A beautiful fall day for bird hunting led to what could have been a fatal encounter. Unfortunately, for the animal, it was.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that a man who was hunting for upland game birds was attacked by a large male grizzly bear. The incident occurred last week in a creek bottom east of Choteau, Montana.

The hunter was with his wife when the incident occurred. By all accounts, there was very little time to react. Montana FWP says the bear charged the couple from close range, suddenly appearing out of thick brush.

The hunter fired his shotgun and a handgun, wounding the grizzly as it was reportedly attacking him. While not fatal, the wounds, and possibly the barking of the couple's alarmed dogs, were enough to thwart the onslaught of a 677-pound bear.

The hunters left the area with their dogs and reported the attack. FWP specialists and game wardens tracked the bear, and after consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, euthanized the grizzly.

Authorities believe the attack was simply a surprise encounter, as the bear had no known history of human attacks, nor had it ever been handled by bear management specialists.

The hunter's injuries were described as not being life-threatening.

In a related story that occurred in northern Wyoming, two students who attend Northwestern College in Powell, survived far more serious injuries while hiking near Cody, mauled by a grizzly bear this past weekend. That's according to a story by Leo Wolfson with Cowboy State Daily. While those injuries were categorized as very serious in nature, both young men are expected to survive.

We wish all you hunters out there success in the fields this time of year, and above all safety, sharing the outdoors with some large and temperamental predators.

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