Bears are really hungry right now. Pics are on the source site. Second one so far in the Boise area. sigh.
BOISE, Idaho — A hunter asleep in the remote Idaho wilderness woke up when he felt something tugging on his hair. Then he heard the black bear breathing.
Stephen Vouch, 29, reached behind his head and felt it was wet. He yelled when he realized a bear was biting at his head.
"He got a hold of my head, and that's what woke me up," the Boise resident said Wednesday, who was in the rugged area hunting bighorn sheep with friends. "That's when I kind of freaked out. That's when I could hear the bear breathing on me."
His scream startled the bear, which jumped and hit the tarp above where they were sleeping. The tarp tumbled, entangling the animal and the hunters around 2 a.m. Friday.
"That's when my buddy's gun went off," Vouch said.
The bear, wounded by a shot from the .45-caliber handgun, scrambled into a nearby tree. Vouch, cut but not seriously injured, shot and killed it.
Vouch said he and his friends were prepared with medical supplies for emergencies but didn't have a satellite phone, so he didn't receive medical care for three days.
The hunting group patched him up, then rafted downstream before flying out of the remote Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on Sunday. Vouch was treated Monday at a hospital for cuts to his head and released.
Idaho Fish and Game officials estimate that the male bear was about 3 to 7 years old and weighed 200 to 275 pounds. Jon Rachael, state wildlife manager with the department, said it's not clear why the bear entered the camp because the hunters had stored their food properly.
One possibility is the bear may have become accustomed to finding food from the many rafters that float the Middle Fork of the Salmon River each summer, he said.