Update: 1:00 p.m. on October 4, 2022 Colorado Parks and Wildlife has called off the search for the bear responsible for the attack on Saturday night after searching the area for two days. Wildlife officers are still asking anyone who sees an injured or dead bear in the New Castle area to contact the Grand Junction Area Office at 970-255-6100 Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. or the CSP Craig Regional Dispatch Center's non-emergency line at 970-824-6501.
Original News Release October 3, 2022New Castle, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers continue searching for a bear that attacked a man late Saturday night at his home in New Castle.
Around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, the victim said he heard a noise in his backyard and went to investigate. While outside, the victim startled a bear in his backyard, immediately knocking him down to the ground. During the attack, the victim used one arm to protect his face while grabbing his gun with the other free hand, firing three shots and scaring the bear away.
The victim was taken to the hospital by a family member with minor injuries to his hand, arm, and chest.
Around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, Colorado Parks and Wildlife was notified by staff at a local hospital that a patient was receiving treatment for injuries after being attacked by a bear.
Wildlife Officers arrived on scene just after 2 a.m. and began their search for the bear. Although the victim fired three shots, he was unaware if any hit and injured the bear.
Heavy rain made it difficult for wildlife officers to locate a possible blood trail and track the bear. In addition to CPW wildlife officers, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted in the search using a drone with infrared sensors to search for the bear.
CPW wildlife officers remained in the area and continued searching for the bear throughout the day. As of Sunday night, search efforts were unsuccessful.
The victim was released from the hospital early Sunday morning and is back at home recovering. In addition to injuries to his hand and arm, the victim also received bruising on his chest from the bear holding him down on the ground.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers will return Monday to continue search efforts. CPW is asking the New Castle community to contact Colorado State Patrol CSP Craig Regional Dispatch Center's non-emergency line at 970-824-6501 if they see an
“This is an unfortunate reminder that we need to be vigilant and ‘bear aware’ at all times,” said Area Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham. “We continue to see a lot of bear activity during the overnight hours as bears prepare for hibernation. Easy access to food sources, such as trash and fruit from trees that have fallen to the ground, will attract bears. Simple steps like picking up fruit and removing any attractants around your home are important in preventing incidents like this."
The victim stated he had seen a bear in his yard the past two nights.
It is important that bears do not become comfortable around your house, said Oldham. If you see one, yell at it, throw things at it, and make noise to scare it off.
This is the second bear attack in New Castle this year.