PGC Rules Clearfield County Bear Attack Case of Wrong Place, Wrong Time

JERSEY SHORE – Following an investigation into an incident in which a hunter was injured by a bear in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer David Carlini said that he has concluded that no illegal actions took place and was simply a matter of the hunter being in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

On Nov. 25, in Lawrence Township, a hunter was following fresh bear tracks in the snow that went into the cornfield. While he was in the middle of the cornfield he heard and then saw a bear run away from him from about five or six cornrows away and then it turned and ran back toward the hunter. As this bear ran by him at about three feet away, the hunter sensed something to his rear and, as he was turning around to look, was hit by a second bear.

The victim suffered puncture wounds, bites and gashes, but nothing life threatening. As the two bears ran off, the hunter walked to a dirt road and was taken for medical treatment.

To search the cornfield, Carlini enlisted the assistance of Onyx, a female Labrador retriever specially trained by the Game Commission to locate evidence related to wildlife-related crimes and to retrieve hidden evidence, and Lancaster/York Counties Land Management Group Supervisor Linda Swank, Onyx’s exclusive handler since her recruitment into the agency’s canine division in 2001.

“We found no evidence of a wounded bear or bears, no blood trails and no den sites,” Carlini said. “It simply appears to be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time: in between two bears. Why these two bears were together is unknown.”

To read the victim’s account of the attack, click here.

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