Wyoming Hunter Shoots Himself While Trying To “Kick Grizzly” Off Of Him; Life-Flighted To Utah

An Evanston hunter survived a grizzly attack on Friday evening after shooting at the bear numerous times with a 10MM handgun. The man was life-flighted to the University of Utah hospital.

Jimmy Orr

October 22, 20222 min read

Grizzly helicopter 10 22 22 scaled
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An Evanston man accidentally shot himself on Friday evening while trying to escape a grizzly in the Sawtooth Mountains, according to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.

Travis Bingham, spokesman for the agency, told Cowboy State Daily that the hunter, Lee Francis, was able to shoot at the grizzly numerous times with a 10mm handgun and in the struggle shot himself in the leg.

“He was trying to kick the bear off of him when the round hit his leg,” Bingham said.

Bingham said, to his knowledge, the bear has not been located although the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was going to go looking “at first light this morning.”

Francis was hunting in the Rock Creek area of the Sawtooth Mountains east of Bondurant, Wyoming with his son when the bear approached the hunters and began to attack the elder Francis.

Bingham said the bear fled the area as a result of the shots.

Francis’ son used his SOS device to activate a 911 call. He then began to provide emergency first aid to his father.

He was able to get his father up on a horse and they made their way to the Water Dog Ranch where they met up with members of Tip Top Search and Rescue Team at about 9:20pm. He was then life-flighted via helicopter to the University of Utah Hospital. Bingham did not know the condition of the hunter.

Rescue team members accompanied his son and horses back to the trailhead.

This marks the second grizzly attack in Wyoming in the last week. Two members of the Northwest College wrestling team were attacked by a grizzly a week ago

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.