Wisconsin man shares his story of being attacked by grizzly bear - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin man shares his story of being attacked by grizzly bear in Montana

Posted: Updated:

HELENA, MT (WKOW) -- Reedsburg's Jim Schroeder survives an attack by a grizzly bear in Montana's Glacier National Park through his survival instincts, and his preparation as an experienced outdoorsman.

"I carry pepper spray,"  Schroeder says.

The 64-year old Schroeder tells 27 News he was off-trail near the park's Mt. Henkel Tuesday when spotted an adult, female grizzly and two cubs several hundred yards away, foraging for food and flickering in and out of view.  Schroeder says he waited an hour to try to ensure his route down from higher ground did not intersect with the bears.

Schroeder tells 27 News his descent was beneath a shelf of cliffs.

"All of a sudden, all hell breaks loose,"  Schroeder says.  "(I hear) This tremendous roaring sound, and three bears come flying down off the cliff above me,"  Schroeder tells 27 News.  "She landed...right next to me."

"So I was looking straight into her face while she had me by the leg, shaking me,"  Schroeder says.

Schroeder tells 27 News when he first saw the bears, he had taken the safety cover off the bear spray he carried in a holster in the front of his back pack as a precaution.

"I just grabbed the pepper spray out and let her have it smack dab in the face.  She dropped me instantly, and ran off,"  he says.

Park official Katie Liming says Schroeder received puncture wounds to his lower leg and injuries to his hand.

Liming says the attack on the Wisconsin man is the first, grizzly bear attack in the park this year.

Schroeder says he believes the attacking sow was startled by his proximity.  Park rangers says the bear's response was defensive in nature.

"She didn't charge from a distance,"  Schroeder tells 27 News.

Schroeder says he's encountered many bears in his dozens of visits to the park, and thousands of miles he's negotiated in hikes of its terrain.

The Reedsburg man tells 27 News being clutched in the bear's jaws sparked not panic, but resolve.

"It was just, 'Keep your head, and do what you have to do."

********

HELENA, MT (WKOW) -- A Reedsburg man says "there was a tremendous sound" when a female grizzly bear attacked him in Glacier National Park.

The man survived the attack by the mother grizzly.

Officials at Glacier National Park say a grizzly bear injured the 64-year old man after he surprised the sow and two cubs while he was hiking off-trail Tuesday in the Many Glacier Valley.

The sow grabbed and shook the man until he was able to deploy his bear spray.

The encounter left the hiker with puncture wounds to his leg and injuries to his hand.

Officials say the man hiked back to his vehicle and drove to a hospital emergency room, where he was treated and released.

For more on the victim's escape from the terrifying encounter, and photos from his fateful day, visit wkow.com and watch 27 News at 6, for the exclusive story of the long-time outdoorsman brush with the attacking bear.

*****

   HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Glacier National Park officials say a grizzly bear injured a Wisconsin man after the hiker surprised the sow and two cubs.
   Park officials said in a statement Wednesday the 65-year-old man was hiking off-trail Tuesday in the Many Glacier Valley when he encountered the bears.
   The sow grabbed and shook the man until he was able to deploy his bear spray. The encounter left the hiker with puncture wounds to his leg and injuries to his hand.
   Officials say the man hiked back to his vehicle and drove to a hospital emergency room, where he was treated and released.
   Park rangers say the bear's response was defensive.
   Park officials did not release the man's name or hometown.

Powered by Frankly