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We were hunting an old cut, my buddy was 40 yards above me on a logging road and I was parallel him below on a logging road. The dogs were hunting above, below, and between us, we came together at the end and dropped off into another cut then started hunting our way back out. We came to the old cut we had just hunted and the dog went into the cut, this cut was full of MTN Laural, he wasn't 30 yards from us when the fight happened. The other 2 dogs went toward the fight and we started yelling and screaming going that way, this is probably what saved Blitz's life. The fight only lasted 5-10 seconds a the most. There was a loud sound, fight sound, and then Blitz yelping. Blitz came crashing, running to the lower logging road... You could tell the leg was broke as soon as we saw him and his face was bleeding very bad.... We thought at first he might have impaled a branch from the bottom of his chin up thru his snout, but after seeing the bite print on his face and chin we knew it had to be a bear. We did not see the bear. Living where we live and the vets seeing enough bear attacks also confirmed it was a bear. Imagine a bear with his mouth wide open and biting down on a dogs head and that was exactly where the punctures were. Where we hunt is known for having a large population of black bears. Our friends who bear hunt killed 18 last season in this area so we know they are there.

Most times we don't see bears because they run before we ever get to them but this was a perfect storm. My buddy was above and I was below and dogs were all around so the bear had no where to go so he just hunkered down. When we came back thru the dog just ran right into the bear and the bear's only option was to stand and fight. That's what we think happened..

He ended up having a metal plate on each side of his leg with 10 screws thru the bone attaching the plates. While under for the surgery they cleaned the punctures, he had 2 punctures clean thru from his chin to his mouth and one very deep in the back of his mouth. They x rayed his head and found he also had a broken jaw.

Blitz is doing good. The vet called yesterday and said he went outside to use the bathroom and he was putting pressure on the front leg, this is good according to the vet. He also ate some can food which is also a good thing. They don't think there will be any issue with the jaw, it was broke far enough back that he should be fine. The big thing is infection and so far he's not ran a fever so everything is looking good on that front also. If he maintains his current condition we will bring him on Monday.

Blitz came home today and is enjoying life. We go back in 2 weeks to x-ray the jaw again to make sure it's healing well. If you didn't see the swelling and scar you would never know anything was wrong with his leg, he's not limping and he wants to go. The next 10 weeks of house and crate life is going to kill him but hopefully being spoiled by the kids and wife will make up for him not hunting.... As good as that sounds I'm positive he would rather be in the woods.
 

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Glad everyone made out OK. We encountered on Christmas eve under a treetop den. I noticed the bear had no real fear of the dog. We got the dog out of there. When I stepped in to take picture the bear took off out the back leaving what looked like a blizzard of snow.
 

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Very glad to hear that Blitz is recovering.
 

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wow I hope he makes a full recovery. Last winter a guy I work with lost a dog while bunny hunting due to a bear in Armstrong county.
 

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Glad he's okay, bummer about the leg. Hope he fully recovers.

You should put a post in the small game forum as well linking over to this topic. There were a large number of self-proclaimed experts in a thread there awhile back all but denouncing the possibility of what you've gone through.
 

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Nice to see he is going to be OK. Here at my homestead bears are around most of the time. I also see alot more of them due to working in the woods. I can tell you that they have different personalities. The vast majority of them are fearful of man, but I have also encountered some "Thugs" that are fearless. More than likely your dogs caught that one by surprise. Your Blitz ought to be just fine in the house with Mama!
 

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I'm glad he is recovering. Most likely the dog went after the bear and it stood it's ground. I have seen my dogs have run-ins with bears. One of my dogs treed a bear once. Another time I had a golden retriever catch up to one and it stood and fought. My golden kept it runnig in circles while she tried to bite it from behind. Fortunately, the bear finally moved on without getting a hold of her.
 

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Good to hear he will be alright.
 

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Volraider,
Sorry about your dogs encounter with a Bear, in reality the dog is very lucky to be alive. I hope Blitz is recovering and healing. You never know Blitz may have saved your life, I was rasied in the back woods of Potter County, Pa. Where we have lots and lots of Black Bear,
they are like any other animal, some good some bad.
Most times here in the east they are way over fed and simply walk away from anything that smells of human contact,
which your dog does, got to admit this incident with the Black Bear is a strange one. However just this year we had a Black Bear here in Pa follow a dog into the masters home, and darn near kill the owners. Because I am in the woods here training our Grouse dogs most all the time, I tell my clients to always carry enough gun to protect their animals and themselves, from any and all wild animals & criminals. Not seeing the Bear tells me the dog just may have been safe guarding you. That Black Bear knew you were in his home area when you were just under a mile away. Good dog Blitz, real good dog.

Pine Creek/Dave
 

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Pine-Creek said:
Volraider,
Sorry about your dogs encounter with a Bear, in reality the dog is very lucky to be alive. I hope Blitz is recovering and healing. You never know Blitz may have saved your life, I was rasied in the back woods of Potter County, Pa. Where we have lots and lots of Black Bear,
they are like any other animal, some good some bad.
Most times here in the east they are way over fed and simply walk away from anything that smells of human contact,
which your dog does, got to admit this incident with the Black Bear is a strange one. However just this year we had a Black Bear here in Pa follow a dog into the masters home, and darn near kill the owners. Because I am in the woods here training our Grouse dogs most all the time, I tell my clients to always carry enough gun to protect their animals and themselves, from any and all wild animals & criminals. Not seeing the Bear tells me the dog just may have been safe guarding you. That Black Bear knew you were in his home area when you were just under a mile away. Good dog Blitz, real good dog.

Pine Creek/Dave
can you psot a link to the story where a black bear in PA followed a dog into a home and near killed the owner?
 

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They were treated and released that day, I thought he was refering to another one. Serious injuries but not near death
 

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I’m glad to hear your dog is doing well.

I thought about the possibility of a bear encounter while I had my GSP out pheasant hunting today. There is an area around a gas well pad where they pushed up a lot of large brush piles made up of treetops. Those brush piles often hold some pheasants and is on the way to one of the backfields on the game lands that I like to hunt. My dog was snooping around these large brush piles when I started thinking about how many times I had crawled into such places to tranquillize a sow and tag her and her cubs. Worried that he would crawl into a bear den I called my dog out of there and headed back into the areas away from those brush piles.

Bears have small cubs right now and they will defend them against just about anything that crawls into the same brush pile of laurel patch they are using as a den site. I saw a case where a bear killed a dog that crawled into the den with her and her cubs.

It is unfortunate when bears and hunting dogs collide but I suspect mostly it occurs when a dog enters a bear’s den, otherwise the bear would have just run away from the dog.

If I were you I would avoid taking my dogs near that clear-cut for the rest of the winter because I would give you odds there is bear with cubs denned in close proximity to where your dog had the encounter. If you get close to the spot and listen closely in another month or so you will probably be able to hear the cubs in the den unless they are underground. If you do find a den don’t tell nay one about it except the local WCO. The WCO would probably want to go in and tag the sow and cubs before they leave they den.

Dick Bodenhorn
 
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