Man Fights Off Grizzly By Shoving Arm Down Its Throat

If a grizzly bear attacks you, one way to fend it off is to stick your arm down its throat. Really.

Casey Dellwo recovers from the bear attack; photo by Jo Dee Black
Casey Dellwo recovers from the bear attack; photo by Jo Dee Black

Unorthodox advice? Maybe, but that method kept a bruin from killing a bowhunter when he was attacked in Montana this past Saturday.

According to a report by the Great Falls Tribune, Chase Dellwo, 26, was bowhunting for elk on Saturday morning with his brother near Choteau, Mont.

The brothers were pursuing an elk herd that included a bugling bull when Chase walked within three feet of a sleeping bear. Because of the wind, the bear didn’t hear or smell the man approach.

“I had an arrow nocked, and I put my bow up in front of me and took two or three steps back,” he told the newspaper. “There wasn’t any time to draw my bow back.”

The bear attacked, biting him on the head and leg. That’s when Casey remembered an article that had been clipped from a magazine and given to him by his grandmother. It mentioned that large animals have strong gag reflexes.

He shoved his arm down the bear’s throat, ending the attack, Casey said.

The brothers successfully returned to their car and after “20 minutes of driving too fast” made it to a medical center where he was treated for his injuries.

He has now sustained a “couple hundred stitches and staples in his head, some stitches on his face, a bruised and swollen left eye, and deep puncture wounds on his right leg,” according to the newspaper.

Chase was not carrying bear spray at the time of the attack, and due to the wind, it may not have been effective. But he still recommended carrying it as the best advice he could give to others after having been mauled by a bear.

Well, that, and maybe shoving your arm down its throat as a last resort.

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By
Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.
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