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The Department of Natural Resources is investigating a reported black bear attack in northern Michigan that sent a 46-year-old hunter to the hospital.
The man told officials he was hunting porcupine around 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Clare County when a black bear attacked him from behind. He was able to stab the bear with his hunting knife and was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
The DNR said it suspects the bear is injured, and a bear trap has been placed in the area. However, the attack hasn’t yet been confirmed because the man was the only witness.
According to the DNR, Michigan has an estimated population of between 8,000 and 10,000 black bears, 90 percent of which live in the Upper Peninsula.
The DNR recommends that travelers in bear country follow these tips:
- Avoid surprising the bear by traveling in small groups and making noise
- Stand your ground if you encounter a bear. Never turn away, run or play dead. Slowly back away.
- Make yourself big and talk in a loud, stern voice
- Always fight back with any tools you have (including your hands) if attacked
- Use bear spray, which has been proven effective in fending off the animals