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Guide goes after wounded brown bear, is charged, injured

Bruin shot several times, found dead 30 yards from where attack occurred

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2004

After a wounded bear tore at his leg and arm Monday night on Admiralty Island, a licensed game guide was reported as "alert" in the Sitka Community Hospital.

Scott D. Newman, 39, of Petersburg, declined to talk with the Empire Tuesday. Alaska State Troopers reported that he had suffered fractures to his left leg, left arm, left ankle, right arm and right forearm.

The brown bear that attacked him was found dead Tuesday morning, trooper Spokesman Greg Wilkinson reported. It was about 30 yards from the attack.

Troopers who interviewed Newman at the hospital said he and his client spotted a bear near Pybus Bay on the southeast side of the island at the end of a 10-day hunt, Wilkinson said.

Phil Mooney, wildlife biologist for the state Department of Fish and Game in Sitka, said Newman's client had shot the bear twice. Newman returned the client to other family members on the boat and went to recover the bear alone.

Mooney said Newman followed the blood trail a short distance into the brush until the bear, within 15 feet of him, charged. He fired his rifle once more, striking the bear, but it grabbed him.

Wilkinson said the bear bit Newman's legs and arms before turning away and lying down. Newman pulled out his radio and called the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard advised troopers that they responded by helicopter and flew him to Sitka.

"He spent most of the night in surgery," Mooney said Tuesday afternoon. "At last report, he was alert and doing fine."

He said he did not know the size of the bear that attacked Newman.

"The bear was wounded," Mooney said. "Any wounded animal can be pretty formidable, and a brown bear in particular."

The bear was skinned and the hide sent back to Petersburg with members from Newman's camp, Wilkinson reported.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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