A hunter attacked by a grizzly bear on a remote trail said he used duct tape to bind his bite wounds, then rode an all-terrain vehicle to his pickup truck and drove himself to a hospital.
BILL MURPHY said the Sept. 17 attack happened after he surprised a grizzly cub and its mother on a trail about 50 miles northeast of Anchorage where he was hunting for moose and sheep.
“I didn’t even have time to jump,” Murphy said.
Murphy grabbed his rifle but before he could raise it, the mother bear pinned him face-down.
It then clamped her jaws around his right shoulder and started shaking him like a rag. He said he felt teeth pressing against his skin, then a pop as they sliced through.
At some point, the bear let go, then stood over Murphy, panting and drooling onto his head. All he could think about was a bear attack over the summer near the Russian River where a man was bitten on the face and blinded.
“I just lay perfectly still and said, ’God, don’t bite my head,”’ Murphy said.
Finally, the bear moved away. Murphy said he got up, planning to shoot the bear, but it had broken his rifle.
Murphy said he wrapped duct tape around his shoulder and cut up a cloth bag to wrap around his thigh. He hiked out to his four-wheeler, rode about 15 miles back to his pickup truck and drove a half hour to Valley Hospital in Palmer.
The 54-year-old said he has no idea how long the attack lasted, but it felt like “two lifetimes.”
“I can laugh about it now, but I wasn’t laughing then,” he said.
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