CODY– Two men were injured by a grizzly bear while recreating south of Cody on Saturday, according to a press release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. One victim was flown by helicopter to an area hospital, and the second victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
The men encountered the bear at close range in heavy cover while recreating and antler hunting west of the Bobcat Houlihan trailhead on the Shoshone National Forest Saturday afternoon, Game and Fish stated.
According to an article from the Cowboy State Daily, the two injured were wrestlers from Powell’s Northwest College team. Northwest College Athletic Director Brian Erickson confirmed the attack with Cowboy State Daily and identified Kendell Cummings from Evanston and Brady Lowry from Cedar City, Utah, as the two grapplers injured in the attack.
They were able to call 911 from near the scene and Park County Search and Rescue was immediately activated. Upon notification, Game and Fish personnel responded to the scene. With the assistance of a hunter in the area, a local resident, and other members of their party, the two men reached the trailhead where they met search and rescue and were transported from the area.
Game and Fish is in the process of gathering further details; the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Based on the initial information, this appears to be a sudden, surprise encounter with a grizzly bear.
In the last few weeks, there has been an abundance of bear activity at low elevations throughout the South Fork and North Fork of the Shoshone River, Clarks Fork River and Greybull River drainages. Game and Fish encourages anyone recreating in these areas to use caution and be bear aware.
“In the vicinity where the attack occurred, reports from landowners and hunters indicate there may be six to 10 different bears moving between agricultural fields and low elevation slopes,” Cody Region wildlife supervisor Dan Smith said. “Game and Fish will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.”
“This is a sad and unfortunate situation, we wish both victims a full and speedy recovery,” Smith said.