Elk NetworkHiker Survives Bear Attack in Eastern Idaho

General | June 5, 2020

Below is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

In the late afternoon on May 29, 2020, an adult male was attacked by a bear while hiking along the Outlet Overlook Trail at Henrys Lake State Park in Idaho not far from Yellowstone National Park.

The victim sustained injuries, but was able to walk out on his own. At around 5:30 p.m. he was transported by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He was treated for his injuries and released.

Idaho Fish and Game along with Fremont County Deputies have secured the scene and are conducting an investigation of the incident.

No campers are in the area as the campground does not open until May 30, but nearby hikers and anglers are currently being contacted along with nearby residents of the Henrys Lake area. Henrys Lake State Park remains open to visitors, but trails in the area have been closed.

Officials are asking people to stay out of the area until the investigation is completed and it is deemed safe enough to return.

–UPDATE 5/30/20–

On Saturday morning Fish and Game resumed their investigation of the site where Gregory Godar (73) of West Yellowstone and his wife had a surprise encounter with what he describes as sow grizzly and her 2 yearling cubs.

Godar was attacked on the trail and was unable to deploy the bear spray he had strapped to his chest. “If I had one word of advice, it would be to carry your bear spray in your hand and not strapped to your chest,” says Godar. “I think if I had it in my hand I could have stopped her”. Godar explained that his wife was able to deploy her spray as they backed out of the area, but the bears were too far away by that time.

A sweep of the trail system at Henrys Lake State Park was conducted by Fish and Game Saturday, May 30 but no bears were found.

Location of the attack site was determined and a mostly consumed animal carcass was found nearby. Several day beds used by bears were also discovered in the vicinity. The animal carcass was collected and removed from the site.

Due to the surprise nature of the attack, wildlife officials determined it was unnecessary to trap or pursue the bears at this time.

Fish and Game has concluded the field portion of their investigation and has recommended to park officials that the trails remain closed for about a week. For information on the reopening of trails please contact Henrys Lake State Park at 208-558-7532