Hunter recalls his near-death experience with bison in Yukon
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.