Bear Attack Injures Hunter

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BIRCHWOOD, Wis. (AP) -- A deer hunter in northwestern Wisconsin is recovering after being jumped by a black bear.

Jim Zemaitis, 40, said the bear attacked when he was on a deer drive with his hunting group Thursday in Nice Lake Marsh near Birchwood.

At first he said he just saw a black spot and thought it was a burned stump, but soon learned it wasn't.

"I saw teeth and then it reared up on its hind legs, charged me and I rolled over into a ball, started screaming," he said.

He put his hands over his head.

"Pretty soon I felt the bear on me and then chomp, chomp," he said.

His cousin Rick Zemaitis said he heard his screams and found his cousin with a bear on his back.

Rick Zemaitis said he was able to scare away the bear.

"I've been bitten by dogs but it feels more like a clamping instead of a biting," Jim Zemaitis said.

He suffered puncture wounds, three stitches and a lot of bruises.

"They told me I was kind of calm but I don't know I was shaking like a leaf for 15 minutes," Jim Zemaitis said.

He said the incident won't deter him from hunting, although he may consider carrying a gun from now on during deer drives.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources web site, adult male bears average 4 1/2 to 6 feet in length and weigh between 250 and 500 pounds and females weigh between 225 and 450 pounds and measure 4 to 4 1/2 feet long.

Around 11,000 black bears live in mostly the northern part of the state.


Information from: WEAU-TV,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)