If you were ever attacked by a grizzly and survived, you are one of the lucky few.
He attributes to why he survived to something you may not expect. You see, during the midst of the attack, he remembered something that, at his grandma’s urging, he read in a magazine about shoving his arm down the grizzly’s throat.
Luckily for him, it worked.
Chase Dellwo was walking a ridge with his brother during an archery elk hunt in Montana. They spotted some elk and split up, according to their game plan, to get a shot. As Dellwo was walking his path to circle the elk, he walked right into a sleeping grizzly.
“I had an arrow nocked, and I put my bow up in front of me and took two or three steps back,” Dellwo said. “There wasn’t any time to draw my bow back.”
According to this story, it was at that moment the bear attacked, biting his head and back.
The bear quickly left, but it came right back to finish him off.
“He came back and bit my lower right leg and gave it a pretty good shake and threw me a ways,” he said.
This is the part where the old arm down an attacking grizzly’s throat trick comes into play.
“I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes,” said Dellwo. “So I shoved my right arm down his throat.”
At that point, the grizzly took off for good.
Trying not to panic, Dellwo regained his composure, did his best to control his bleeding, and headed down the mountain to find his brother.
Once at the truck, a drive to the Teton Medical Center and Benefis in Great Falls resulted in a few hundred stitches in his head and face, a bruised left eye, and puncture wounds on his right leg.
All and all, it was a very lucky encounter with a 400-pound male grizzly.
Hopefully you will remember this story the same way Dellwo remembered the story he read during his attack, if you are ever attacked by a large animal yourself.
If the animal is bigger than a 400-pound grizzly, just use your leg.