Bear attack survivor recounts the terrifying fight for his life


A hunter who survived a savage attack from a wounded bear has spoken for the first time about the terrifying fight for his life.

Brandon Johnson, 44, fought off the 525lb black bear he was tracking with a hunting knife after he was attacked in woods near Duxbury, Minnesota, on September 27.

He has spoken with KSTP about how the bear bit his face, arms, chest and leg while he stabbed it repeatedly in the head with his knife. The bear pretended to leave on two occasions only to resume its attack.

"At the very beginning I didn't know where I was, I was looking up at the sky and this bear was biting my face. I didn't know what happened, I didn't see the bear coming," he told KSTP.

"I felt its tooth going underneath my jaw. Just at that instance I said this isn't a dream. I still had the knife in my right hand pinned on the ground and it's standing on top of me and I just stabbed it right in the face," he said.

The attack last for between 20 and 30 minutes, with Johnson's friends, Trever Lindstom and Craig Nowack, carrying him a mile to their four-wheelers to get him medical help, a journey that took three hours, according to the Star Tribune.

The bear, which had already been wounded by a hunter's arrow prior to the fight with Johnson, was found dead later that day.

Costly injuries

He has undergone multiple surgeries since his ordeal, in which he suffered two broken arms and a hyper-extended wrist bones that he says caused his hand to spin in the wrong direction.

Both he and his friends are now fund-raising to help him cover his hospital bills, which are extensive, with a helicopter airlift to the trauma center in Robbinsdale costing $30,000 alone.

He is looking to raise $10,000 from an online collection, which you can see here, of which more than $6,500 has already been raised. A benefit is also planned for January.

Next Up

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher basketball

Gophers offense disappears in loss to Northwestern

The Gophers are quickly falling out of NCAA tournament contention.

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.