JACKSON (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan hunter says he thinks an aggressive owl is to blame for leaving him with a bloodied eye.

Jason Longbrake told the Jackson Citizen Patriot that he was in a tree stand while hunting Sunday when a screech owl apparently attacked. The 30-year-old from Jackson said he felt something slam into his head and moments later spotted the owl nearby.

Longbrake said he kept hunting for a few hours at the tree stand in Hillsdale County, located south of Jackson. After realizing that his eye was bloodied he sought medical treatment. He hasn’t lost any vision and the redness is expected to disappear.

Gary Siegrist, a naturalist at the Dahlem Environmental Education Center, said the owl may have attacked in a “territorial dispute.”

Siegrist said the owls are typically about eight inches long, weigh about six ounces and have razor-sharp, half-inch-long talons. He also said the owls have some of the best eyesight and hearing in the bird kingdom.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  1. Randy says:

    I had the same thing happen to me few years ago. It was dark and I was hunting a stand for the first time and was just getting settled in when out of the corner of my eye I see this thing coming at me. I turned real quick and got hit in the face and was wondering what the heck just happened. I could see this small owl sitting on a branch and then it came at me again. I turned and this time it didnt hit me and I never seen it again. I ended up having a scratch on my cheek and when I got home I looked up to see what kind of small owl it could be and it was a screech. I told friends and family about it and think they just thought I was making it all up or was just crazy. Looking back I thought it was seeing the whites of my eyes since I had all camo on, but it must have been territorial and glad I not the only one its happened too.

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