Hunter says bear attacked him

September 25, 2015

Just ten percent of the eight to ten thousand black bears in Michigan are found in the lower peninsula.

Just ten percent of the eight to ten thousand black bears in Michigan are found in the lower peninsula.

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

A porcupine hunter said he was attacked by a black bear while he was in a blind in Greenwood Township last Thursday.
The 46-year-old hunter said he was alone in the blind around 7:30 p.m. when the bear came from behind, knocked him over and attacked him. He said he stabbed the bear in the shoulder with his hunting knife and the bear ran off.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources was informed of the attack about 45 minutes later, a DNR release said. Sgt. Jon Wood reportedly spoke with the man and advised him to seek medical attention. He was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.
The DNR’s Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident, the release said.

DNR Public Information Officer Ed Golder said a trap has been placed in the area where the attack reportedly occurred. He said the knife has been sent to a lab in Lansing for DNA extraction, which could reveal information about the bear.

A trap similar to this one was set to try and catch the black bear that reportedly attacked a porcupine hunter in Greenwood Township. DNR photos

A trap similar to this one was set to try and catch the black bear that reportedly attacked a porcupine hunter in Greenwood Township.
DNR photos

“The DNR is asking the public to be mindful of the department’s efforts to capture the bear, which is believed to be injured. If a bear is sighted in Section 10 of  Greenwood Township where the incident occurred, please contact the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline at 1-800-292-7800,” Golder said.
Tuesday, Golder said no reports of sightings of a black bear had been received yet. He said, “The DNR reminds the public that black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present.”

Golder said Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears, but 90 percent of that population is in the Upper Peninsula. He said, “Bears frequent locations in Clare County where the suspected attack occurred.”

He added, “As with all suspected conflicts involving wild animals and human beings, the DNR’s first concern is public safety. We are continuing to investigate this incident to ensure that the right information is conveyed to the public in a timely fashion.”

Here are some facts to remember when you are in an area where bears may be present:
*To avoid surprising bears, travel in small groups and make noise.

*If you encounter a bear, stand your ground and then slowly back away. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and don’t run. Do not play dead.

*Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.

*If actually attacked, fight back with a backpack, stick or bare hands.

*Carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.

For additional information on living with bears, visit the DNR website at www.michingan.gov/bear.

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