An enormous black bear mauled a hunter who had shot the creature with a bow and arrow and tracked it into dense woodland in Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.
Craig Lindstrom, a firefighter and friend of the victim, described how he and his fellow experienced “hunting buddies” shot the bear on Friday. Fearing the animal’s meat would spoil in the evening heat, the group waited for four hours before using the bear’s blood trail to track it several miles from their base camp.
When they found the injured creature in a swamped area, it charged - clawing and biting the victim, Lindstrom told NBC Kare 11.
The victim told officers he tried to fend off the bear by stabbing it with a hunting knife.
Using first aid skills learned as a Chicago City firefighter, Lindstrom lead his friend out of the woods northeast of the village of Duxbury, northern Pine County, where the group was able to call Pine County Sheriff’s Office.
“His will to keep going forward, I thought he was dead 10 to 15 times. He would fall down and he told us about telling his parents, his fiancée, his kids — tell them I love them,” Lindstrom told the broadcaster.
Arriving at the scene deep in the woods, the authorities soon realised paramedics would need quad bikes to reach the injured hunter.
Lindstrom told reporters his friend had since undergone surgery at North Memorial Hospital, having suffered two broken arms, wounds on his face, jaw, stomach and legs. The man is in stable condition, according to officials.
“You go into the woods, not thinking this will ever happen, legally and humanely go after a bear you shot, and it turned bad,” said Craig Lindstrom, of Wyoming, Minnesota.
Police said they did not find the bear, as they believed it did not pose a threat to the general public, and the incident is currently under investigation.
But Lindstrom claimed that after the victim stabbed the bear to death, the group spent five hours dragging the animal's carcass back to camp, and plan to mount its head as a reminder of the ordeal.
Lindstrom said that he hopes his friend will heal in time for deer hunting season from September to December, and claims the group has not hesitation over going back.
"We live for this. We live for, not necessarily shooting anything, the camaraderie, the being in the woods but doing it the right away and having fun," said Lindstrom.Reuse content