On Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 2:30PM, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 1200 block of Elk Creek Road, near Trail for a report of a man being attacked by a bear. Nathan Shinn, 24 of Phoenix and Alex Machado, 22 of Medford, were deer hunting in the Elk Creek area when they spotted a bear. One of the hunters shot the bear. The two men then carefully tracked it for about a mile, before the bear laid down in a meadow.
Carefully, the two tried to sneak up on the bear to make sure it was dead. When the men got close to the bear it woke up, and grabbed Machado. The bear started biting Machado on the right side of his body. The bear pulled Machado into a “bear hug” and the two ended up rolling down a 50 foot embankment. The bear continued to bite Machado during the fall.
Eventually Shinn was able to safely shoot the bear, hitting him in the head, and killing him. Shinn and Machado then walked back up the ridge where Shinn briefly left, to call 911. While Shinn was gone, Machado decided to walk further uphill and the two became separated.
A Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant found Machado walking down a spur road off Elk Creek Road, within 10 minutes from the two hunters being separated. Machado was quickly taken to the area where Mercy Flights was staged and was then transported by ground to RRMC.
Shinn was located about an hour later and was uninjured and okay.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office reminds people who are hunting in the woods to remain cautious. When killing any type of game animal always approach it from the front to determine if it is truly dead. Have your firearm ready, and be ready to kill the animal if it isn’t dead yet.