Black bear climbs tree to gnaw on deer hunter in Wis.

ByJennifer Hoff, KARE
Sunday, October 31, 2021
Black bear climbs tree to gnaw on deer hunter
In western Wisconsin, a black bear climbed a tree a hunter was in and gnawed on him!

TREMPEALEAU COUNTY, Wis. -- A curious black bear roaming around below is not something a hunter ever wants to see when they're up in a deer stand.

In western Wisconsin, it took just seconds for one curious bear to climb a tree a hunter was in and have a taste!

"It's not totally uncommon for a bear to go into a tree with a hunter," said Dalton Roach, who was bit by the bear. "But the fact that he actually starting gnawing on me and stuff, like that was a little abnormal."

When asked what it felt like, Roach said, "It's hard to put into words."

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The 25-year-old was bit in the back by a nearly 300-pound black bear, KARE reported.

"Obviously, he was a curious bear," Roach said.

He first saw the bear from his deer stand and started recording it from 20-feet up.

"By the time he was under my tree and then up behind me, [it] was 15 total seconds," he said.

With its paw in his lap and fresh puncture wounds, Roach realized he couldn't panic.

"I kind of pulled myself out and then stood around, and turned kinda in one motion to then face the bear and then just started yelling and hollering, 'I get it you're here, but I need you to leave," Roach recalled.

But the bear would linger below for another half hour before wandering off.

Roach then talked on the phone with a friend for the quarter-mile trek back to his truck.

"I was honestly kinda laughing about it because it's one of those situations that, obviously, doesn't happen every day," Roach said.

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He then made a trip to the ER later and got a rabies vaccine.

"That hurt more than the bite itself," he said.

Doctors doubt Roach will even have a scar, but it's still quite the story to tell.

"I think it makes it a little less believable because I think people are under the impression if a bear bites you, you're missing something," he said. "So it's, along with it being a cool story, it can be an educational tool too."

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said bears are on the move as they try to find food before hibernating. They added that they're pretty skittish too, so make a lot of noise and back away if you see one.

Attacks are rare, with the Wisconsin DNR reporting four people have been hurt in the state since 2013 and no one has been killed.