A man was severely injured overnight Friday when he was mauled by a bear off the Parks Highway about 30 miles south of Cantwell, according to first responders.

Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said a Cantwell-based trooper was dispatched at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday to the mauling. The man was about a mile off the highway when he encountered the bear.

“It was reported that he was hunting bear when the black bear attacked him,” DeSpain said.

DeSpain said the man, whose injuries were serious but not life-threatening, reported firing on the bear. He was able to walk back to the highway and stop a passing driver for help.

Ken Barkley, the Mat-Su Borough’s deputy chief of emergency services, said medics were initially dispatched from both Cantwell and the Mat-Su to treat the 34-year-old man. The patient, who suffered injuries to his right arm and possibly his face, declined a medevac flight and was taken to a hospital by ground ambulance.

Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the man was using a bait station. The hunter, who told Fish and Game he killed the bear during the encounter, was treated and released Saturday for his injuries.

"He was planning to return to the kill site with friends to salvage the bear as required by law," Marsh said.

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