Hunter fights off bear by shoving arm down its throat

American man remembered tip from his grandmother in order to stave off attack

Grizzly Bear
(Image credit: AFP/Getty)

An American hunter fought off a 180kg male grizzly bear in Montana after shoving his arm down the animal's throat.

Chase Dellwo, 26, was hunting with his brother near the town of Choteau in Montana on Saturday when he came face to face with a 400 pound (180kg) male grizzly, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Dellwo had been trying to drive a herd of elk up towards his brother Shane who was standing on a nearby ridge when he inadvertently stumbled upon the sleeping bear.

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Dellwo said he only had time to take a couple of steps backwards before the bear knocked him off his feet and mauled him.

"He let go, but he was still on top of me roaring the loudest roar I have ever heard," Dellwo said.

The bear left and Dellwo managed to sit himself up, but the animal quickly returned.

"He came back and bit my lower right leg and gave it a pretty good shake and threw me away," he said.

The bear came at him again and it was then that Dellwo recalled a magazine article he’d read on the subject of bear attacks,

"I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes," Dellwo said. "So I shoved my right arm down his throat."

It worked and the bear ran off. After the encounter, Dellwo says he was initially disorientated but gradually regained control of his senses.

"I forced myself to calm down and not to panic," he said. "I was lost. I cleared the blood out of my eyes. If I had allowed myself to panic I would still be in there."

Eventually he found his brother who drove him to a nearby hospital for treatment. Dellwo received stitches and staples in his head, and treatment for the deep puncture wounds on his leg.

In spite of the ferocity of the attack, Dellwo said he didn’t blame the bear involved.

"I want everyone to know that it wasn't the bear's fault," he said. "He was as scared as I was."

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