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Black bear injures hunter near bait station off Parks Highway

A hunter was released from the hospital Saturday after he was injured by a black bear near his bait station, roughly 30 miles southwest of Cantwell, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Alaska State Troopers first learned about the injured hunter around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, after he walked about a mile to the highway for help, said troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain.

Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the hunter had a bait station set up off the Parks Highway. A black bear was lured to the area.

What exactly happened next is unclear.

"My understanding is he shot at the bear," Marsh said. "He may have wounded it, I don't know. He went after it. And there was an encounter, and he did sustain some injuries."

At some point, the hunter killed the bear, Marsh said. Then he walked back to the highway, where his vehicle was parked near Mile 180, and stopped a passing driver for help, according to DeSpain.

The hunter was transported to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer, said Ken Barkley, fire deputy director with the Mat-Su Borough Department of Emergency Services. He said the bear had bitten the hunter's arm. The hunter also had injuries to his face.

The agencies have not released the hunter's name.

Marsh said the hunter planned to return to the area off the Parks Highway with friends Saturday to salvage the bear.

"This was in an isolated and remote area," Marsh said. "It's just a bear and man situation that's been resolved."

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