GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4)– Wildlife officers say that a hunter was not attacked by a bear, despite claims that he was injured when a bear attacked him.
Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigated reports of the bear attack and mauling on the Grand Mesa on Saturday evening.
A hunter in his late 60s was parked on his ATV on Forest Service Road 105 above Powderhorn Ski Resort when he said a bear approached and attacked, causing him to drive over a small cliff into large rocks below. He suffered extensive but non-life threatening injuries.
“We investigated this incident thoroughly over the last three days, including the use of specially trained dogs from the USDA’s Wildlife Services, examination of the injuries, and forensic crime scene examination and we found conclusive evidence that a bear did not attack this individual,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke in a statement. “This individual is certain that he saw a bear. We are not discounting that he saw something that caused him to react.”
“People get very concerned about wildlife conflicts, and it is not helpful to cause unneeded alarm,” said Romatzke. “Just like a typical crime scene, all possible conflicts with wildlife require extensive investigation to come to accurate, factual conclusions. It’s important for the public to get the right information, especially when it comes to issues that potentially affect their safety.”
The hunter’s name is not being released.