Game and Fish investigates human-bear conflict

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Updated @ 5:00 pm on 5/1: Information from the Park County Sheriff’s Office has been added to the bottom of this post. 

CODY– A man was injured this morning by a grizzly bear while shed antler hunting in Sunlight Basin northwest of Cody. The man was flown by helicopter to an area hospital where he is receiving treatment.

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Upon notification, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department immediately responded to the area to assist Park County Search and Rescue and to begin an investigation.

The man was in the East Painter Creek drainage north of the Sunlight Basin Wildlife Habitat Management Area this morning when the encounter occurred. The investigation is ongoing, and Game and Fish personnel are still at the scene gathering further details.

“The safety of outdoor recreationists is always at the forefront of our minds,” said Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor Dan Smith. “Our thoughts are with the individual who was injured and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

The above is a press release from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.


The Park County Sheriff’s Office shared the following information about this incident on their Facebook page:

Bear Attack Victim in Stable Condition

On Friday, May 1, 2020 at approximately 10:47 A.M. the Park County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center received a report of an SOS inReach activation reporting a bear attack in the East Painter Creek area. 41-year-old Spencer Smith of Cody was antler hunting in the area when he encountered a grizzly bear. He sustained “severe neck” injury and was attempting to walk to his four-wheeler. Park County Search and Rescue (SAR), the Park County Sheriff’s Office, Cody Regional Health Wilderness Response Team, Wyoming Game and Fish, and Guardian Flight were all immediately activated to begin searching the area for the subject.

At 11:31 A.M. Game Warden Chris Queen located Smith’s four-wheeler at the boundary of the Game and Fish and the Forest Service in the East Painter Creek Drainage. He was then able to locate the victim. By 12:01 P.M. Smith was loaded into the Guardian helicopter for immediate transport to St Vincent’s Hospital in Billings. Park County Search and Rescue and Cody Regional Health were canceled prior to arriving on scene.

Smith was described as being alert and in stable condition.

Wyoming Game and Fish will be investigating this incident further.

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