A North Okanagan man is lucky to have escaped serious injury after an attack by a grizzly bear.
A hunter was out looking for game when he walked into an area near the Harris Creek forest service road, south of Lumby, Saturday.
“He saw a brown blur come at him and it knocked him down,” said Barb Leslie, a conservation officer inspector with the Ministry of Environment.
The man used his rifle to poke the bear in the face but there was no opportunity to fire a shot.
“The bear broke off within a few seconds when the (man’s) partner came upon the scene.”
A grizzly bear sow and her cubs were seen leaving the area. It’s believed they were feeding on a deer carcass when the hunter came upon them.
The confrontation created the potential for serious injury or death.
“The individual is extremely fortunate that he didn’t sustain any injuries,” said Leslie.
With hunting season well underway, Leslie is urging anyone visiting the backcountry to be cautious.
“Bears are not denned up yet and they are feeding and people need to be aware of their surroundings,” she said.
“If you are seeing bear prints in the snow, you may want to consider where you are going.”
It’s not known if the sow bear had killed the bear or if she and the cubs just came across the carcass.
“There are wolves and coyotes in that area,” said Leslie.
Conservation officers continue to receive complaints about nuisance bears in residential neighbourhoods and rural areas in the North Okanagan.
To keep bears away, residents are asked to secure garbage cans ad barbecues, clean up ripe fruit and remove bird feeders and pet food.
“They are looking for food sources right now,” said Leslie of building up fat reservoirs for hibernation.
“Don’t leave anything out that bears can get into.”