Hunter re­calls his near-death ex­pe­ri­ence with bison in Yukon

The Province - - CANADA NEWS -

WHITEHORSE — A hunter has a har­row­ing tale of sur­vival af­ter nearly be­com­ing the quarry dur­ing his first-ever 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 looked like 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 square on, 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.

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 then took out his gun and fired the fa­tal shot.

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