You never know when a wild animal will appear in the wilderness. But it’s a risk hunters are willing to take. During a bear hunt at Beaver Mountain in the western Alaskan interior, 46-year-old Charlestown, R.I. resident John O. Matson, Jr. was injured by a bear he and his hunting party had shot it 90 minutes earlier. He was listed in fair condition.
“He’s got a hell of a headache,” said his father, John O. Matson Sr. of Hopkinton, R. I., adding that his 46-year-old son was recuperating after head surgery. “His spirits are great.”
The younger Matson was attacked by the bear Monday during a guided bear hunt near Beaver Mountain, about 40 miles southwest of the interior town of McGrath. Bad weather prevented rescuers from quickly reaching Matson’s party of three. Matson was finally rescued from the remote spot on Tuesday.
Matson’s father credits the two other hunters, also from Rhode Island, with saving his son. The guide, Steve Persson of Charlestown, and another man the father wouldn’t identify were packing to leave the hunting camp. They planned to visit their wounded friend later at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
“He’s very grateful to his friends,” the elder Matson said.
His son, a construction contractor, does not want to speak with reporters about his ordeal, but he does want people to know he’s OK, the father said.