A Montana man has hundreds of stitches and staples in his head and face, a swollen left eye, and some puncture wounds on his right leg, but is lucky to have escaped with his life after a tangle with an estimated 350 to 400-pound grizzly bear over the weekend. Chase Dellwo, 26, was bow-hunting elk with his brother Shane, 30, in windy conditions with snow and rain on Saturday, when he and his brother split up to drive an elk they were tracking up to a ridge.
Dellwo had just quickened his pace after hearing the bull elk bugle, and did not notice the sleeping grizzly bear until he was only a few feet away from it. Unfortunately, due to the howling wind, the bear was equally as surprised, and bears tend to handle being taken off guard differently than you or I might handle it.
The bear knocked Dellwo off his feet and bit down on the top and back of his head. “He let go, but he was still on top of me roaring the loudest roar I have ever heard,” Dellwo said. The bear left and Dellwo managed to sit up.
“He came back and bit my lower right leg and gave it a pretty good shake and threw me a ways,” he said.
The bear came after him again. “I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes,” Dellwo said. “So I shoved my right arm down his throat.”
Luckily for him, he was right and the bear took off, and his brother was able to quickly get him to a hospital 20 minutes away where doctors patched him up. Dellwo has got no hard feelings towards the bear, saying that he “wants everyone to know that it wasn’t the bear’s fault,” and that the bear was “as scared as he was.” I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that the 400-pound killing machine was just as scared as the much smaller thing it actively was trying to kill, but then again, I wasn’t there.
When asked for advice on how to prevent a bear attack, Dellwo suggested carrying bear spray, although he admits that, in his case, the spray would not have worked due to the windy conditions.
(Via Great Falls Tribune)