In the day-to-day grind of our modern lives, it can be hard to find time to explore some of the more existential thoughts that arise from the human experience, musings on the meaning of life and our place in the universe. Over the weekend, however, a bow-hunter in northwestern Ontario was given a unique opportunity to think on these and other topics -- namely, his place in the food chain -- after being trapped by a group of loitering bears.
According to Northland News, the hunter, whose name has not been released, set out from camp with his bow at around 2:30 pm Saturday to kill animals from tree-perch in the forests near Dryden, Canada. When night fell and the man failed to return even hours after sunset, the camp's owner decided to track him down.
But instead of finding the hunter triumphantly carrying the carcass of his prey, he was faced with the real possibility of becoming one himself. As it turns out, at some point that afternoon, seven black bears had chosen the base of the hunter's tree as fine place to pass the time -- trapping him high among the branches for hours on end, lest the hunter become the hunted.
Authorities were eventually called out and the bears were driven away peacefully, allowing the hunter to climb down from the tree to safety.
There's no word on whether the bears were overtly threatening at any point in the ordeal, though they are skilled climbers and the tree would have offered little in the way of protection. Still, it wouldn't be surprising if the lucky hunter walked away from the experience with a newfound sense of humility towards nature and his place in the food chain. After all, a man can get a lot of thinking done stuck in a tree surrounded by bears.
Bear hunting has risen in popularity in recent years among sportsmen in Ontario; 6,000 black bears are killed in the region each year. Conversely, the region has recorded only 6 fatal black bear attacks on humans since the 1880s.