From to today's Centre Daily Times - just one more reason why you should go walk the mall instead of hunting.
Bear attacks hunter in tree
Man injured after falling 15 feet during encounter
October 20, 2010 7:13am EDT
SPRING MILLS — An archery hunter was attacked by a black bear Monday night as he sat perched in a tree stand in Gregg Township, a Game Commission official confirmed Tuesday. The hunter, who wasn’t identified, was flown to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, but is expected to recover, said Rick Macklem, a Game Commission law enforcement supervisor.
The severity of his injuries weren’t known, but the head, neck, face and arm trauma was mostly the result of a 15-foot fall from his tree stand, which happened when he lost his balance during the struggle with the bear, Macklem said.
An officer was able to talk to the man Tuesday at the hospital and put to rest some rumors that were swirling around the Internet. The hunter told the officer that it was around 6:30 p.m. that he noticed a mother bear and four cubs approach the tree where he was sitting, in a wooded area off of Upper Georges Valley Road.
One cub climbed the tree, and the hunter shooed it away.
“The cub turns around and got off of the tree.” Macklem said. “At some point the (mother) for whatever reason ... protective instincts come into play, she thought something was happening to one of her cubs. She went to the tree ... climbed the tree, bit him or swatted him. The hunter was able to situate himself, sort of away from the bear and was able to kick at the bear. By doing that, the bear went back down the tree.”
The hunter lost his balance and fell onto a rocky area. He threw rocks at the bears, frightening them away so he leave the area. He was able to call 911 and walk out of the woods, Macklem said.
“When he fell out of the tree, supposedly nothing happened,” Macklem said. “The bear did not bite him or swat at him on the ground.”
Reports that he fell on top of the bear, or was hanging from the tree by his foot, were not true, Macklem said.
Black bears are, by nature, shy creatures that tend to avoid people, and attacks by the bears are rare. There are no known records of a free-ranging Pennsylvania black bear killing a human, and there have been fewer than 25 reported injuries resulting from black bear encounters during the past 10 years in the state, according to information from the Game Commission. Pennsylvania’s bear population is estimated at 17,000.
Macklem said there was nothing to indicate this was an overly aggressive bear.
In the event of a bear attack, the Game Commission says the person being attacked should fight back while trying to leave the area. As apparently happened Monday night, bears have been driven away with rocks, sticks, binoculars, car keys, or even bare hands, according to information distributed by the Game Commission.
This week is the beginning of muzzleloader season, which overlaps with archery season for deer. The bear archery season in Pennsylvania is in mid-November and is followed by the traditional rifle season.