Black Bear Attacks Dog and Man in the Adirondacks

The hiker is in the hospital and expected to survive. The dog was treated and will also survive.

Adirondack Black Bear and NYS DEC Tech 2012

Normally, black bears in the Adirondacks who show too much interest in humans are trapped, studied, and relocated.

Statement from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

On Tuesday, August 11, at approximately 5 p.m., a 55-year-old man from Troy, NY, was walking his small dog in the Stewart’s Landing area of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the Town of Stratford, when the unleashed dog encountered a bear. The bear attacked the dog and then the dog owner after the man tried to separate the animals. He was able to strike the bear on the nose with a stick causing the bear to run away. Both the victim and his dog suffered bites, scratches, and puncture wounds. The injuries to the man are not considered life threatening.


Following the attack, the victim walked out to Stewart Landing Road with his dog where a passing motorist picked them up and transported them to the end of the road. A second motorist arrived and helped to contact emergency services. An S&S Volunteer Ambulance Service responded to the scene and transported the victim to a hospital in Utica. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian.


New York State DEC ECO’s, Forest Rangers and wildlife staff, with the assistance of trained bear dogs and their handlers, attempted to locate the bear through the night. Based on the extensive search, DEC believes the bear has left the area and poses no continuing threat at this time.


If you encounter a bear, DEC recommends the following tips:
Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
Never run from a bear: stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.
Use noise to scare away bears from your campsite: yell, clap or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.
Do not throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.

This is not the first time in recent years when a human/bear interaction turned bloody. Two years ago, a woman hiking on the Northville-Placid Trail stabbed a bear who became aggressive.


  1. joanne

    Quit feeding the bears and keep your dogs on leashes will help hopefully not happen prayers and thought sending

  2. Carolyn

    Such a shame. I’m wondering if there’s any info about the bear. Is there any possibility of cubs nearby? Black bears don’t usually attack, so i’m wondering if this one was protecting cubs or was it just responding to being surprised by the dog.

  3. Jason

    We have the same issues here in California with bears and dogs, then the owner gets involved and suddenly it’s the bear that has to pay the price of being relocated or destroyed. In the wilderness, and on state land….you dog is to be UNDER YOUR CONTROL AT ALL TIMES. It says this at trailheads, public beaches and day use areas……….and as always, you call out a dog owner on this…you get the nastiest language and defensive attitude thrown at you.

    Today’s dog owners are a rude lot out in the woods, just like mountain bikers, and European tourists.

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