Hunter attacked by bear in Barron County - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hunter attacked by bear in Barron County


Barron County (WQOW) - Sometimes when you go hunting you come across animals you're not looking to hunt. A Barron County grouse hunter's encounter on Saturday put him and his dog in the hospital.

"It was a spot where he would have never seen this bear laying on the ground," said DNR Conservation Warden Phillip Dorn.

Phil Anderson was hunting ruffed grouse at the Loon Lake Wildlife Area when he heard branches cracking. He thought it was a deer but it turned out to be a black bear.

"I heard my dog squealing in distress and I kind of figured out what was happening," Anderson said.

Anderson's dog had encountered a mother bear and her cubs in Barron county.

"I yelled for the dog and immediately the adult bear came from that direction and charged at me and knocked me on my back," said Anderson "She batted me a few times and shook me and then she went back to my dog."

After regaining his feet, Anderson yelled at the bear hoping to scare it. The bear left the dog and charged Anderson again. This time Anderson was prepared and was able to shoot the bear point blank in the face with birdshot, a lightweight ammo that typically would not down a bear.

"Birdshot doesn't really penetrate that well from distances," said Dorn "but this was very close range. Probably within three feet."

The 275-pound bear died instantly.

Anderson and his dog were able to walk three quarters of a mile to his truck. He then drove home where he and his wife assessed his injuries and drove to Cumberland hospital. From there he was airlifted to Regions Hospital in the Twin Cities to have his wounds cleaned and closed.

"I have wounds on my arm from my elbow to my wrist where she bit me and I have scratches on my torso to my waist that had to be closed up," said Anderson.

Now a few days removed from their encounter with the bear, Anderson and his dog are resting at home.

"We're both on the mend, "Anderson said "We're a little bruised a little sore but we're doing well and I'm sure we'll both be just fine."

Even with this recent incident Anderson says once he is better he'll be back out in the woods just like he has been for the last 50 years

DNR officials say that bear attacks are pretty rare in Wisconsin. According to the DNR there have been three attacks in Wisconsin this year.  But prior to that, the last documented attack in Wisconsin was more than a decade ago.

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