tough guy – understatement


Man wrestles grizzly, gets his hands chewed, escapes, picks up rifle and kills it. Absently pops dislocated shoulder back into place before driving to hospital for treatment of minor injuries. You want to try dating his daughter?

A man from B.C.’s Interior not only survived being mauled by a grizzly – he killed the bear as well.

John Shorter, 38, was hiking near Dease Lake in Northern B.C. Tuesday when he said he smelled a bear in the area.

“I heard a woofing sound, turned, seen a grizz coming at me. I managed to get my rifle up and get one round into the chest…. At that point he got on top of me, obviously, and took me down,” Shorter said. “He proceeded to try to maul me in the back of the scalp and on the neck, and I protected my neck with my hands. They got fairly chewed up.”

The bear was biting at his hands, which were covering his neck, so he dropped his rifle. He scrambled to get it back, eventually putting some distance between himself and the bear.

He shot the animal a second time, this time killing it.

“You just put yourself in overdrive and try and not get yourself killed,” Shorter said. “It’s an amazing amount of adrenaline going through yourself…. You get lots of thoughts going through your mind but you think about, obviously, your family and it’s worth living, so fight.”

After killing the bear, Shorter picked up his rifle and staggered back to his vehicle.

“I got back in my pickup, grabbed a drink of water, got my thoughts straight. I noticed my shoulder was dislocated. I managed to pop it in myself and thought I’d better go and get some help,” Shorter said.

He drove to the nearby community of Iskut for medical treatment.

Shorter escaped the attack with what he called minor injuries. He received 40 stitches, and suffered a broken hand and multiple puncture wounds.

“You know, if you’re in that situation, all you can do is fight for all you got. I mean, I don’t think I’m any different from anyone else,” he said.

Shorter is still recovering at his home in Smithers. Conservation officials continue to investigate the attack.

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