Watch a Fearless Bear Charge and Tackle a Bowhunter

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: November 9, 2023

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Black bear standing straight up on two back legs
© Constance Mahoney/

In an extraordinary turnaround of events, the hunter becomes the hunted in this clip. We join a bowhunter walking through a forest when a black bear appears a little further down the track. It looks fairly relaxed and is sauntering along, looking for food. However, things soon change!

We are not told where this video was taken, but black bears are found in many States in North America, including Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is one of the authorities that has issued advice on how to stay safe in areas where bears live.

Florida black bear

Black bears can have a quick burst of defensive aggression if you startle them.

©Roger Epps/

The advice states that black bears are large and powerful animals but are not normally aggressive. If you come across one in the woods, you should not panic but declare your presence by speaking in a calm tone of voice. If you startle the bear, you are more likely to get attacked.

Alter your route to avoid it if you can but always walk keeping your eyes on it. Try not to run. If it comes at you, be bold! Yell and throw things at it or use some bear spray if you have some.

Bear Attack on a Bowhunter

Black Bear Population by State

Black bears are capable of reaching 30 mph and are impressively agile, their bulk notwithstanding


The bear suddenly spots the bowhunter and does not even wait to check him out. The animal immediately charges. The hunter tries to scare it off by moving around and shouting but that does not work and the bear comes racing toward him.

In a surprisingly agile move for such a large animal, the bear leaps over a pile of wood and tackles the man to the ground. At this point, he drops his camera, so we don’t get to see the tussle – but we do hear it! When the camera is retrieved, the man is running away along the track and is clearly shaken.

What we are probably seeing here is a quick burst of aggression that bears sometimes use when they become aware of the presence of a human.

It is a defensive action and is more likely to happen if the bear suddenly realizes that you are there when it is already close to you. It is meant to intimidate and scare you rather than seriously injure you, and it is telling you to go away. We think this bowhunter got the message!

Is It Normal for Black Bears to Attack Humans?

Black bear with powerful paws

Black bears are normally shy and stay away from humans.


Black bears are the most common and widespread species of bear in North America. They are generally shy animals and prefer to avoid contact with humans. In most cases, a black bear will flee if it senses a human presence. However, they are still wild animals and can become aggressive if they feel threatened or disturbed.

It is normal for a black bear to search for food, especially during the summer months, when they have cubs to feed. They may scavenge through trash cans, campsites, and other human-made areas, looking for food. It is important for people in bear-inhabited areas to secure food properly and not leave food out in the open.

It is also not unusual for black bears to climb trees and even stand up on their hind legs to look for food or check out a potential threat. They are strong and can easily climb up a tree to escape danger.

Although it is rare, black bears have been known to attack humans. This usually happens when a bear feels threatened or if a person gets too close to a mother bear and her cubs. In these cases, it is important to stay calm, back away from the bear, and make loud noises to scare it off.

Overall, it is normal for a black bear to exhibit certain behaviors in North America, but it is not normal for them to attack a human. People should be aware of the risks of living in bear-inhabited areas and take necessary precautions to stay safe.

Size of Black Bears

Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in autumn forest. Wildlife scene from nature

The lovely

Asiatic black bear

can weigh up to 250 pounds.

©Volodymyr Burdiak/

Black bears have a wide range of sizes, depending on their age and species. Adult black bears typically weigh between 100 and 600 pounds and can reach lengths of up to 6.5 feet. Depending on the species, cubs can weigh as little as 4 ounces at birth, while adolescent black bears can weigh up to 140 pounds.

Different species of black bears can also vary in size. For example, the American black bear is typically smaller than the Eurasian black bear, and the sloth bear is the smallest of all black bear species. In addition, smaller breeds of black bears, such as the sun bear and the Asian black bear, are typically shorter and weigh less than the larger American and Eurasian black bears.

Other Amazing Animal Videos You Might Like:

A grizzly rushes into a river right up to a bull elk which attempts to get away from it. But when that fails, it turns around to fight. However, it does not seem capable of putting up much of a struggle. The bear subdues it and drags it to the shore. Approaching land, it shakes its shaggy coat, no doubt anticipating a delightful meal of hard-won elk.

Click here to watch the video!

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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