Montana hunter Todd Orr was in the backcountry spotting elk Friday when he came across a meadow with a mama grizzly bear and her two cubs. According to an essay posted to Orr's Facebook page, along with a video and several images, what happened next is hard to believe and something Orr will never forget:
He was viciously attacked by that bear — twice.
From Orr's Facebook post:
Knowing that bears are common throughout southwest Montana, I hollered out "hey bear" about every 30 seconds so as to not surprise any bears along the trail.
About three miles in, I stepped out into an open meadow and hollered again. A few more steps and I spotted a sow Grizzly bear with cubs on the trail at the upper end of the meadow. The sow saw me right away and they ran a short distance up the trail. But suddenly she turned and charged straight my way. I yelled a number of times so she knew I was human and would hopefully turn back. No such luck. Within a couple seconds, she was nearly on me. I gave her a full charge of bear spray at about 25 feet. Her momentum carried her right through the orange mist and on me.
That's when the bear began to attack Orr, clawing and biting him all over his body. To protect his neck and face, Orr said he rolled into a ball and put his arms over the back of his neck. Still, the mama bear continued to attack.
However, the bear suddenly stopped. More from Orr's post:
Stunned, I carefully picked myself up. I was alive and able to walk so I headed back down the trail towards the truck 3 miles below. As I half hiked and jogged down the trail, I glanced at my injuries. I had numerous bleeding puncture wounds on my arms and shoulder but I knew I would survive and thanked god for getting me through this. I hoped the bleeding wasn't too significant. I really didn't want to stop to dress the wounds. I wanted to keep moving and put distance between us.
About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me. Whatever the case, she was instantly on me again. I couldn't believe this was happening a second time! Why me? I was so lucky the first attack, but now I questioned if I would survive the second.
This time, the attack was much worse. According to Orr, the bear stood on top of him, crushing his face and chest into the ground, while chomping through his left forearm and nearly scalping him. Just as suddenly as the bear twice attacked, she stopped again, leaving Orr for dead.
However, Orr was able to get himself up and run back to his truck, where he called his girlfriend and called 911 to inform them of what happened and that he would be soon arriving at the hospital. Orr said in his post that he did have a pistol on him during the attack, but never had enough time to draw it because of the animal's speed.
All in all, Orr wrote that he is simply thankful that he was able to escape with his life, despite having a five inch gash on his head and missing a piece of his arm bone. He even required eight hours worth of stitches.
"Not my best day, but I'm alive. So thankful I'm here to share with all of you," he wrote. "In a couple weeks I will have to clean out the truck a little better. My girlfriend says it looks like I had gutted an elk in the drivers seat."
But despite being in shock from the incident, Orr was able to record a 49-second video of himself after the attack and prior to him driving to the hospital. It has gone viral, receiving more than 21 million views in less than 24 hours.
Bear attacks have been common over the last several weeks in Montana. Two hunters were injured in separate attacks in late September, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
You can read Orr's entire post here.
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