Yikes! Richard Wesley, a hunter in Ontario, Canada, recently got up close and personal in a confrontation with a black bear and luckily lived to talk about it. Wesley caught the frightening incident on camera, and he posted it to social media for all to see. At the start of the video, Wesley appears to be preparing a bow and arrow to shoot the bear and defend himself. However, the bear has a different plan. The situation escalates quickly, and the hunter finds himself in a precarious position. Check out the video here:
Richard Wesley posted the nail-biting video of the wild encounter to his YouTube channel on Monday, May 22. Since then, the scene has received a whopping 1.8 million views. Regarding the dangerous interaction, the hunter himself commented,
I am so happy after this confrontation with a black bear during our spring hunt. No wounds except a bruised elbow and ego where the bear threw me down. [I'm] genuinely happy that this was a non-fatal or tragic outcome. [It proves] that the black bear is a wild and unpredictable animal. Again [I'm] so happy with the outcome.
The video received a range of comments. Some people expressed how glad they were to see everything turn out all right in the end. Others teased the hunter for hunting with a bow and arrow but not being able to use it when push came to shove. One person joked about the stereotype that Canadians are nice and said how surprising it was to see that even Canadian bears are friendly.
More serious comments questioned Richard Wesley's method of protecting himself. Some people said Wesley did everything wrong by crouching until the bear was nearby and then shouting at the animal when it began to approach him. Although some commenters guessed Wesley should have continued crouching low to the ground and played dead, a common suggestion for staying safe in confrontations with certain kinds of bears, other people contested that point solely based on the fact Wesley faced a black bear, an animal which they suggested could be shooed away if scared.
Some commenters said a hunter should make himself or herself known to a black bear but never do so with brown bears. In fact, one commenter claimed Richard Wesley's tactic of trying to spook the large animal would have ended in disaster had the bear been a Grizzly or Kodiak. The consensus among the comments seemed to be you should stand firm and frighten away black bears but not if the bear is too close; moreover, you should back away from Grizzly bears and, well, submit to your day of reckoning with bigger creatures, such as Kodiak bears.