Man seriously injured by bear
BURNETT COUNTY - A 63-year-old rural Shell Lake man was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities with serious injuries after being mauled by a black bear on Monday evening, June 17.
Jerry Brown was attacked at his residence on Swiss Chalet Road in the Town of Dewey at approximately 9:15 p.m., allegedly after his dog, Cricket, tangled with the bear and Brown attempted to intervene. Brown sustained multiple injuries, including to his face, but was listed in stable condition after undergoing seven hours of reconstructive surgery on Tuesday.
Cricket was treated by a local veterinarian and kept overnight for observation Tuesday.
According to information from the DNR, Brown’s brother and neighbor, Randy, shot at the bear with a .45-caliber handgun, firing at least a half-dozen shots before the bear turned away and ran between two sheds and down a ravine.
Randy told the Leader that when the bear turned away he made eye contact with it and it “was very unsettling.”
Randy and his wife, Pam, live about 40 yards from Jerry’s house, and on Monday evening,
Pam saw Jerry running toward their house, covered with blood, a large bear chasing him. She called out to Randy who grabbed a handgun and ran out to help his brother. The two passed each other in the driveway as Randy approached the bear and began firing, coming within a dozen feet of the bear.
He found Jerry’s glasses and blood in front of Jerry’s house.
Randy and Pam said they did not see the actual attack but that it appeared as if Cricket had turned and fought the bear, giving Jerry time to get away.
DNR officers brought in several bear hunters with dogs on Tuesday and kicked up the bear near the house but lost it. The DNR set up live traps near the houses, thinking it would come back to the scene. If captured, the bear will be killed. The DNR believes the bear was drawn to the property by food - shelled corn and bird feed.
DNR wildlife supervisor Mike Zeckmeister noted, “The concern is that we think that the bear may have imprinted on humans and there was food there, and that was the root cause of the attack.”
As the Leader went to press, Randy and Pam reported that they saw the bear Tuesday evening, a sow with two cubs.
Watch the Leader website (the-leader.net) for any updates to this story.