Black Bear Attack In North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

Reader and commenter Fred sends this report.

A large bear attacked and wounded a North Carolina hunter who says he’s lucky to have survived the encounter.

Mike Wilson was hunting on a hill in Mitchell County, in the mountains of western North Carolina, when he came face-to-face with the 390-pound bear, WLOS-TV in Asheville reported Wednesday.

“The bear was coming up the hill, and I was coming down the hill,” Wilson told the station.

Wilson said he did what any hunter would do in that situation.

“Shoot it, of course. And I did,” he said. “But trying to get another shell in my gun, it just overrun me and knocked me down the hill.”

The bear also attacked three of Wilson’s hunting dogs, killing one.

WLOS reports the bear slashed Wilson in the face and neck with its paw. He said the animal came close to severing his jugular vein.

Doctors stopped the bleeding with 30 stitches.

The bear ran off after the attack and hid in a hole. Another hunter later shot and killed the bear, the station reported.”

They were hunting with dogs.  “The bear got him and got away. It hid in a hole, but not before injuring two dogs and killing another,” according to WLOS.

NC_Bear_Attack

“A person with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission advised when you see a bear, face it and slowly walk away. You don’t want to turn your back to a bear.”

Hey, I have a different suggestion.  Always carry a side arm when you’re in the bush.  I know that brown bear is especially dangerous on the West coast and Northern states, but black bear can be quite dangerous too.  In addition to whatever long gun you’re carrying, care a pistol or revolver with you, capable of being reached very quickly.  If you carry a pistol rather than a revolver, make sure that you have confidence in it, and that it’s not prone to stovepipes, FTF and FTE.  And make sure you are well schooled in clearing weapon malfunctions under pressure.

One of the most surprising things about this report is that dogs are used to run deer, black bear, mountain lion (in Colorado and other states in the West), and feral hogs, among other animals.  Most animals in North America will run from a pack of dogs.  Not a single dog, but a pack of dogs.  In this particular case, three dogs didn’t constitute a pack.  Mike’s inability to get off another shot probably cost him a very expensive hunting dog.

One particularly amusing things about this report is found in the comments.

I’m not against hunting for food or carrying a weapon for protection, but for the life of me I will NEVER understand hunting for sport.  I cannot understand a mindset that finds pleasure in killing an animal just for fun.  To me, that’s demented.

Well, to each his own view, but let’s be clear here.  As we’ve chronicled before, modern game management techniques have increased herd sizes to vastly larger than they were 100 years ago or even more.  There are too many deer, too many Coyotes, and way too many feral pigs.  Feral pigs have closed down farms in Georgia due to the ecological carnage wrought on the land, and lethal removal isn’t enough.  It’s not even nearly enough.

There are Coyotes in inner city Chicago, and there are wolf-dog-coyote DNA admixtures all throughout the East and Southeast.  As I’ve mentioned, I’ve had Coyotes jogging down the road towards me in my own neighborhood.  The modern Coyote mixture, being a hybrid, is much more aggressive than it once was, and it’s much harder to turn them back.

Hunters will tell you that they can deal with one Coyote.  And they will tell you if they’re hiking to a tree stand in dusk and see multiple eyes on them (Coyotes also travel in packs), hunters will get out as quickly as possible.  If you are ever confronted by a pack of Coyotes, you’d better have means of egress or a good semi-automatic rifle.  An AR-15 would be perfect.  It wouldn’t for bear, black or brown.  Even carry a gun with you while you’re walking your dog.

 

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Comments

  1. On January 2, 2017 at 12:07 am, TheAlaskan said:

    Hershel, the man was lucky he had dogs to distract the bear. Probably saved him a severe mauling or even death. The thing about shooting a bear when he’s intent on ruining your day is, if you can’t stop him before he’s on you and now he’s wounded, you’re in really deep shit now. That’s why I’m a big believer in big guns…your shots need to count even if you’re off the mark a bit. You might be a dead ringer at the square range but I can assure you, your groups open up a bit when a 300 lb plus nasty is bearing down on you at race-horse speeds. Our blacks get to the 600lb range, but a 390lb bear is way more of a match than a man and his three dogs. Wounded bears are way more dangerous than angry bears.

  2. On January 2, 2017 at 5:43 am, Nosmo King said:

    I’ll not dispute the reasonableness of carrying additional weaponry when afield; it should be noted, however, that said weaponry must be of a caliber, and power level, suitable for the purpose to which it may be put. A 45 ACP, and perhaps even a 9MM with the proper ammunition, may be adequate for coyote – assuming the user has the ability to place multiple shots on target, quickly – but something in the properly-ammunitioned medium-barrel-length (4″ – 6″) .357 Magnum category is much more suitable. For larger carnivores, the bidding starts at .44 Magnum with proper ammunition, and strong consideration of the S&W .500 Magnum is not at all misplaced. Joe (or Jane) Suburbanite with an S&W Shield is immediately outclassed by anything very much larger than a standard poodle; humans often have persisted in the attack with multiple severe gunshot wounds, animals nearly always will right up to the point of death.

  3. On January 2, 2017 at 7:37 am, Horatio Bunce said:

    Depending on where and what I am hunting I have different load outs . During deer season it is my rifle of choice and my XD45 . But during bear season I pack in my rifle , my shotgun [ five 3″ shells of 00 buck] , and my XD45. [ hunt from tree stand so not carrying all day]
    The scary part of bear season for me is my 1/2 mile walk out of the woods and its now dark . On the last day of the season as I was walking out I had a coyote pack circling me . Needless to say , the rifle was slung and the shotgun was at the ready . Later the next day we checked game cams and saw the pack on camera and there were at least a dozen . Can be a bit unnerving .

    Btw , the one other thing I always have regardless of season is a good bright flashlight that s strapped to my vest .

    Also , lets not forget that in some areas like mine you may encounter moose . They WILL charge you under certain circumstances . 1000 to 1500 lb animal takes a bit to stop .

  4. On January 2, 2017 at 11:23 am, bob57 said:

    I was walking my bird dog in the northern woods two years ago when we were confronted by a very large wolf. I had only my concealed carry weapon on my at the time, and the thought that this single animal was only part of a pack, convinced me to carry my AR-10 on all future walks (plus a Glock in 40 S&W), The wolves in that area are no longer afraid of humans. In my encounter, the wolf turned away at 100 yards and trotted off into the woods.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 1st, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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