Out in the Open·Video

'We were taught to never be scared of anything in the bush': Why this man tried to brush off a bear attack

WATCH: Richard Wesley was out hunting in northern Ontario, bow-and-arrow in hand, when a bear attacked him. Richard tells Piya how he initially brushed off the experience as no big deal, and what happened when he came to terms with just how close he'd really come to the end.

WATCH: Avid hunter nearly loses his life after being attacked by a black bear

Richard Wesley was out hunting in northern Ontario with his bow-and-arrow when a black bear attacked him. (Jukin Media)

This story was originally published on January 11, 2019.

Richard Wesley was understandably overcome with emotion after surviving a bear attack. But along with feeling shocked and scared, he also felt really embarrassed.

"I'm supposed to be this great big hunter, and then this bear just runs me over and jumps on me," Wesley laughed to Out in the Open host, Piya Chattopadhyay.

Wesley was out hunting in a remote area of northern Ontario with his bow-and-arrow in hand, when he noticed a black bear in the distance. In an instant, the bear charged at Wesley and knocked him to the ground before running off.

"When he come right at me, you can see his claws and his teeth, like when he jumped up," Wesley recalled of the attack.

You can watch footage of the bear attack below.

Note: This video contains explicit language.

'I could have been gone'

Miraculously, Wesley went back to his cabin that day practically unscathed, physically and emotionally. In fact, he casually laughed off the whole incident.

"My dad was a trapper and hunter," he said, "we were taught to never be scared of anything in the bush."

Days later, when he shared the story with his family, he slowly began to understand the seriousness of the incident.

"We watched the video footage — my stomach just tightened. And my wife started crying," he said.

And once he saw his father's reaction to the video footage, Wesley wholeheartedly came to grips with almost losing his life.

From left to right: Richard Wesley's son, Corey, his father, Lawrence, and Richard (Submitted by Richard Wesley)

"At that moment, the look on his face, he was in total shock. I think he realized that I could have been gone," Wesley said.

"Instead of admitting that I'm scared, and I probably should have went and talked to a professional about what happened, but I just downplayed it."

Now, Wesley has a different outlook on life. Mainly, he no longer takes things for granted. He shows more affection, and hugs his loved ones tighter.

"You really realize how important family and friends are after something like this happens. Instead of taking relationships for granted, you really start hanging onto things," he said.


This story appears in the Out in the Open episode, "Close Calls".

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