Nelson deer hunter squares off with bear, escapes in canoe

Cab driver Chris O’Gorman nearly lost his prize to a hungry ursine on Lardeau River.

Nelson cab driver Chris O’Gorman had a close encounter with a bear last week.

He could see glowing eyes in the foliage.

Nelson hunter Chris O’Gorman was field-dressing a bagged deer on the bank of the Lardeau River last week when he heard something crashing through the bush nearby. That’s when he saw an ursine snout peek out from the trees.

“I’m dragging the deer back to the canoe when I hear a large animal crashing through the brush toward me,” O’Gorman told the Star.

“I jump backwards to the edge of the river, yelling, knife in hand. I could see the glowing eyes of a bear through the brush. He was huffing and puffing and grunting aggressively, crashing around the bush at close range.”

But O’Gorman wasn’t willing to give up his prize.

“In nature, size matters, and he was telling me that he was coming to take my deer and there wasn’t a damn thing I was gonna do about it. And the worst part was that my rifle was leaning on my pack 50 feet away.”

So he slowly made his way along the shoreline.

“I kept hollering at him as I slowly retrieved my gun, telling him he was welcome to the gut pile but he wasn’t taking my deer.‘Give me two more minutes and I’ll be outta your hair!’”

O’Gorman returned to the deer carcass, tentatively.

“I got back to my deer, rifle in hand. My eyes darting back and forth, still yelling, trying to sound brave. I was expecting his charge at any moment. I heaved the deer into the canoe unceremoniously and pushed off with my paddle.”

Nelson residents mostly know O’Gorman from a 2014 rescue in which he used a canoe to rescue a senior citizen near Slocan Pool. He won a Lifesaving Award for putting his life at risk in order to save the man, but this time the only award was the fresh-killed meat.

“This was my last outing of a great hunting season. Time to hang up the rifle and take down the skis, and see what adventures winter brings,” he said.

Just as he pushed out into the current, it began to snow.

 

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