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Hiker speaks out after bear encounter in Madera Canyon

Posted at 10:49 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 01:49:55-04

A hiker who was charged by a black bear in Madera Canyon this week is sharing his story of how being prepared on his hike saved his life.

"It was very quiet out," Kent Colwell said. "I really hadn't heard anything in an hour."

Colwell had been visiting Tucson, and hiking in the Santa Rita mountains with no problem until Monday morning.

"I heard some branches and some commotion up above me on the slope and I looked up and probably 50 yards away I saw a bear coming up high... Charging me full speed."

Colwell said research he did before hitting the trails may have saved his life.

He followed the rules he'd read in a book.

Stand your ground, and face the bear.

"I just stood there and the bear was coming at me," Colwell said. "I did what the book said. He ran away as fast as he can."

Game and Fish officials said the bear that charged Colwell is a young black bear with light colored fur.

This isn't the first time a bear has stalked or charged hikers in Madera Canyon.

In November of 2016, Arizona Game and Fish officials had to euthanize a black bear that had stalked a couple along the hiking trails.

As for the bear that charged Colwellthis week in Madera Canyon, Game and Fish officials are asking anyone who sees the young black bear to call them immediately at (520) 236-7201.