Alberta hunters recall close bear encounter after video goes viral
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 4:17PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 16, 2018 9:43AM MDT
Mark White and his 14-year-old friend, Davin Grunow, were hunting on treestands near Bonnyville when a boar chased a pair of black bear cubs, and one of the bears climbed up the tree where the teenager sat.
At one point in the now viral video, the bear leans into Grunow and sniffs him. The teenager doesn’t flinch.
“I knew he was coming straight for me. I was pretty scared,” Grunow said. “It felt like 10 minutes from when the bear came up. I was shaking like a leaf.”
White talked to Grunow prior to the hunting trip about what to do if they encountered a bear. When the bear got close to the teenager, the adult made slight noises to get the animal’s attention.
“I was pretty scared,” Grunow said. “I look over at Mark and he whispers to me, ‘Don’t move,’ so I stayed as still as I could.” … “I thought to myself, ‘If the bear didn’t know I was there, he’s not going to do anything,’ so that’s what was going through my head mostly.”
“I’m watching him and I’m thinking to myself, ‘He has no emotion,’ and he did exactly what I told him to do,” White said.
After about 40 seconds, the bear climbed back down. White says the bear left with his mom after the boar went in another direction.
“It was a big relief when he started walking back down the tree,” Grunow said.
Kim Titchener, Bear Safety & More’s Founder, would prefer it if people did not post these kinds of videos online.
“You can look at YouTube and be shocked and amazed by the number of people who are posting pictures and videos of themselves with wild animals for their enjoyment and the problem with that is someone is going to get hurt.”
For White and Grunow, it was a scary situation in the moment, but they survived it, and now they have an unforgettable story.
“It’s an experience me and Davin did, and why not share it? … No one got hurt,” White said.
With files from Nicole Weisberg