Man hurt after suspected black bear attack in northern Michigan

Posted at 1:37 PM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-19 13:37:23-04

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is investigating a potential black bear attack that sent a man to the hospital.

DNR says that at approximately 7:30 PM Thursday evening, a 46-year-old man was alone in a ground blind hunting for porcupine. The man claims that a black bear came from behind and knocked him over in an attack. He fended off the bear using his hunting knife, which he used to stab the bear and scare it away.

The bear is expected to be injured at this time.  The DNR is placing a bear trap in the area.

The man was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries and was released.

According to the DNR, Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears, with 90 percent of the population living in the Upper Peninsula.

The DNR would like to remind the public that black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present. They provided some tips that should be remembered if you’re 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.

Additional information about dealing with bears can be found at the DNR website.