The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is reporting that an experienced bear hunter was mauled by his prey and hospitalized. Although he survived the attack, his condition is unknown.
“There were three people hunting–archery hunting for bear–it was legal archery hunting season in that zone of California,” said the department’s Patrick Foy.
After shooting the bear he left his perch and approached it. “When he ran up to the bear, the bear attacked him and it mauled him severely,” said Foy.
“Approaching an animal that’s injured can be dangerous or can at least put that animal in a position where it’s going to forcibly defend itself thinking it’s under threat,” he added.
“Bear attacks are really, really rare. We’ve had incidents–even recent incidents–where a bear did come into physical contact with a young guy who was camping. We’ve had a few cases over the last few years of bears, but nothing to this degree,” said Foy.
The other two hunters were not hurt. The bear, who the group estimated to be around 300 pounds, died of its wounds. Speaking anonymously, one of the hunters told the local news what went wrong.
Although the trio were experienced hunters, the man who was mauled did not wait long enough after shooting the bear to approach. The misjudgement nearly cost him his life.
In San Bernardino bowhunting season runs from August through early September. Earlier this year the California Department of Fish and Wildlife approved a petition that allows archery hunters to carry handguns for self-defense in the field.
“Hunters often find themselves alone and isolated,” said the NRA. “Not having adequate means to protect themselves from predators and criminals puts them in danger. This is especially true with the increase of illegal marijuana grows in popular hunting areas, which are often patrolled by armed gang members willing to violently defend their crops.”
“The Commission’s decision does not change the restriction as applied to deer hunting,” added the NRA. “A state statute outside of the Commission’s control prohibits any person other than specified law enforcement from carrying a firearm of any kind while archery hunting for deer.
“The NRA and CRPA are working together to change that statute so that all archery hunters can exercise their Second Amendment rights.”
Typically, hunting season for bowhunters starts earlier in the year than other hunting seasons. This gives bowhunters an advantage of taking game, if they have the ability. Bowhunting is also considered by many to be one of the more challenging forms of hunting.