Local hunting guide John Sheets is recovering in a Billings hospital following a bear attack Thursday night in the Washakie Wilderness.
Sheets, with Boulder Basin Outfitters, said he was field dressing an elk on a late-season cow hunt with a female hunter when she was attacked by a grizzly bear. He said he rushed in and grabbed the bear by the neck and stabbed it with his hunting knife.
The bear then retaliated, and Sheets said the rest of the encounter is fuzzy, although he remembered the bear dragging the hunter down the hill.
“He chewed on her, came back up, and chewed up the back of my head, my ear,” Sheets said.
The bear also broke his leg, and then pulled the elk carcass over him.
Sheets and the woman were able to get back on their horses and
eventually met up with another outfitter.
The last he had heard on the hunter he was paired with is in stable condition at another hospital. Sheets said Monday he could possibly be released from the hospital later in the day, although he’ll be leaving with a cast, stitches on his head and his ear sewn back on.
Game and Fish personnel investigated the situation, which included interviewing victims involved and an examination of site of the attack.
Dan Smith, Cody wildlife supervisor for Game and Fish, said the bear “is still out there” and there are no plans to take action against it.
He said the bear was doing what is expected at this point in the year, trying to take in a lot of food to prepare for winter.
“This is a case where that bear saw an opportunity to steal some food,” he said.