NC Wildlife Resource Commission officials say a hunter was injured by a very large bear in Sterling Creek on November 2. 

Captain Andrew Helton with the wildlife commission says the hunting party and their dogs had treed a massive 375 lbs. male black bear around 11:30 a.m. With treeing, once the bear is high enough, one hunter takes the dogs while another shoots at the animal. 

In this case, Helton said the bear was shot multiple times before falling from its perch. Rather than retreat, the animal went after the hunter holding the dogs. 

Helton said the man was bitten twice – once in the stomach area, and on both legs. He suffered several scratches from the bear’s claws, as well. 

The hunters told officials the bear kept coming for the hunter, forcing him to back up – and eventually fall down a long embankment. The bear fell with him, and then finally took off. 

EMS was requested, and Helton says it took them nearly three hours to rescue the hunters, as they were in a very remote area. 

Crab Tree Fire Department, Haywood EMS and Fines Creek Fire Department all responded to assist. The hunter was treated for his injuries at an area hospital, and has since been released. 

Helton said they were able to locate the bear about 100 yards away – dead near a creek. 


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