Elk NetworkElk Hunter Attacked by Grizzly: “I Could Hear Bones Crunching”

General | September 6, 2017

”It bit my thigh, ran his claws through my wrist and proceeded to attack my head. I could hear bones crunching, just like you read about.”

Only this time people are reading about Tom Sommer.

The 57-year-old Sommer and a bowhunting partner had been calling elk while in the Gravelly Range of southwest Montana when a grizzly bear bolted toward him and covered 30 feet in 3 or 4 seconds. The partner used bear spray to slow the charge, but could not stop it. Sommer did not have time to discharge his own bear spray or pull the trigger on his pistol.  His partner ended the attack after about 25 seconds by emptying the rest of his bear spray.

After dressing a severe head wound, they walked a mile to their camp, rode mules another four miles out to their base camp, and then drove a pickup two hours to get to a hospital in Ennis.

“I’ve been a hunter my whole life,” Sommer, told the Associated Press. “I have no grievance against the bear. He was just doing what bears do. But I would have shot him just the same.”

In addition to other injuries, Sommer suffered a 16-inch cut to his head that needed 90 stitches to close. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Jason Matzinger recently sat down with Todd Orr who survived a dual grizzly bear attack. Watch the interview here.