CLARE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – The Department of Natural Resources hasn’t been able to confirm or disprove that a man was attacked by a bear in September.

Spokesman Ed Golder told The Associated Press that tests performed on material from the hunter’s knife were inconclusive, although the DNR has no reason to doubt the story.

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Ron Davis told officials he was alone in a ground blind, hunting for porcupine, when a black bear came from behind, knocked him over and attacked him. He said he used a hunting knife to stab the bear and the animal ran off.

Davis was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released. He showed scratches on his arm to WPBN-TV and said it wasn’t a “vicious attack.”

The DNR set up a trap with bacon, 100 miles north of Lansing, but no bear was captured.

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Michigan has as many as 10,000 black bears, with 90 percent in the Upper Peninsula. Bears are known to frequent locations in this area of Clare County, where the attack occurred.

Black bears are generally fearful of humans and will usually leave if they become aware that people are present. If you’re in an area where bears may be present:

• 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.

For additional information on living with bears, visit www.michigan.gov/bear.

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