Brandon Johnson black bear attack
A look at Brandon Johnson in the hospital after surviving the black bear attack.

Hunting and tracking bears is nothing new to Brandon Johnson. He’s been doing in for more than 25 years.

And in that time, Johnson had never been attacked.

That changed on Sept. 27, 2014, in the woods of Minnesota when Johnson had to fight for his life with a 525-pound black bear.

Johnson was helping a fellow hunter track the bear, which had been arrowed earlier. It was the bear, however, that found Johnson.

The massive bear bit Johnson on the face and then clamped down on his left arm, instantly breaking it. Johnson managed to fight off the bear with a 5-inch knife that he had in his right hand, while screaming as loud as he could.

The victory was short-lived, as the bear returned minutes later for a second round. Johnson managed to fight it off again, continuing to scream for help to nearby friends.

The third time would be the last attack. Holding his knife, Johnson managed to push his right hand into the bear’s mouth with a strong stab.

Johnson was finally left alone. Friends found Johnson and helped him walk to an ambulance.

The bear was found dead the next day, 50 feet from its battle with Johnson.

“Once I got to the point where I thought I was going to die, and I got myself to the point where I was ready to die, there was no more fear,” Johnson told KARE 11.

Surviving the fight, however, was only half of the battle for Johnson, who is looking to raise funds to cover his lengthy medical bills as a result of the attack.

Johnson and his friends and family have established a fundraising website, which can be found at

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