Elk NetworkHunter Fights Off Grizzly, Suffers Accidental Gunshot Wound

General | October 26, 2022

Below is a Facebook post from the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office in Wyoming.

(Pinedale, Wyming – October 22nd, 2022) SCSO and Tip Top Search and Rescue responds to call of injured man during grizzly bear attack at the head of Rock Creek.

Friday, October 21st at 5:52pm Sublette County Dispatch received an SOS activated 911 call of a hunter that was injured following a grizzly bear attack. Tip Top Search and Rescue (TTSAR) volunteers were immediately paged and were able to bring the injured man out for medical treatment.

Lee Francis (65) of Evanston, Wyoming was hunting with his son in the Rock Creek area along the Sawtooth mountains when a grizzly bear attacked him. Lee was able to draw his handgun and fired several rounds which caused the bear to disengage and flee; however, one of the rounds struck Lee in the lower leg.

Lee’s son quickly activated his SOS device for help then began providing first aid to his dad to help control bleeding. As darkness was rapidly approaching, a plan was devised through contact on the SOS device to rendezvous with TTSAR members near Water Dog Lake. Lee’s son was able to assist him on to a horse and make their way back towards the lake while TTSAR members utilizing UTV’s left from the Flying A Ranch. The two parties met up around 9:20pm in the Big Twin Creek drainage where further first aid was rendered. Lee was extracted by UTV back to the ranch where a life flight helicopter was waiting. Lee was then flown to the University of Utah Hospital for further treatment while a TTSAR member accompanied his son and horses back to the trailhead.

Wyoming Game and Fish was also notified and game wardens are currently investigating and trying to find the grizzly bear. This marks the second grizzly bear attack this month in Western Wyoming.

(Photo source: Sublette County Sheriff’s Office)