Not many people can say they survived a grizzly bear attack, even less can say they survived being attacked twice by the same bear. While that alone sounds like a pretty remarkable tale, a Montana hunter took being a bad ass to the next level when he pulled himself up out of the dirt, blood streaming down his face from a massive gash in his skull, and hiked three miles to his truck to drive himself to the hospital.
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention he calmly made a video of himself describing his ordeal.
Surviving a Grizzly Bear Attack
We’ve talked about what you are supposed to do during a bear attack in the past; but as with most areas of survival, even the best plan can go wrong in a flash.
Todd Orr was out scouting elk in the Montana backcountry; he knew this was bear country, so he did everything by the book. Every 30 seconds or so he hollered, “Hey bear” so as to not surprise any bears on the trail.
Three miles into his hike, Todd walked up on a Grizzly bear and her cubs. Seconds later he was being charged at full speed by an angry grizzly bear. Orr says he unleashed a full load of bear spray right at the grizzly at about 25 feet. It did nothing. The bear continued to charge right through the orange mist, slamming into Orr and sending him face first into the dirt.
Orr says he unleashed a full charge of bear spray right at the grizzly, at about 25 feet. It did nothing. The bear continued to charge right through the orange mist, slamming into Orr and sending him face first into the dirt.
For what Orr says was at least a couple of minutes, the bear continued to maul him, biting him again and again all over his body. He says each bite was like a sledgehammer, digging into his flesh.
The bear continued the attack, until it finally disappeared, leaving Orr bloody and bruised.
He picked himself up, made a quick assessment of his injuries and decided he had to make the three-mile hike back to his truck. Ten minutes into his trek to safety, Orr again came face to face with the grizzly. This time, the attack was even more brutal.
The bear slammed down on top of him, piercing his flesh with her teeth.
“One bite on my forearm went through to the bone and I heard a crunch. My hand instantly went numb and wrist and fingers were limp and unusable. The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath.
The sound triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again so I huddled motionless. Another couple bites to my head and a gash opened above my ear, nearly scalping me. The blood gushed over my face and into my eyes. I didn’t move. I thought this was the end. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck and I would bleed out in the trail… But I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a laid motionless hoping it would end.”
The bear suddenly stopped and stood there smashing Orr’s chest into the ground. He laid there silent, trying to peak through his blood soaked eyes, unable to see anything as the blood pooled inside his eyelids. And just like that, the bear again disappeared.
Orr grabbed for his pistol, hoping to be able to fend off another attack which would surely kill him. The pistol wasn’t there; it was knocked loose during the attack.
Drenched in blood, Orr again assessed his injuries. He realized he could make the 45-minute hike back to his truck without losing too much blood; he had no other choice. He began to jog.
Once back at his truck, he stopped to take a couple of pictures of himself and a video describing the attack. He then calmly laid down some jackets on his truck’s seats, jumped in the truck, and headed towards the hospital.
In his Facebook post about the event Orr describes the ride to the hospital.
I stopped a rancher along the way and asked him to make a call to the hospital. When I got into cell service, I made a quick call to my girlfriend to ask how her morning was going, before freaking her out and asking her to bring me a change of clean clothes to the hospital.
Another call to 911 and I gave the operator a quick rundown of my injuries and asked her to call the hospital and give them a heads up that I was ten minutes out.
Moments later I was met at the front door by the doctor, nurse and an officer. I had to ask the officer to open the door, put my truck in park, and unbuckle my seat belt. My left arm was useless. He was impressed I had taken the effort to buckle.
A lesson in Real-World Survival
I’ve seen some people criticize him for taking the video, but until you’ve been in the same situation I think you might want to think twice! The fact is he survived; making the video and allowing himself to recount the ordeal may have been what put him in the right mindset to make the drive to the hospital. During a survival situation, the ability to deal with fear is a crucial element to surviving a crisis. I believe, making the video allowed him to calm down and release some of that adrenaline. It gave him a chance to clear his head before he made the drive.
During a real-world survival situation, plans can quickly spiral out of control. Orr’s ordeal shows what it takes to survive; is also shows how the will to survive, and having the right survival mindset are probably the most important things you can possess during a crisis.