Grottoes, VA - 20 Nov 2006: Black Bear Mauls Hunter

Sixty-year-old Thurman Hensley was hunting on the last day of the muzzle-loader bear season when he spotted a bear and then shot it. That's when his troubles began.

As he went up to the 600-pound black bear to check it, it jumped up and mauled him. Hensley was airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center and underwent emergency surgery Friday afternoon. He was initially listed in "fair" condition. UVA officials have since upgraded that to 'good' condition.

The game warden says when Hensley was being attacked, the other hunters with him shot and killed the bear. Hours after the attack, the bear was brought out of the woods by the game warden. Officials report this is the first bear attack on a Virginia hunter in eight years.

Read more in stories on's web site, and in this report from, and finally in the Rocktown Weekly.