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Close Encounter... A little too close..

Discussion in 'The Atrium' started by Pack93z, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I hunt up near this area a couple of times a year besides around my home.. I think I would have been slinging arrows as the sow was climbing the tree.. lucky he stayed in the stand, another reason to strap in while sitting in a tree stand.

    Hunters know it's not wise to come between a bear cub and its mama.

    Bear Attack

    But what happens when a frightened cub climbs up your tree stand while you're bowhunting, gets scared and starts bawling? Then the cub's angry mother comes running and climbs up after it?

    Kevin Schultz, 42, found himself caught in that ursine sandwich while sitting in his 12-foot tree stand late Friday near Ladysmith. Now he has a load of stitches closing up his wounds as well as an incredible story to tell.

    It all started around 6 p.m. Friday while Schultz hunted on a friend's property near the small Rusk County community of Tony. Wearing hip boots to traverse a swamp and get to his stand, Schultz climbed up, strapped himself in and waited for a nice buck to come by.

    He heard a commotion in a nearby cornfield and hoped it was a buck scraping, but instead he saw four black bears ambling his way. Schultz figured they would stay near the cornfield, but they congregated under the elm tree where he was sitting.

    Schultz yelled and motioned at the animals to shoo them away, but their response was just the opposite. The smallest cub got so scared he scurried up the tree. Making matters worse, the cub went right past Schultz to a branch overhead, then started crying for his mama. That put Schultz between the frightened cub and its alarmed mother, the last place he wanted to be.

    That's when things really got interesting. And scary.

    The sow saw her crying cub, saw Schultz and saw red, so to speak.

    She immediately went up the tree after her cub. Schultz tried fighting her off with his bow and his kicks. But the bear quickly got the upper paw.

    "She got me by the side and by the armpit and tried to drag me out of the tree, but I had my tree stand strap holding me. Then she tried to pull my leg. She actually pulled my boot off. I think she then thought she had me and took the boot off," said Schultz, who owns a snack, candy and tobacco distributorship in Ladysmith.

    He dropped his bow during the fight and was pulled out of his seat, but the safety harness kept him from tumbling to the ground. Schultz isn't sure of the sow's size but estimates she weighed at least 300 pounds because she was bigger than a 200-plus-pound bear he shot a few years ago.

    "It didn't really feel painful, it just felt super scary. I felt if I fell to the ground - the 12-foot drop would have been painful, but I think she would have killed me because she would have gone after my head and neck. Everything I was trying to do was stay in the tree. As far as pain, there was so much adrenaline I didn't really feel pain," said Schultz.

    After the sow pulled off Schultz's boot, the cub climbed out of the tree and the family of bears left.

    It's likely they were in the area because of a dead cow near the cornfield, said Dave Oginski, the Department of Natural Resources conservation warden supervisor in Park Falls.

    "It's very uncommon for a bear to initiate contact unless you get between a sow and a cub," said Oginski. Cubs are "taught to go up the highest tree to avoid danger, and that was the highest tree in the swamp."

    Despite scratch and puncture wounds to his left leg and right arm, Schultz managed to climb down and drive to his parents' home about a mile away. They took him to Rusk County Memorial Hospital - his heart rate was 200 on arrival - where he spent the weekend. Doctors didn't close the wounds for a few days to allow them to drain. He was stitched up Monday and given rabies and tetanus shots.

    Schultz has bite and scratch marks on his foot, ankle and thigh, and a patch of flesh the size of a hockey puck was ripped from his elbow.

    He told a warden he didn't want anything to happen to the bear since it was natural for the sow to protect her cubs, said Jim Bishop, a DNR spokesman in Spooner.

    The cub that climbed above Schultz would have been born in January or February and though its size is not known, cubs weigh an average of 40 to 70 pounds at this time of year.

    Though the encounter was frightening for both bear and human, the incident was unusual. Black bears are generally not aggressive and will usually leave when they hear or smell people. Occasionally bears tangle with hunting dogs, and there have been a few times when a habituated bear that is being fed by humans becomes aggressive.

    Wisconsin's black bear population is estimated at 13,000.

    "Considering the density of bears and the density of people that use Wisconsin's outdoors, these incidents are extremely rare," said Keith Warnke, DNR big game specialist.

    As for Schultz, he's at home recovering. He'll be out of the woods for a while, though he hopes to resume bowhunting when the deer rut begins, and he expects to participate in the gun-deer hunt next month.

    He does not plan, however, to return to the property where he tangled with an angry mama bear.
     
  2. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Wow......that had to be a surreal thing. He's lucky to be alive!
     
  3. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    The hunter was undoubtedly a Packer fan and the bear was, well you know, a Bears fan.
     
  4. DoddPower

    DoddPower Nick Perry is watching you, NFL QB's!

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    Wow, crazy stuff!! I've ran into several black bears while backpacking around the Appalachians and it's always a surreal / scary sight.

    Glad he was okay though! He's lucky the sow didn't stay up there and the bear didn't keep coming after him. Maaaan!
     
  5. Cdnfavrefan

    Cdnfavrefan Cheesehead

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    cool story. could of been a lot worse. Last week my cousin had something similsr happen. A bear was in between him and his tree stand. He tried to shoo the bear away but it came closer so he had to drop it with the rifle.
     
  6. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Nothing else gets the old adrenilin going like having a bear come at you. I had that happen while bow hunting back in the early 1990's. I was sitting on the ground in full camoflage when a HUGE black bear came running straight at me. I was afraid he would be on top of me before he realized i was there, and would feel cornered and attack, so i stood up and yelled at him. He stopped at 27 yards, his hair stood up on his back, and he "woofed" at me. I yelled "Get outta here!" and waved my arms. He "woofed" again, and i got my buck knife out and figured i'd at least get a few shots in on him before he killed me. I yelled again, and he turned and took off into the brush. I picked my stuff up, and started walking out to my car.........it was THEN that i started shaking uncontrolably! 27 yards might seem like a long distance, but believe me, when there are no bars between you and that huge animal, (plus the fact that he could cover that ground in probably 3 or 4 seconds tops) 27 yards is VERY close!
     
  7. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    You were fortunate cheesey..the bear was obviously lactose intolerant.
     
  8. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    Wow. Its a good thing you didnt panic. That took some guts.
     
  9. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Thank you..........i knew from all i read that the worst thing you can do is run. That sets off their attack mode. And all i had was my bow and knife, and i knew that if i tried to shoot him with the bow, that would just tick him off. And even if he was hit in a vital area, he would have plenty of time to tear me apart before he died. So i decided very quickly to try to bluff him, and stand my ground. This all happened right before noon, and i was to meet my friend back at the car at noon. When i got to the car, he was there waiting for me. He asked "Did you see anything?" And i said just said "I shouted down a big bear." He said "Your kidding, right?" And i took off my camo face mask and said "Does it look like i'm kidding?" :shock: He smacked me on the back and said "Way to go!!!" LOL! :lol:
     
  10. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Nah....that wasn't it........it was typical of "Da Bears".......they get within 27 yards and can't score! :lol:
     
  11. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    LOL
     
  12. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    One of the most challenging and nervous moments is when I shot my first bear with the bow.. only about 225lbs, but still sitting literally not more than 15 yards from him. Surprisingly, he didn't go much further than a whitetail, about 75 yards and he crashed hard.. but when he disappeared at first, you were scared to move. I was only I think 17 or 18 at the time..

    But the time that I was most alarmed was rifle hunting at about 14, I was making a deer drive at the moment. I was crawling through some evergreens and I almost came face to face with one. I bet he was more than 8 to 10 feet.. but I think it was as scared as I was because he checked out. The posters on the end of the drive said he came tearing out of the drive..
     
  13. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    LOL! I'll tell you.......it really gets the ol' heart pumping, doesn't it???
    I have never gone bear hunting, but thats ALWAYS one thing that i wondered.....especially with a bow........once you have made the shot, then you have to wait for it to expire. And when you do finally track it, you better HOPE it'd dead! :shock: :D
    Once i was squirrel hunting with only a .22 rifle. I was sitting against a tree, overlooking a small valley. I saw something coming down the center of the valley towards me, and i was trying to figure out "What the heck is that???" My mind was racing, trying to figure it out........when i finally did, it was about 40 yards in front of me. It was a WOLVERINE!!! That is the ONLY one i have ever seen outside of a zoo! And I KNOW they have a BAD temper! Once again, i stood up and yelled at it, and fortunatly (for me) it turned and ran off!
     

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