The Telegram (St. John's)
Man confronted by black bear while salmon fishing
Angler reminding others to take precautions when in the wilderness
Darren Davis says he’ll never again be caught on a brook without a can of bear spray, and he is reminding others to be cautious.
The Hare Bay angler was salmon fishing in the area of the old bridge on Traverse Brook, approximately two kilometres from the main road, along the old highway, with a group of friends last Sunday evening.
After a couple of hours of fishing, his friends moved on from the area, but Davis decided to make one last attempt at landing a salmon before angling closed for the day and darkness set in.
He was fishing when heard a trotting noise in the water. Davis thought it was a fisheries officer, coming to inform him that the time had come to end angling for the evening.
“I turn around and five feet away from me is a black bear staring at me,” he said. “He was close enough to hit him with my dip net.”
So he made the swing, which drove the large animal back about 15 feet to shore.
The bear didn’t response well to the move.
“He started growling at me, jumping on the ground,” Davis said.
“I was bawling at him for about 15 minutes to try and get him to move on.”
But the bear wouldn’t budge, so Davis picked up a rock and tossed it at him.
The bear ran up onto the bridge, staring at him, before coming back down to confront Davis again, who was still in the water.
“It was to the point where it was getting dark and I didn’t know how I was going to get out of it,” he said.
Fortunately, there was cellphone service.
“I was able to call friends from Hare Bay, which is nearby, to come up with a shotgun to drive the bear off.”
The encounter lasted about 45 minutes, he said.
Davis estimates the bear to have been 700 pounds, which made for a scary confrontation.
“I’m a big lad — 300 pounds, six foot three inches, and I’m always in the woods by myself, so not much scares me,” Davis said. “But this bear gave me a fright. I’ve never seen a bear this aggressive, and he meant business.”
Davis has since issued a warning on social media about a bear being in the area, and he’s asking all anglers to take precautions when in the wilderness. One item he’ll have from now on is bear spray.
“This was a monster of a bear, and he was sizing me up, so this is about personal safety,” he said.
“Me, personally, I know that I’ll never be caught out on the brook without a can of bear spray ever again. I certainly wish I had it on me that day.”