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    Bear attacks, bites 2 hunters; state to track, destroy animal

By Gary Gerhardt
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

Thursday, September 14, 2000

A large black bear bit two Missouri archers Wednesday while the men hunted on the eastern slope of Grand Mesa, the state Division of Wildlife reported.

"We aren't releasing their names yet, but believe they went to a hospital in Glenwood Springs, where they should be treated and released," wildlife division spokesman Todd Malmsbury said.

He said the pair, a father, 46, and his son, 25, were hunting with a third man from Arkansas.

"The bear came out of the bushes and attacked the younger man, biting him on one buttock," Malmsbury said. "His father was carrying a .44-caliber handgun, but apparently became so unnerved by the attack he ended up throwing the weapon at the bear."

The man's toss succeeded in getting the bear to break off attacking his son, but the animal turned on the father, biting him on the thigh.

The third man grabbed the handgun and fired a few shots, although it isn't known if he hit the animal, Malmsbury said.

Malmsbury said wildlife agents would track the bear with dogs and destroy it.

"We have a strict policy: If anyone is injured by a bear, it must be destroyed and checked for diseases," Malmsbury said.

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