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Hiker writes blog post about Smokies bear attack

Published: May. 27, 2016 at 5:12 PM EDT
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An Appalachian Trail thru hiker is sharing his personal account of what happened when a bear ripped through his tent and bit his leg.

Bradley Veeder, 49, Las Vegas, was attacked on Tuesday night, May 10.

You can read the original report from Local 8 News on the attack here:

Veeder wrote about the attack on a blog post. He said he visited a shelter nearby to get water, eat dinner and hang up a bear bag containing food, a toothbrush, dental floss and other personal items.

Veeder said he decided to pitch a tent instead of sleep at the shelter because the shelter was crowded.

He described waking up to a sensation of a vice squeezing his calf. That's when he realized a bear was attacking him. He says he screamed and the bear let go of his leg.

The blog post goes on to read the bear came back several times and attacked the tent.

The following is an excerpt from the post:

"The tent wall started bulging in at upper-body level, and I punched the bear as hard as I could and shouted, “No, bear! Back off!” at the top of my lungs. The bear moved to the top of the tent and attacked the vestibule. I shouted, and the bear backed off. Three more times, the bear attacked the vestibule and backed off when I shouted as loudly as I could."

Veeder said he took a chance after about 10 minutes of silence to get away.

He said on his way to the shelter, he told a few hiker what happened. One hiker gathered her things and followed him to the shelter. He said later, she found her tent shredded by the bear. Veeder estimated that tent was about 40 feet from the shelter.

The next morning, Veeder said three Appalachian Trail hikers went to Veeder's campsite to get his things. Those campers told Veeder the bear moved all of his stuff 100 yards from the camping spot and chewed through everything he left behind.

Rangers collected the items the bear chewed to use bite marks and saliva to identify it.

Biologists believed they caught the bear a few days later and euthanized it. DNA results came back, showing it was not the same bear. You can read that report here:

Veeder said at the end of his blog post that rangers told him the bear would have pulled him out of the tent if it could have seen him. He said they added he wouldn't have been found until morning and at that point, probably would not have survived.

You can read the full, detailed account from Veeder here: