Man attacked by bear in good spirits

A conservation officer says a 60-year-old hunter who was mauled by a bear in Hudson's Hope, B.C., is in good spirits in an Edmonton hospital.

Brad Lacey said the man will have another surgery to treat wounds on his face, torso and legs.

Lacey said Friday that another conservation officer visited the man in hospital and learned he was hunting alone on the northeast slope of Butler Ridge when he was startled by the bear.

The hunter, whose name is not being released, likely came upon the grizzly bear while it was feeding, possibly on berries or rosehips, Lacey said.

"They're on a push, as much as they can, for calories in order to prepare for hibernation."

The hunter shot the bear when it was about six metres away, but it's not known if he actually hit the animal before it sank its teeth into the man's face.

"The bear came out and hit him up high on his body and actually knocked him down," Lacey said of the account the hunter gave to the other conservation officer who visited him in hospital.

"Then the bear worked its way down his body, down to his boots."

The hunter lay still for a while before driving himself to a home where he got help from a first-aid attendant working in the oil-and-gas industry.

"He knew what the closest assistance would be," Lacey said of the injured man's survival instincts last Saturday.

The hunter was then airlifted to hospital in Fort St. John before being transported to Alberta.

Lacey said the man's son has said his father will be recovering in hospital for several weeks.

Conservation officers have not found the bear.

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