Sherie Hofmarks and her dog, Abby, had an encounter with a black bear and her cub in the 99 Mile Trail system on July 7. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

100 Mile House resident has a run-in with bear at the 99 Mile Trails

‘It was a flash moment of ‘uh oh.’

A run-in with a mother black bear and her cub along the mobility trail of the 99 Mile Trail System has left one dog badly injured and its owner shaken.

On July 7, Sherie Hofmarks was walking two of her dogs, along with four other dogs she was boarding, on the trail. Hofmarks stopped to give the six dogs some water when she noticed something in a wooded area but dismissed it as possibly just deer.

The four dogs, including a puppy, Hofmarks was caring for were on-leash while her two dogs Abby and Charlie were off-leash.

Usually, Hofmarks said, she is able to call back her dogs quite easily but this time Abby, an 11-year-old black lab cross and considered the pack leader, bolted out of sight.

Hofmarks said she immediately could tell something was not right.

As she was going after Abby, she heard a commotion but couldn’t make out what was happening. Suddenly, Abby came running back. Hofmarks looked up and saw a cub’s head peak up over a hill. A mother bear then appeared and followed her cub. The mother bear moved down the hill toward Hofmarks and the six dogs and stood on its hind legs.

“I have bear spray and we make a lot of noise out there and I’m always calling names to keep that sound going,” Hofmarks said. “I’ve run into them but we’ve always been able to handle the situation but when [the mother bear] was standing, it was just that feeling of [what] if she comes, what am I going to do.

“It was a flash moment of ‘uh oh’.”

RELATED: A sow black bear was tranquilized and released after unintentionally trapped in 100 Mile House

Hofmarks said she started screaming at the bear in an attempt to deter it from approaching any closer.

She noted that while she was screaming at the bear, the dogs were very quiet.

Moments later, the mother bear turned and returned to its cub. Hofmarks said she cautiously retreated from the area with the dogs, but Abby had been badly injured and needed to be carried parts of the way.

“We had to stop and I had to wait for her to recoup and when I was finally able to cut up to where a cabin is at the end of the trail I got them in there and waited it out,” she said.

At the cabin, she called her husband to come get her. When Hofmarks was comfortable enough to leave the safety of the cabin, she started off to meet her husband. Once she got to their vehicle, she called to let the veterinarian know they were coming with injured Abby.

Abby received several sutures on her buttocks area and a drain to keep the blood from clotting. Abby also received a large line of staples to close a claw wound on her underbelly.

“I took her in right away and [they] sedated her and sewed her up,” she said while counting puncture wounds.

There were about eight puncture wounds on her buttocks and legs. Luckily, there were no broken bones or internal injuries.

The outcome was a lot better than what Hofmarks thought when she initially inspected Abby’s wounds in the cabin and making sure the dog didn’t fall into shock since the adrenaline was fading as they waited.

If everything goes well and Abby is expected to make a full recovery from the harrowing ordeal.

“We have always been able to co-exist and I guess this time we had a little incident that could have been a lot worse,” said Hofmarks about her run-in with the bear. “But it’s understandable on both ends.”

ORIGINAL

Sherie Hofmarks had an experience on July 7 she’s sure she will never forget.

“I was terrified because when the dog came down I was worried about my dogs but I had my boarders,” said Hofmarks. “I have bear spray and we make a lot of noise out there and I’m always calling names to keep that sound going. I’ve run into them but we’ve always been able to handle the situation but when she was standing, it was just that feeling of preparing if she comes what am I going to do. It was a flash moment of ‘uh oh’.”

She was walking two of her own dogs and four dogs she is boarding along the mobility trail in the 99 Mile Trail system. Her two dogs, Abby and Charlie were off leash. The other four, including a puppy, were all on leashes.

At one point, she stopped to give the six dogs some water and that was when she noticed something was in the wooded areas but couldn’t see what it was. She dismissed it as a deer or something else.

She continued on with the dogs and ended up on the other side of a black bear and her cub.

“I ended up curling around so she was on the right-hand side and as I was coming down there my dog [Abby] just went,” she said.

Abby, the eldest of the dogs, is considered the pack leader among the canine group and Hofmarks the intensity of how Abby took off towards the bear was startling.

Usually, Hofmarks is able to call back her dogs quite easily but this time she ran out of sight and she wasn’t quite sure why but said she could tell that something was off.

As she was trying to get to Abby, she could hear the commotion but couldn’t make out what was happening. Suddenly, the black lab cross came running back and saw the cub’s head look up over the hill. The sow followed her cub and wondered a little way down the hill towards Hofmarks and the six dogs before standing up straight.

Hofmarks said she was screaming at the bear in attempts to deter it from approaching any further, but the dogs were very silent. Eventually, Hofmarks ended up running away with the six dogs after the bear turned around and returned to its cub.

Abby, who already had a lingering leg injury, had to be carried some parts of the way.

“We had to stop and I had to wait for her to recoup and when I was finally able to cut up to where a cabin is at the end of the trail and I got them in there and waited it out,” she said.

At the cabin, she called her husband to come to collect her. When Hofmarks was alright enough to leave the cabin she started off to meet her husband. Once she got to their vehicle, she called to let the veterinarian know they were coming with the 11-year-old dog.

Abby had to receive several sutures on her buttocks area and a drain to keep the blood from clotting. A large line of stables also a line of staples across a claw wound on her underbelly.

“I took her in right away and [they] sedated her and sewed her up,” she said while counting the puncture wounds.

There were about eight puncture wounds on her buttocks and legs. Luckily, there were no broken bones or internal wounds.

The outcome was a lot better than what Hofmarks thought when she initially inspected Abby’s wounds in the cabin and making sure the dog didn’t fall into shock since the adrenaline was fading as they waited.

If everything goes well and Abby’s wounds heal and stay clean properly, the sutures can be removed in 14 days.

“We have always been able to co-exist and I guess this time we had a little incident that could have been a lot worse,” said Hofmarks about her run-in with the bear. “But it’s understandable on both ends.”


brendan.jure@100milefreepress.net
@BrendanKyleJure

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