Alaska News

Southeast Alaska hunter survives bear attack

A deer hunter from Hoonah was injured in a brown bear attack on Chichagof Island in Southeast Alaska Saturday, and was saved when his hunting partner shot and killed the attacking bear, Alaska State Troopers reported.

Anthony Lindoff, 36, of Juneau and Josh Dybdahl, 30, of Hoonah, were approaching a brushy spot in an area of muskeg near Neka Bay on Chichagof Island, preparing to call for deer when the bear attacked around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, troopers said in an online dispatch. 

"They heard a 'whoof' and then a brown bear emerged from the brush charging at them," troopers wrote.

The bear pinned Dybdahl on the ground; Lindoff grabbed his rifle and shot the bear, killing it, the dispatch said.

The bear, a sow, had two cubs with her, according to the dispatch.

"Investigation revealed that the attack likely occurred as a result of the bear being startled," troopers said.

Lindoff and Dybdahl called the U.S. Coast Guard, which picked them up in a helicopter and took the men to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.

According to a report from Juneau radio station KTOO, the men told the Coast Guard that they'd fired warning shots at the two cubs — which they said appeared to be about 2 years old — while awaiting pickup, because the other bears "kept trying to close in."

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been notified of the incident, troopers said.

There have been numerous bear maulings in Southeast Alaska in recent months, including a Kentucky hunter attacked less than two weeks ago by a brown bear while hunting with a guide on Admiralty Island, east of Chichagof Island.