‘God help me, I’m go­ing to die’

National Post (Latest Edition) - - NEWS -

• A hunter has a har­row­ing tale of sur­vival af­ter nearly be­com­ing the quarry dur­ing his firstever bi­son hunt in Yukon.

“All I seen was horns,” Todd Pilgrim said, de­scrib­ing the mo­ment on Nov. 7 when an in­jured and en­raged bi­son charged at him as he tracked it through bush in Car­ma­cks, north of White­horse.

Pilgrim said he shot and wounded the an­i­mal just a few min­utes ear­lier, but it es­caped into a nearby grove of trees.

He fol­lowed the bi­son’s blood trail and found a spot where it l ooked l i ke the wounded an­i­mal had rested. Pilgrim thought the an­i­mal was se­ri­ously wounded. But he said he had lit­tle warn­ing be­fore he was at­tacked.

“I turned to my left and big horns to the head just took me out,” Pilgrim said.

“If he had hit me squareon, a 1,400- pound an­i­mal, I would be dead.”

Pilgrim, a nat­u­ral re­source of­fi­cer with the Yukon gov­ern­ment, said the blow briefly knocked him out and he awoke to find him­self in more trouble.

“I’m smoth­er­ing in his chest fur, bi­son fur,” Pilgrim said. “It came to me, ‘ Oh my God, I’ve been at­tacked by the big­gest land mam­mal in North Amer­ica.’ ”

The bi­son was try­ing to grind him into the ground, he said. A wound over his left eye was drip­ping blood. He was on his back and the bi­son was stand­ing over him. His ri­fle was un­der him.

“I said, ‘ Holy cow!’ I’m scream­ing, I’m scream­ing. I said ‘ God help me, I’m go­ing to die.’ ”

Pilgrim said he kept re­peat­ing “You’re not go­ing to kill me,” and some­how man­aged to wrig­gle free and stand up.

He darted be­hind a tree. The bi­son fol­lowed. And then the bi­son stopped. Pilgrim took out his gun and fired the fa­tal shot.

De­spite a con­cus­sion and gash on his fore­head, Pilgrim was not se­ri­ously hurt. A doc­tor or­dered a week’s rest.

“It was sur­real,” he said.

TODD PILGRIM / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Nat­u­ral re­source of­fi­cer Todd Pilgrim has a har­row­ing tale of sur­vival af­ter tan­gling with a bi­son.

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