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MAULED: Disabled Vet Describes Bear Attack As ‘Most Violent Thing I’ve Experienced’

Instincts took over and saved his life

While you never want to be attacked by a bear, knowing what he did might help you beat some long odds.

Even if many of our readers would really rather have a gun on hand in a situation that goes off the rails like that one.

The thing about getting attacked by an apex predator — unless you have some kind of a plan to survive, there’s s good chance they’re going to finish what they’ve started.

When Shayne Patrick Burke, a disabled Army reservist, was attacked, he put it at the top of the list of violent situations he’s been involved in — including being shot at, taking mortar rounds, or even exploding IEDs.

When the mama bear came at him, he grabbed his bear spray, locked his fingers behind his neck, protected his vitals and hung on for dear life.

He didn’t get out unscathed. Not even close. But he did get out.

A photography trip in Wyoming looking for a shot of a Great Grey Owl the weekend before last went off the rails when a bear interrupted his plans.

He was walking though the trees and unexpectedly stumbled on a bear cub. Mama bear was NOT happy about that chance meeting and charged him. He deployed the bear spray, but she kept coming. So he held the spray tight in his hands, flopped on his stomach, and protected his neck.

He said the bear bit him on the shoulder, legs, buttocks, slammed him to the ground and stood on his back before going for his neck for a “kill bite.”
“I still had my hands interlocked and my arms protecting my carotid arteries,” he wrote. “I never let go of the bear spray can. As she bit my hands in the back of my neck she simultaneously bit the bear spray can and it exploded in her mouth. This is what saved my life from the initial attack. I heard her run away, I looked up and instantly ran in the opposite direction up a hill.”
When hurrying back to his wife, he texted her “attacked” and applied improvised tourniquets to his legs.
While they waited for help to arrive, he filmed a video saying goodbye to his loved ones in case the worst happened. But soon a helicopter and ambulance arrived and he was taken to a hospital.
“The No. 1 thing that kept me alive during the attack was reading and understanding what to do in the event of a bear attack and being prepared with the bear spray,” he wrote. “Though I am not sure if I got to spray any at the bear, having it on me and keeping it in my hands while protecting my vitals 100% is the only reason I am telling my story now.”

It’s one of those reminders that life can be much shorter than we think… and we should live accordingly.

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Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck