Fort St. John man takes a lesson on backcountry preparation from bluffing black bear near Fernie

B.C. man recounts "surreal" meeting with bear near Fernie Alpine Resort

A hiker had a close call with a black bear near Fernie.

FERNIE, B.C.—A Fort St. John man says never again will he go for a backcountry run without bear spray after a confrontation in southeastern B.C.

Tom Coveney says he was running near the Fernie Alpine Resort, just south of Fernie, when he was challenged by a black bear.

He says it was “scary and surreal” as he tried to get to safety while the bruin made three bluff charges.

The speed of the bear amazed Coveney, who says running away was the “dumbest thing” he did.

He reached safety, unharmed and recounted his half-hour ordeal to conservation officers.

Coveney says he was told officers may trap and relocate the bear, but he’s just thankful it was curious, not hungry.

“He never made a sound, he never stomped his feet, if he wanted to attack he could have, he had every opportunity to. It almost felt like it was a game,” says Coveney. (MooseFM)

The Canadian Press