State Wants To Euthanize Bear That Attacked Hunter

bear crossing State Wants To Euthanize Bear That Attacked HunterMichigan wildlife officials will try to euthanize a mother black bear that mauled a bow hunter in a tree stand along with her three cubs in the northern Lower Peninsula.

21-year old Chad Fortune said the mother bear and three large cubs attacked him Saturday evening in a stand in Emmett County’s Bear Creek Township, near Petoskey.

The Walloon Lake resident was hunting deer when the attack occurred. He said he punched, kicked and screamed at the bears as they tried to reach the tree stand, about 15 feet off the ground. Fortune was rescued two hours later and received 40 stitches in his leg.

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said Tuesday that the mother bear is dangerous because she’s lost her fear of humans.

“There have been several other reports of this bear and her cubs wandering around houses, so we have no choice but to err on the side of caution,” said Russ Mason, the department’s top wildlife official.

“I know that if we do euthanize her it will get some people angry, but the cubs are old enough to make it fine on their own,” Mason said. It also may not be possible to kill her, he added.

“The problem may solve itself,” Mason noted. “The bears will be going into hibernation for the winter in two or three weeks.”

Fortune, a car dealership service adviser, said he thought of his fiancee and their 3-month-old twin sons as he fought off the bears. At first, he said, he didn’t think he was badly injured.

“I could feel some blood dripping, but I didn’t know how bad I was hurt,” he said. “I thought at first that it had just kind of scratched me.”

Fortune said a man who lives near where he was hunting “had all four of those bears up on his front porch, and they weren’t afraid of him. People are seeing a lot more bears around here.”

Fortune said he isn’t sure he’ll be going back to Bear Creek Township anytime soon, but if he does he plans to be more heavily armed.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • DocPlum

    Euthanizing this bear is an absolute ABOMINATION! The “hunter’s” self-righteous indignation is pathetic. I’m sorry, but if anyone is going to HUNT they should accept the risks as one would when driving a car, for example. But I suppose someone like this guy would be the last to shoulder any responsibility and the first to blame anyone else. Relocate the bear. I know it can be done and there must be (hopefully) still SOME wilderness areas where the bear would be unlikely to come into human contact.

  • 3putt

    DocPlum, take your dunce cap off and go send another check to PETA. The bear attacked him because it lost fear of humans, not because he did something to deserve it. They don’t want to put it down because of this one incident, but because who knows what it’s going to do next. So what happens if the bear mauls a kid waiting for a school bus or some lady walking her baby in a stroller? Once a bear loses that natural instinct of man, it compounds. Those cubs are also being taught to not fear man, but they are young enough that they could be relocated.

  • Realist

    I agree with DocPlum. You go into one of the few areas left where bears live and bear signs are up. It’s like walking out on the express way and wondering why a car might hit you. You take the risk, you know there might be bears out there and you want to Euthanize them when someone gets hurt. Take responsibility for yourself. Let the cubs be with their mother and hibernate like bears do.

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