Montana Man Who Got His Jaw Ripped Off In Grizzly Attack Says Bear’s Breath Was “Most Rancid Thing He Ever Smelled”

Rudy Noorlander
University of Utah Health

Back in October, we learned the horrific story of Rudy Noorlander, the 61-year-old grandpa who was mauled by a grizzly bear while he and a friend were searching for a mule deer he had shot in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest in southwest Montana.

Noorlander suffered extensive injuries to his jaw, and even lost a large portion of it. However, he showed incredible strength, and was willing to relay his story through his daughter during a press conference at the University of Utah Medical Center.

He had this inspirational message, giving us all some serious perspective on the situation:

“Only by the hands of God am I here. I’ve had a lot of inspirations and I felt the need to share my story with others. And believe it or not, I believe that this attack was an answer to my prayers and that potentially it could help somebody else going through something similar.”

And now, as Noorlander continues to recover from his injuries, he sat down with Fox News to discuss the situation further.

He told the outlet:

“Sure, there are a few things I could’ve done that would’ve changed the outcome. Maybe if I took a step to the right, I could’ve been behind a tree and maybe would’ve been able to get more than one shot off… A second gun – maybe I’ll go out with a second gun next time.”

His daughter Ashley added:

“He’s going to be like Rambo out there.”

The grizzly that attacked Noorlander was nine-feet-tall, and attacked him so quickly that he didn’t have time to apply bear spray, and misfired his gun. When he attempted to shake the bear off with his hands, the creature clamped down on his jaw and wouldn’t let go.

He also said the bear’s breath was one of the worst smells he could ever imagine

“Most rancid thing I ever smelled before… The actual incident I don’t remember a whole lot. I remember pointing the gun at him, pulling the trigger – it misfired. He had me up in the air. He bit down and I yelled ‘help me!'”

He said the doctor told him that he fell out of the bear’s grip after it bit down harder, leaving scratches to his chest and bite marks on his arms and legs:

“I don’t remember any of the other injuries… the next thing I remember is him running away through the trees.”

He was saved by a father and son who were hunting, and selflessly said he was happy it was him who was attacked, because if he wasn’t there the creature would’ve attacked the father and son:

“If I hadn’t gone out, the bear would have attacked (the) father. He had a gun, but his son only had pepper spray. And those hikers, they were older than me. I don’t even know if they had bear spray – he could have killed all four of them.”

Ashley added:

“He is the most positive person I have ever met – he’s a little crazy, though. He is phenomenal – I would’ve died on that mountain for sure… I would’ve been toast, but he’s got the will to live and is the biggest fighter I know.”

At the end of the day, Noorlander is still just happy that he has his business, his snowmobile rental shop in Big Sky Alpine Business, and his whole family by his side:

“I have my business. I have my family. The attack helped me grow closer to God, helped me resolve some issues. All in all… you can either go up or go down, and I choose to be up. I know he’s got a plan for me – there’s a reason he kept me here.

I personally believe that the rest of my life is planned out because of this – Alpine Adventures has me (during the week) and I plan on doing church devotionals, inspirational talks through the church.”

It’s great to see that he’s in good spirits after going through such a traumatic experience, and it’s a story we can all take a piece from.

You can check out the full video of his press conference following his time in the hospital here:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock