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Archery hunter breaks arm in grizzly bear attack near Gardiner

An archery hunter was attacked by a grizzly bear Saturday near Gardiner, sustaining wounds to his arm and face.

The hunter and his partner were in the Beattie Gulch area and surprised a sow and cub at very close range. The sow charged and attacked the lead hunter and the partner used bear spray to stop the attack. The bear turned its attention to the partner, who sprayed it again, and the two bears fled the area. The bear’s response was normal given that it was a sow with a cub and the encounter happened at very close range.

The hunters were in tall sage brush and didn’t see the bears until they were less than 15 yards away.

The 57-year-old hunter was taken to the hospital for surgery to his broken arm. Both hunters were carrying bear spray.

General big game season opens Oct. 20. Hunters should expect grizzly bears to be active through hunting season.

Anywhere in the western half of Montana is grizzly bear country. Hunters should carry bear spray and be prepared to use it, hunt with a partner and always let someone know where you are hunting.