Posts Tagged ‘hunter killed

Hunter fatally mauled in Idaho bear attack

- September 20th, 2011

  Grizz

The year 2011 has proven to be the worst year on record for bear attacks; especially fatal ones, and the year isn’t over yet.

If you recall, 2005 was one of the freaky years with an abnormally high number of fatal bear attacks in North America. There were 6 fatal bear attacks that year.

So far this year there have been 7 fatal maulings(3 black bears, 3 grizzy, 1 polar), including the most recent attack on a bear hunter in Idaho.

Steve Stevenson a 39-year old hunter from Nevada was black bear hunting in Idaho with his father and two other hunting partners.

A bear appeared before the men – an animal believed to be a black bear – and was then shot-at and wounded. The ensuing attack and subsequent fatal mauling was all part of a terrible mistaken identity. 

According to NWCN.com:

 “Steve Stevenson’s hunting party shot and wounded a grizzly claiming they thought it was a black bear. The wounded grizzly attacked and killed Stevenson.

Fish and Wildlife expert Greg Johnson says this mistake is common. Six grizzly bears in roughly 30 years have been have mistakenly killed.” 

After waiting 45 minutes to track the wounded animal, the men were startled to see that, not only that it was still alive, but the animal was a 350-pound grizzly bear and not a black bear as they first thought.

Steve Stevenson was not the first of the hunters to be mauled, the grizzly attacked his son first, and elder Stevenson jumped-in to distract the beast. Steve was fatally mauled in the process.

It is, I’m sure, a concern western hunters must deal with in an ongoing basis and considering there have been 6 similar cases of ‘mistaken bear identity’ in that region, it could be somewhat of a growing problem.

The attack and circumstances around this fatal mauling bring up a whole host of questions, most notably the mistaking of a grizzly for a black bear.

I would like to think I could tell the difference between a black bear and a brown bear in the wild, but having never been faced with the dilemma could never really say for sure. It was a terrible and unfortunate incident and my heart goes out to those hunters.

My condolences to the Stevenson family on their terrible loss.

Outdoorsguy

Footnote: Just to demonstrate how similar these animals may appear in the wild, here are photos of two bears. Can you tell what species they are?

Which one is the grizzly and which is the black bear? Perhaps they are both black bears, or both grizzlies?

You see where I’m going with this…

Mystery bear #1:

Mysterybear1

Mysterybear2