From Lan Sluder....

I think I've mentioned here a time or two that we have quite a few black bears that come around my farm near Asheville -- this year it's been a mother bear with three little cubs and also a young adolescent male (I think it's a male).

Anyway, turns out that one of my neighbors just up the road from me got in a boxing match with a bear -- he was trying to save his dog from the bear. He punched the bear a few times, and the bear punched back. The man got a few scratches and a near concession but managed to save his dog, although the dog was fairly badly injured.

This is a local TV news story on the incident which happened earlier this week:

A Candler man exchanges blows with a bear and lives to tell about it. He says it happened Tuesday at about 5 AM in his backyard off Beaverdam Road. A bear grabbed hold of his dog Baxter and shook it violently. That's when Rickie Hall's instincts took over. He punched the bear until it let go. Thankfully, both Rickie and Baxter are okay.

--Lan Sluder