You’re 12 feet up in your treestand, bowhunting for deer, when suddenly a young black bear cub scurries up your tree, passes you, and perches on a limb above your head. Then, after it realizes what it has just done, the frightened juvenile begins bawling loudly for its mother.
Kevin Schulz of Ladysmith, Wisconsin didn’t have much time to think when he was faced with that scenario Friday evening. But he’s got time to reminisce about his ordeal now, as his wounds heal and he recovers to bowhunt another day.
Schultz, 42, found himself in a bear sandwich when a sow he estimated to weigh 300 pounds started up his tree to recover her stranded youngster. He first tried kicking her away and pushing her using his bow.
“She got me by the side and by the armpit and tried to drag me out of the tree, but I had my treestand strap holding me,” Schultz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Then she tried to pull my leg. She actually pulled my boot off. I think she thought she had me.”
During the hand-to-paw combat, Schultz dropped his bow and was pulled out of his seat by the clawing bruin, but the safety harness prevented him from falling.
“It didn’t really feel painful, it just felt super scary,” Schultz said. “I felt if I fell to the ground, the 12-foot drop would have been painful, but I think she would have killed me because she would have gone after my head and neck. Everything I was trying to do was stay in the tree. As far as pain, there was so much adrenaline I didn’t really feel pain.”
After the sow pulled off Schultz’s boot, the cub climbed out of the tree and the bears left the scene.
Despite severe scratch and puncture wounds, Schultz was able to drive to his parents’ home about a mile away. They took him to a nearby hospital, where he remained until Monday.
The bowhunter said he’s now recovering from bite and scratch marks on his foot, ankle and thigh, and a patch of flesh “the size of a hockey puck” that the sow ripped from his elbow.
Schultz told the paper he plans to resume bowhunting when the whitetail rut begins in a few weeks, but he thinks he’ll probably use a new treestand location when he returns to the woods.
Can’t say we blame him.