Calgary man mauled by bear near Sundre was scouting for sheep: officials
Alberta provincial officials say the man mauled by a bear in a remote area near Sundre Thursday had been scouting the backcountry in anticipation of bighorn sheep season, which started Friday.
A spokesperson for Alberta Justice said he had been about 12 to 13 kilometres away from a trailhead in the Panther River area when he was attacked.
The 32-year-old Calgary man told RCMP the bear came out of the woods while he was eating Thursday morning and grabbed him by the legs. He fought off further attacks and was able to hike back to his vehicle several kilometres away.
He then drove himself to the Mountain Aire Lodge area. From there, he was airlifted to hospital in Sundre and then transported to another hospital in Calgary.
Staff told Global News the man must have phoned from a payphone on site, because no one saw him in the lodge.
“Fish and wildlife officers will be putting up bear warning signs and considering a closure depending upon the results of the investigation,” Alberta Justice spokesperson Brendan Cox told Global News Friday. “As the incident is under investigation and officers are still gathering information, we cannot yet confirm what the species of bear was.”
Cox said the investigation will take time because of the remote location. RCMP said there was no danger to the public.
He offered the following tips and things to keep in mind while hunting in bear country:
- Being quiet, using animal attractants and calls, and travelling alone mean there is an elevated risk of a bear encounter.
- It is important that hunters reduce the risk of a bear encounter by following bear safety protocols.
- If it is not necessary to be stealthy, it is better to warn bears before you get there, rather than being quiet and startling them.
- If you do hear noises, quietly retreating and leaving the area is the best tactic so not to further attract an animal’s attention.
- Firearms are not always readily available in all situations and other measures should be considered.
- Carry bear spray and a non-incendiary noisemaker. Keep them with you and know how to use them.
- If you see a bear, leave the area. Don’t risk an encounter.
- Recognize fresh bear signs, such as droppings, digging or buried carcasses.
- If a bear has become aggressive or taken over a carcass from a kill, contact a fish and wildlife
- Keep your camp Bearsmart.
Watch below from Your Alberta: An educational video on how to reduce the risk of a bear encounter and the proper use of bear spray.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.