The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a 46-year-old man was injured Thursday evening, September 17, in a suspected attack by a black bear in Greenwood Township, Clare County. The man was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., the man was alone in a ground blind, hunting for porcupine. The man said a black bear came from behind, knocked him over and attacked him. Using his hunting knife, the man stabbed the bear, which scared it off. The bear is thought to be injured.
The DNR was informed about 45 minutes later. Sgt. Jon Wood spoke with the individual and advised him to seek medical attention. The DNR’s Law Enforcement Division is continuing to investigate the incident.
The DNR is placing a bear trap in the area. The DNR is asking the public to be mindful of the department’s efforts to capture the bear. If a bear is sighted in the area of Greenwood Township where the incident occurred, please contact the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline, 800-292-7800.
Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears, with 90 percent of the population in the Upper Peninsula. Bear frequent locations in this area of Clare County, where this attack occurred.
The DNR reminds the public that black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present. Here are some important facts to remember when you are in an area where bears may be present:
- To avoid surprising bears, travel in small groups and make noise.
- If you encounter a bear, stand your ground and then slowly back away. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and don’t run. Do not play dead.
- Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.
- If actually attacked, fight back with a backpack, stick, or bare hands.
- Carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.
For additional information on living with bears, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/bear.