black bear
(Photo/Menno Schaefer via Shutterstock)

Residents Kill Bear in ‘Unusual’ Self-Defense Encounter Inside Home

A Wisconsin couple sprang to their defense when a black bear acting ‘unusual’ charged through their window on May 20.

Two Wisconsin residents had to resort to lethal force to fend off a bear attack inside their home over the weekend.

The encounter took place in Medford, Wisc. In it, a married couple reportedly noticed a large female black bear prowling outside the window where they keep their bird feeder. They then tried to haze the bear off their property by yelling at it through the screen door.

But their actions produced the opposite effect. According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the scene, the bear charged toward the couple, broke a partially open window, and forced itself inside the house.

black bear attack
(Photo/Courtesy of Taylor County Sheriff’s Office)

‘Not Much They Could Have Done Different’

Taylor County Sheriff Larry Woebbeking said that the bear first attacked the woman in the ensuing altercation. The man then “jumped” on the bear in an effort to free her.

“At that point, they’re both fighting for their lives. There’s not much they could have done different, really,” Woebbeking said.

According to the department’s news release, the couple stabbed it with a kitchen knife. Then, the man freed himself long enough to retrieve a 9mm handgun and shoot it, eventually killing it.

black bear attack
(Photo/Courtesy of Taylor County Sheriff’s Office)

Evaluating the incident, Woebbeking asserted that the couple acted in self-defense and followed many correct steps to avoid the conflict.

“They weren’t outside; they didn’t encounter it outside, they didn’t provoke it, they hadn’t seen it on a repeated basis over the past several days,” he enumerated.

“It was just an incident of this bear being very aggressive in its reaction. The whole interaction took place inside the house. The couple went into self-defense mode.”

Outcomes and Outlook

Woebbeking also noted that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) participated in the investigation.

“They concur that this bear acted in a very aggressive and unusual manner,” he said.

Woebbeking said the couple “puts away their bird feeder nightly” to avoid bear encounters. He confirmed that black bears are active in the area, and bird feeders commonly attract them to houses there.

The husband and wife, who authorities have not named, called the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office shortly after killing the bear. Deputies and EMS responders found the couple with injuries, which they later received treatment for at a local hospital. The hospital has since released them. The attack did not harm their children, who were asleep in their bedrooms at the time.

The sheriff’s office said the sow bear appeared to have a cub, which ran off into the woods as the incident began. Woebbeking said his department was not searching for the cub. Nor, to his knowledge, was the WDNR, but “the last information we had was that it was a fairly large cub that could probably survive on its own.”

The WDNR took possession of the adult bear’s body for testing.

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Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson is a staff writer at GearJunkie, and several other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about climbing, cycling, running, wildlife, outdoor policy, the outdoor industry, vehicles, and more for 2 years. Prior to GearJunkie, he owned and operated his own business before freelancing at GearHungry. Based in Austin, Texas, Anderson loves to climb, boulder, road bike, trail run, and frequent local watering holes (of both varieties).