BOZEMAN, MT – Rudy Noorlander, a Navy veteran and owner of Alpine Adventures in Big Sky, Montana, is in a critical but stable condition following a grizzly bear attack. Noorlander was assisting a group of hunters who had rented his ATVs when he came face-to-face with two grizzly bears near the Yellow Mule Trail. The encounter resulted in severe injuries, including a dislodged jaw from a 10-foot bear.
Noorlander had joined the hunting party in their search for a deer they had shot but couldn’t locate. During this search, he encountered a grizzly bear. As he tried to scare it away with his firearm, a larger, more aggressive bear attacked him. His weapon misfired, and he couldn’t reach his bear spray in time, leaving him to defend himself with nothing but his fists.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Noorlander remained conscious for two hours while rescue crews airlifted him to Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center. His daughter, Kate Lynn Davis, praised her father’s strength and courage, stating that he did not pass out due to fear, pain, or blood loss.
Following initial treatment at Bozeman Deaconess, Noorlander was transferred to the University of Utah Hospital, where he continues to fight for his life. To help with the mounting medical expenses, the family has set up a GoFundMe page, which has so far raised over $16,000 of their $25,000 goal.
This incident highlights the increasing grizzly bear population in Montana, a concern that wildlife officials have been warning about. Noorlander’s harrowing experience underscores the importance of caution and preparedness when venturing into grizzly territory.