the University of Utah Hopsital for treatment. The sheriff's office said that wildlife officials in Wyoming continued investigating the incident and were attempting to locate the grizzly bear.

The incident marks the second grizzly bear attack in Western Wyoming in October. On Oct. 15, two college wrestlers from Powell, Wyo. were mauled by a grizzly bear while shed hunting south of Cody.

The incident in Washington state was reported Saturday morning at a residence in Leavenworth in Chelan County.

Officials said a woman had let her dog outside when an adult female black bear charged her. The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said, and was being treated at a hospital.

Officers located the bear nearby that morning with the help of a Karelian bear dog, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bear was killed and two cubs were captured and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center, officials said.

The only recorded fatal black bear attack on a human in Washington state was reported in 1974. Since 1970, state authorities have recorded 19 other human-black bear encounters that resulted in a documented injury.