Alberta provincial officials say the man mauled by a bear in a remote area near Sundre Thursday had been scouting the backcountry in anticipation of bighorn sheep season, which started Friday.

A spokesperson for Alberta Justice said he had been about 12 to 13 kilometres away from a trailhead in the Panther River area when he was attacked.

The 32-year-old Calgary man told RCMP the bear came out of the woods while he was eating Thursday morning and grabbed him by the legs. He fought off further attacks and was able to hike back to his vehicle several kilometres away.

He then drove himself to the Mountain Aire Lodge area. From there, he was airlifted to hospital in Sundre and then transported to another hospital in Calgary.

Read more at Global News or The Sundre Roundup.