Jake Blackmore was hunting elk in the woods near Fernie, B.C., with his 16-year-old son when he heard a sound coming from behind him.

He turned around, and to his horror discovered he was being charged by a massive female grizzly bear. 

"She basically hit me about a second later — just handling me like a rag doll," he said.

"I was pushing on her face trying to hit her away, yelling at her hoping she would go. She backed off a little bit, grabbed me by my leg and shook me real good."

The bear backed off momentarily to chase away her whimpering cub, giving Blackmore time to compose himself and raise his rifle — but soon enough, the bear was back.

"She came around the tree that I was behind just roaring, coming to get me. And I tried shooting her in her mouth and grazed the side of her face," he said.

28 stitches

Blackmore said that for a moment he thought he was in trouble — in his panic he had accidentally unloaded two of his bullets. So after shooting once, he clicked on an empty gun.

Luckily, the first shot was enough to scare the bear off, and she disappeared into the woods.

"It wasn't lethal, it wouldn't have killed her," said Blackmore. "It just spun her around and she took off, following her cub."

Blackmore's son took him to hospital, where he received 28 stitches.

Conservation officers have decided not to destroy the bear, a decision that Blackmore said he is fine with.

"She was protecting her baby and I respect that," he said.

With files from Bob Keating