A bowhunter was dragged from his tree stand and mauled by a black bear recently. He resorted to stabbing the bear repeatedly with an arrow until it broke off the attack.
Bowhunter Jeff Haydukewich was hunting a few miles east of Weirdale, Saskatchewan, northeast of Prince Albert, when he noticed a mother black bear and three cubs approach his bait. He snapped a few photos, but when the mother bear winded him and began approaching, he yelled at her to back off.
In fact, she became very aggressive, climbed the tree Haydukewich was in and grabbed his arm, pulling him to the ground. The bear began to viciously maul him.
Haydukewich managed to get away from the bear and climb back up to and even over his stand, but she pursued him and dragged him down by the leg. “I climbed back up my tree stand and she persisted about four or five times,” he said.
He had dropped his bow during the attack but held on to an arrow. He began to stab the bear as she mauled him.
“I was jabbing her with an arrow,” he said. “She kept coming at me and I kept stabbing her with one arrow.”
Eventually the bloodied bear relented and left Haydukewich. His left calf was torn up and a large flap of skin hung from his wrist. He collected himself and began the hike back to his vehicle.
“She bit me in the head somewhere along all this and my back. My back’s all beat up from being drug around on the ground.”
“There was a spot, when I was walking back to my truck,” he recalled, “I thought I’d stop and have a little break and I thought to myself, ‘If I stop, I’m not going to get back up. So I kept on walking.'”
He made it to his truck and drove to his brother’s house a short distance away. From there he went to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, where he is being treated. Haydukewich injuries are serious and he will likely undergo weeks of rehab. Conservation officer Kevin Harrison credited the mother bear’s protective instinct for the attack.
“She had three cubs with her,” Harrison said. “It’s more than likely this bear was defending her cubs and was protecting them.”
“Hikers or berry pickers should carry bear spray and make yourself known that you’re going to be out there in the woods,” said Harrison.
Traps have been set in hopes of catching the bear. She will likely be put down if caught, conservation officers said.
“Hopefully they find her,” said Haydukewich. “Because I want the teeth, the claws, and the hide.”
It seems the least he can get from his unfortunate experience!
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