FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A Fort St. John, B.C., man says he saved his life by plunging an arrow into the neck of a grizzly bear that landed on top of him and drove his head “in the ground.”
Rory Chapple, president of the New Totem Archery Club, escaped with ripped pants and a sore back after the seemingly hungry bear came at him.
Chapple, 39, was camping and hunting with friends at Kechika River in northern B.C. when the attack occurred.
“I’ve had black bears stare me down and go the other way, but it’s my first real experience with the charge and it looked like she was coming for groceries more than anything,” he said.
Chapple and his friends had made the trip to the Kechika River for the seventh year and he believed there weren’t many bears in the area.
Chapple was walking along the same trail he’d used for several days and was about 300 metres from camp when he turned around to discover the mother grizzly bear.
“I just heard ‘huff huff’ behind me and I turned around and she’s on full charge,” he said after the early-morning incident last week.
“She was on a dead run and I thought usually a sow with cubs will bluff charge and stop and try to scare you but she was definitely not stopping.”
“I had time to get my bow up in front of me and I was backing up as fast as I could and I tripped and fell. And just as I was falling down she lunged to get on top of me (and) then I stuck her in the throat with an arrow.”
Chapple said he’s thankful for his archery skills but didn’t didn’t have enough time to put the arrow onto the bow.
Adult grizzlies can weigh up to 270 kilograms, and Chapple said he could certainly feel the weight.
“All I had was a bow and an arrow so I just grabbed an arrow and started backing up and screaming and hollering at her,” he said.