If you're a frequent hunter in Illinois, you know to expect the unexpected. That was especially true for a guy out hoping to bag a turkey who ended up finding a huge black bear instead.

I spotted this surprising Illinois hunter moment that Bowhunting.com shared on their official YouTube channel. Here's how they described what went down:

Kurt (Jurt) has quite the eventful few days when trying to put down a longbeard. After an encounter with a HUGE black bear in Illinois, he toughs it out a few days in a blind, chasing after turkeys.

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The hunter nearly became the hunted. As these bear encounters become more common in Illinois, it's good to understand how to handle the situation if it occurs. A black bear is an apex predator. While humans aren't a normal target for them, you don't want to surprise one. The National Park Service recommends keeping a distance of at least 100 yards between you and the bear if possible.

If you end up involved in an attack, the NPS advises that you treat a black bear encounter differently than grizzlies or brown bears:

If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to fight back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.

Remind me to not end up where I need to take that advice. Fortunately for this experienced Illinois hunter, he was able to separate from the bear and end up with a successful turkey hunt. It could have gone the other way.

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