One man survived after being accused by a grizzly bear while hunting birds in the United States.

The 51-year-old was forced to defend himself after he surprised the adult male bear at Glacier National Park in Montana on Tuesday afternoon.

The man, from Washington state, and his wife were hunting on private property with their dogs, Montana wildlife officials said.

He came face to face with the bear in a creek at the bottom east of the town of Choteau after trying to track down a bird.

The bear came out of the bush, knocking the man over and trampling him during the encounter, according to Dave Hagengruber, a spokesman for the state wildlife department.

The bear, who weighed 677 pounds (307 kg), retreated after being wounded by the man, who fired a rifle and pistol.

He and his wife fled the scene before alerting authorities.

The man was hospitalized on Tuesday night but reported no claw marks or bites.

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Grizzly bears are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, but officials, including bear management specialists and game guardians, have decided that the bear should be euthanized due to his injuries.

A drone was used to find the animal, which had no history of human attacks.

Evidence suggested that the bear attacked after being surprised at the site.

The state wildlife department has issued a guide warning people to be vigilant in “bear country,” which covers most of western Montana.

Glacier National Park. Image: AP

Tips include carrying bear spray, caring for areas with poor visibility, and hunting in groups.

Since 2010, grizzly bears in the region are thought to have claimed the lives of at least eight people.

A bear mauled a woman to death at a remote campsite in Montana in July of last year.

Leah Davis Lokan, 65, encountered the bear about an hour before it was attacked and frightened her, but returned early in the morning and killed her.

Experts believe the bear became “food conditioned” and was attracted to the smell of food in and near his tent.

A 40-year-old hiker from Montana is also believed to have died in a suspected grizzly bear attack north of Yellowstone National Park in March of this year.

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