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Montana hunter survives grizzly bear attack, feels ‘extremely lucky’

BNQT logo BNQT 10/15/2018 Pete Thomas

a man wearing a hat: File Photo © File Photo File Photo

An elk hunter is fortunate to be alive after being mauled by a grizzly bear Saturday morning in the Montana wilderness.

Bob Legasa, who suffered a broken arm and facial wounds during the attack, was recovering Monday in a Bozeman hospital.

On Sunday he told the Coeur d'Alene Press, "I'm feeling extremely lucky," and added that he considered the attack to be "a fluke."

"She was barreling straight toward me," Legasa, 57, recalled. "I thought this might be a bluff charge."

Legasa captured a few selfies before being driven first to an emergency room in Livingston, then to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital.

He explained on Facebook that he and hunting partner Greg Gibson had been moving closer to an elk herd when they encountered a momma grizzly bear with a 2-year-old cub about 12 yards away.

"And before I could even reach for my bear spray she was at full charge," Legasa wrote. "I was able to get my arm up to [somewhat] protect my face when she knocked me over.

"Greg was only a few steps behind me and he was able to get his bear spray out and give one shot to the bear which stopped her and she reared up and came towards him. He was able to give her one more blast where she and her cub retreated."

a group of people in a room: File Photo © File Photo File Photo

Legasa, who estimated the bear to weigh about 500 pounds, said his arm was broken in two places "where she grabbed on with her mouth," and that his facial wounds were caused by the bear's claws.

The incident occurred south of Livingston, on a narrow dirt road in dense wilderness.

Legasa told the Coeur d'Alene Press that the grizzly bear cub reared up and growled in the moments before momma bear charged.

"I put my arms in front of me," Legasa said. "I had my bow in one hand and had my arm out. She tried to get me into a bear hug headlock.

"She grabbed onto my arm and had it in her mouth. I was knocked over on my butt and at that point I was kicking and screaming trying to move her away."

Legasa said he hopes the bear would not be tracked and euthanized by Montana wildlife officials.


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