Hunter recalls terror of huge grizzly bear encounter after he shot himself in the leg

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A man shared his horrific encounter with grizzly bear, which led to him shooting himself in the leg. Lee Francis, 65, from Wyoming, US was out elk hunting with his son on October 21 in the Rock Creek area of the Sawtooth Mountains.

While hunting, Mr Francis and his son encountered an eight foot tall grizzly bear.

Unbeknownst to him, he and his son had accidentally entered a bear’s cave while searching for elk.

The hunter was just 10ft away from the bear when the 700-pound beast charged towards him.

Mr Francis, a mountaineer, whipped out his pistol to try and shoot the bear, but he instead shot himself.

Speaking to US station KSL, Mr Francis said: “I pulled the pistol and then the bear just came flying out at me.

“I put my foot up to stop his head from grabbing me, (I) just defensively shot my leg.”

He then added: “I’ve been around these big bears, but it’s a whole different deal when they’re coming after you.”

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After the nightmare accident, Mr Francis’s son helped onto the back of a horse to safety.

A helicopter came and rescued Mr Francis after his son came to his father’s rescue: “He got me on top of the mule and we worked our way out.”

Once in the helicopter, the dad was flown to the University of Utah Hospital to receive treatment for a gunshot wound to his lower leg, and was discharged from the hospital later that evening.

However, he said: “I’ll probably have a nightmare or two next time I’m out in the mountains.”

Wildlife officials are still trying to locate the grizzly bear, but the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the bear had not yet been found.

It comes after four student wrestlers in Wyoming recently found themselves having to fight a bear in the woods.

Brayden Lowry, Kendell Cummings, August Harrison and Orrin Jackson, all students and wrestling teammates at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, were scouting for antlers in the Shoshone National Forest when they were cornered by a grizzly bear.

Mr Lowry told ABC News: “The bear came running out of the trees, I didn’t even see it until it was right in front of me, but I heard the crashing.

“The only thing I could yell was ‘Bear! Bear!’ I just knew I had to protect my head and just kind of fight for life, you know. It’s life or death.”

After the incident, a helicopter airlifted them to a nearby hospital where Mr Lowry and Mr Cummings had to undergo surgery for broken bones and staples in their heads.



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