Wildcat Lake, Washington

From the Central Kitsap Reporter of August 21, 2007

Woman mauled by black bear at Wildcat Lake home

What was meant to only be a scare tactic ended poorly for a Central Kitsap woman who was attacked by a black bear on her Wildcat Lake property last Wednesday.

Although the rain has washed most of the evidence of the struggle away, there was still a pool of blood left behind from where the mauling took place.

An un-welcomed visitor that ravaged the property on a regular basis, the bear had outstayed its welcome.

In an attempt to try and scare the more than 300-pound black bear after spotting it on her property last Wednesday morning, the woman, a retired Navy doctor and volunteer Search and Rescue worker who wishes to remain unnamed, shot off her .30-06-caliber rifle, hitting the bear.

After watching it run off into the heavily wooded area that sits behind the couple’s home, the woman and her husband, went in search of the bear to kill it to prevent an attack on them or hikers who frequent the area. The couple began their search by heading over the ridge in the direction where the bear took off running.

Searching together, but letting her go ahead on the trail, it wasn’t long before the couple met the bear on a more intimate level than they expected.

“The bear was taller than I was,” her husband said. “He was hiding in the brush … then I heard movement and started walking behind her.”

Hiding in the brush, the bear then sprang out at the woman, upon which she fired again at the bear, however it took her head in its jaw with razor sharp teeth. Nicking her jugular vein and leaving deep teeth marks over her face and neck, her head was literally inside the mouth of the bear.

Not missing a beat, her husband shot five rounds into the bear with a .460 Magnum, killing the bear before it could kill his wife. The handgun had so much power, upon the recoil, he suffered a severe thumb injury, almost severing it.

“I suspect that this was his territory,” he said while pointing to the densely wooded trees and underbrush. “He was so big … people walk back there and it was our responsibility to protect other hikers.”

He added that when he was firing the rounds into the bear, his wife said she couldn’t hear the shots being fired from inside the bear’s mouth. The couple, both with extensive medical training, then bandaged themselves up and drove to Naval Hospital Bremerton where nurses then contacted the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The woman, who required surgery, was released Thursday night with a series of stitches and staples lining her face and neck and her husband with stitches around his thumb and hand.

“(They) live in a very heavily wooded area, the bear was a problem wandering on her property,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Ted Jackson. “Kitsap County has a high population of (black) bears … her husband killed it when it was on top of her.”

(More)

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