A Wisconsin grouse hunter is counting himself lucky after being accosted by a black bear on Saturday. According to WQOW, Phil Anderson was hunting with his dog in the Loon Lake Wildlife Area when the bear appeared out of the bushes. He later told authorities that his canine hunting companion had gotten too close to a sow and her cubs, and the bruin started chasing the dog.

“I yelled for the dog and immediately the adult bear came from that direction and charged at me and knocked me on my back,” Anderson said. “She batted me a few times and shook me and then she went back to my dog.”

At 275 pounds, the sow was a formidable threat. Anderson attempted to fend the animal off but the struggle left deep wounds across his arms and torso. With the bear’s attention temporarily focused on his dog, Anderson was able to bring his weapon to bear. The shells that the hunter carried were meant for upland birds, not a fully grown and very agitated black bear.

But Anderson shouldered the firearm and fired into the animal’s face, instantly killing the bear.

“Birdshot doesn’t really penetrate that well from distances,” said Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) warden Phillip Dorn. “But this was very close range. Probably within three feet.”

Anderson’s wounds were not life-threatening and he was able to walk back to his vehicle with his dog. He later drove to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries. The hunter is now recuperating at home.

Black bears rarely attack humans but sows with cubs can be very protective. According to the DNR, there are currently between 26,000 and 40,000 black bears living in the state. The black bear is Wisconsin’s second-largest animal, after the elk, and are more than capable of killing a human.

Common bear encounter techniques such as making noise and waving of the arms will usually deter bears from approaching. However, a female bear with cubs may attempt to chase humans or dogs if they come too close.

File image from John Verive on the flickr Creative Commons

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