A 49-year-old bear hunter from Shepherd, Mich., was injured Sunday night (Sept. 11) when he was attacked in his tree stand by a female black bear in Mackinac County, west of the village of Trout Lake, the Department of Natural Resources reported today.
The hunter sustained non-life threatening lacerations to his legs and was transported to a local hospital by a member of his hunting party.
According to initial reports, the hunter was seated approximately 10 to 12 feet above the ground in a tree stand when a female bear and three cubs approached. The sow climbed up the tree and clawed at the hunter and he attempted to kick her to fend off the attack. The bear retreated momentarily, and then returned up the tree to again claw at the hunter. At that point, he was able to shoot the bear with his rifle as it was attacking him.
Investigation of the incident is ongoing by the DNR and Michigan State Police.
The black bear is the only bear species native to Michigan, with approximately 90 percent of the bear population living in the Upper Peninsula. Black bears are shy by nature, and have a fear of humans. However, a perceived threat to cubs can provoke a mother bear to attack on occasion.
For more information on bears in Michigan, including how to prevent problems between bears and humans, go to www.michigan.gov/bear.