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Owl Attacks Cross-Country Skier’s Head Twice

Owl strikes a Red Deer cross-country skier not once, but twice. 

One unlucky Red Deer cross-country skier had an unusual experience during a ski session. An owl swooped in and left Dr. Miloslav Bozdech a sore neck and 16 scalp punctures.

The painful occurrence happened while he was skiing in the dark. This is how described the attack: “As I was going down a hill, I felt an impact on the back of my head and sharp pain in my skull… I spun around to take a look and saw nothing behind me.”

Bozdech couldn’t figure our what creature had swooped in and delivered the attack. As he was thinking of possible culprits, he saw an owl swoop and land in a tree.

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Initially, Bozdech wanted to

“Catch it and stuff it like a turkey and have it for supper, to be honest… but now in retrospect, there’s a conflict between man and nature sometimes, and I just have to respect it.”

He later kicked the tree which the owl hand landed in and it flew off. It was at this time that the owl swooped in for a second attack. The owl left Bozdech bloody and with many talon puncture wounds to his scalp.

He wasn’t sure what kind of owl it was, but Bozdech eventually learned it was likely a great horned owl.

Bozdech now wears a helmet to help prevent another similar event.

Skiers and bikers are usually the most common people to fall victim to an owl attack. Owls can be more aggressive during certain parts of the year or simply because they were startled.


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Owl Attacks Cross-Country Skier’s Head Twice