Hunter left fighting for his life after a bear he shot landed on top of him
A hunter has been left fighting for his life after a bear he shot fell and landed on top of him.
William McCormick was flown to hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday after his hunting trip to Carter Lake, south of the city, went badly wrong.
The 28-year-old is currently being treated for "life-threatening injuries" after being crushed by both the bear he shot and a rock that became dislodged when the mammoth creature stumbled down the slope. State officials refused to say whether the bear had been killed.
According to the Department of Public Safety, McCormick, a soldier stationed at Alaska’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, had been out hunting with fellow soldier, 19-year-old Zachary Tennyson, who was left uninjured.
Both men are reportedly soldiers serving with the base’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at the nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson; McCormick is a specialist and Tennyson is a private first class.
A statement from the Department of Public Safety explained the incident in greater detail:
"On 9/29/18 at approximately 1208 hours, Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center received notification via an in reach device about two individuals in distress above Carter Lake. The pair were hunting in the area and shot a bear above them on a ridge. The bear rolled down the slope dislodging rocks in the process. One hunter, identified as William McCormick, age 28 out of JBER, was injured when he was struck by both a rock and the bear. His hunting partner, Zachary Tennyson, age 19 of JBER, was uninjured. Alaska State Troopers, Bear Creek Fire Department, Moose Pass Volunteer Fire Department, and Lifemed all responded to the scene. McCormick was hand carried to a Lifemed helicopter and transported to Anchorage Providence with life threatening injuries."
It has not been stated what type of bear was shot; there are several species of bear in Alaska; with an estimated 30,000 brown bears and 100,000 black bears.
After the public was made aware of the incident, people took to social media to give their thoughts on the situation. Many expressed sympathy for the bear that had been shot, with a Twitter user going by the username of @PaulTenor writing: "The word ‘hunter’ just makes everyone side with the bear! Hope the bear recovers!"
Others blasted people for their lack of empathy for the hunter who is fighting for his life, with @jrobhartley putting: "So you guys know zero facts associated with this other than the bear was shot and the shooter injured and you say good? I love animals too but don't you think you're [making] assumptions? So quick to judge for enlightened people."
The National Park Service is currently planning to relax hunting regulations in the national parkland of Alaska, with the intention to overturn practices banned by the park service back in 2015.
Under these modified regulations, a hunter would be able to use a dog to hunt black bears, harvest brown bears over bait, take black bears over bait and take any black bear - including cubs and females with cubs - using artificial light at den sites.