Fort St. James man survives bear attack

It was a beautiful day in Hazelton BC when Randy Rawluk, 64, of Fort St. James got the surprise of his life.

CLAWS: Randy Rawluk shows off his war wounds after a surprise battle with a bear in Hazelton a few days ago.

It was a beautiful day in Hazelton BC when Randy Rawluk, 64, of Fort St. James got the surprise of his life.

Rawluk and his brother-in-law Ray Sturney and wife Maureen Sargent decided to go for a nature walk. The trail they hiked wraps around the Skeena River just before the Four Mile bridge – a known well-used trail in Hazelton. Little did they know that on this particular day on that particular trail awaited a near-death surprise.

“My dog was up ahead on the trail and suddenly came running back full speed with a bear right on her butt. Ray let out a yell and I let out a yell which did take the focus off the dog..but now the bear was just a meter away from me and went on its hind legs. He slapped me with his claws and then bit me on my arm,” Rawluk said, as he rolled up his sleeve to reveal large claw and teeth marks.

The three screamed louder, frighting the bear which then took off quickly, Rawluk said.

“It went from a predatory attack on Zoey to seeing us and becoming defensive. The one bite mark was pretty deep but the claw marks are the most painful because their big scratches. In Fort St. James I hike up Mount Pope about three days a week in the summer and this was still the closest encounter I’ve ever had with a bear,” Rawluk said.

A trip to the hospital verified Rawluk did not sustain any permanent injuries or need any stitches.

No person or dog was injured from the incident.

“I didn’t even have time to be scared, it happened so fast. When it was all over I had so much adrenaline,” Rawluk said.

The next day a conservation officer questioned the group on where they saw the bear. After investigating the area, the conservationist found that the bear’s den was directly underneath a popular spot on the trail which has now been closed until authorities figure out what to do, Rawluk said.

“He was an average size bear but looked big when he was chewing on my arm,” Rawluk joked.


Just Posted

Crews increasing containment, Shovel Lake fire

The fire hasn’t moved closer to Fort St. James on the east or north sides

Shovel Lake wildfire, highway 27 and pipeline

It’s close to one and reached another

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Four-legged evacuees, Vanderhoof

Local physician opens up her property for 60 dogs and numerous horses

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read