A St. Luise Cardinals minor league pitcher was bitten by a bear while bowhunting out of his treestand. in Wisconsin.
Dalton Roach, a 25-year-old who plays for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram it was the first time he had ever seen a bear on the family-owned land he’s hunted many times.
Roach told the paper he was in a treestand about 20 feet off the ground and grabbed his cellphone to record the bear. At first, the bear was just walking around, but when he got about 20 yards away, he turned and went directly under Roach’s tree. When he heard scratching, he realized the bear was climbing the tree. Roach said suddenly the bear was right behind him and he could feel his breath on his back.
“Then I feel a paw on my lap. He just kind of left the paw sitting there, so it’s not like I wanted to make a big move and make him squeeze,” he told the paper.
Roach said he realized the bear was biting him when the gear on his back got tight. He had always heard bears are more scared of people than the other way around, so Roach spun around to face the bear he believed to be about 250 to 300 pounds, made himself look as big as he could, and began yelling. He had a safety harness on, so he wouldn’t fall out of the tree. Roach said the bear backed down. After a while the bear walked off in the opposite direction of his vehicle, so he headed for his truck.
below is a statement from Cardinal nation and a picture of the injury.
The Saturday evening incident began innocently enough with Dalton Roach, 25, watching as the bear meandered around the Trempealeau County woods where he was hunting for deer.
Perched in a tree stand nearly 20 feet off the ground, Roach took cellphone video to document his first wild bear encounter from what he thought was a safe vantage point.
“He was just kind of moseying around. He didn’t look like he was on any kind of a mission or anything,” Roach recalled Monday. “But when he got to about 20 yards away, he took a left turn and came directly under my tree.”
At that point, Roach, a 2014 Memorial High School graduate who plays professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield, Missouri, stopped filming and started pondering his options.
“I thought, ‘OK, it’s time to put the phone away. I want to be hands-free now,’ “ Roach said.
That’s when he heard a scratching noise and realized, to his horror, that the bear was climbing the tree directly toward him.