A hunting adventure for two people in Montana on Monday turned out to be a nightmare when one of them, Tom Sommer, 57, was mauled by a grizzly bear. Sommer ended up getting 90 stitches on his head after suffering a 16-inch cut due to the attack.
Sommer and his hunting partner were looking for an elk they had been calling Monday morning when they came across the grizzly bear, reports said, citing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Chief Information Officer Greg Lemon. As the duo bugled for the elk, Sommer's partner spotted the grizzly bear feeding on the carcass of an elk and soon after they started yelling at the bear that charged at them.
"The bear just flat-out charged us," Sommer said Tuesday from a hospital where he is recovering from the attack. He added the bear that was 30 feet away covered that distance in three or four seconds, according to a report.
Before the bear could charge, the two men tried using bear spray on the animal, but one of the spray bottles did not work properly. The bear's speed did slow after being sprayed upon. Sommer struggled to shoot the bear but till then, it had attacked him, scratching his head and shoulders. "It bit my thigh, ran his claws through my wrist and proceeded to attack my head," he recalled. "I could hear bones crunching, just like you read about."
Sommer's partner used the rest of the bear spray on the animal and ended the attack that lasted for about 25 seconds. As Sommer was bleeding profusely, the partner could make a turban out of some blood coagulation powder, which stopped the bleeding after around 15 minutes, ABC News reported.
Warning, graphic content: Sommer suffered serious head injuries which can be seen by clicking here.
Sommer, who said he has been a hunter his entire life, said he holds no grudges against the animal.
In the past few years, officials from Montana Fish Wildlife said there have been just a few instances of bear encounters in the area where Sommer and his hunting partner had seen the animal, according to KTVQ.com, a CBS-affiliate. Lemon said the wildlife officials would not capture the grizzly bear as they believe that it had attacked Sommer and the other person, in self-defense.
Grizzly bears are large and can be light tan-colored and also dark brown-colored. They have a dished face, short, rounded ears and a large shoulder hump where a mass of muscles attach to its backbone and also gives it additional strength for digging. As they have long claws on their front feet, they can be dangerous. With these claws, they can dig further for food and for their dens, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
They are omnivores and mostly eat plants like fleshy roots of some plants, fruits, berries, grasses, and forbs. If grizzly bears are out on a hunt, they might search for fish, rodents like ground squirrels, carrion and hoofed animals like moose, elk, caribou, and deer.