A Falling Bear Seriously Injured an Alaska Hunter in Chugach National Forest

Falling-Bear-Alaska
 Barcroft Media / Getty

When you go hunting in a National Forest (yes, you can do that), you might worry about branches or rocks falling on you from above—but usually not a fully grown bear.

While hunting in Chugach National Forest in Alaska, 28-year-old William McCormick and 19-year-old Zachary Tennyson, Army soldiers from nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, spotted a bear on a cliff above them and shot it. According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the injured bear then stumbled over the ridge and fell onto McCormick below.

Loose rocks also fell on the hunter and caused “life-threatening injuries.” Luckily Tennyson was unhurt in the incident and was able to call for help. They were airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, where McCormick is in serious condition, a local TV station reported. McCormick was struck by a 200-pound black bear, and the animal died of its injuries.

During this time of year, bears can reach their highest weight as they prepare for winter hibernation.