Two Minnesota State University Moorhead college students can laugh about it now, but a close encounter with a black bear while they were hiking north of Detroit Lakes, resulted in them running for their lives, and the bear kept up.
"Gosh yeah, I was hyperventilating, when we were driving I was, 'I feel like I might puke,'" MSUM Courtney Blinn said.
Blinn and friend Damon Pautzke's trip to Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge resulted in a scenic walk, a time in a hammock before this happened.
"We were laying in the hammock, and Damon heard something approach us and the bear was 10-15 feet from us. So, he (Damon) was like, we gotta go, there is a bear," Blinn said.
Courtney and Damon said they did not overreact when they saw the bear. They quietly got out of their hammock and backed away, leaving their shoes, backpack and phone behind.
"We were walking and kind of speed walking, jogging, because we did not think he saw us, but he heard us and was chasing us down the trail," Blinn said.
The two, now running barefoot, thought they had outsmarted and outran the black bear.
"All of a sudden we hear him behind us again, coming at us," Blinn recalled.
"Obviously he wasn't full speed, like running, but like a jog," MSUM student Damon Pautzke said.
"We thought we had a good chunk of distance between us, but he caught up to us so that is the freaky part," Blinn said.
Evidence of the bear experience is shown through a tattered and torn shirt, a chewed hiking shoe, and a cell phone with an autographed bite mark.
All courtesy of the curious bear.
"You can see the crack there, that is where his tooth was and it comes through by the camera," Blinn said.
The two are thankful to be safe, still a little shaken.
"It is like, oh, we saw a bear that is interesting, but you usually don't get stalked or pursued by one. We were on edge but were soon laughing about it and how interesting and cool," Pautzke said.
The bear got away with the couples Cheetos and a bottle of Gatorade.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said at this is the time of year, bear and moose are on the move. The fall season means bears are preparing for winter hibernation and will be looking for food.
Video out of Perham, Minnesota shows a huge black bear running near a township road. Shortly after, a vehicle struck and killed a large bear near Marion Lake by Dent.
The driver suffered minor injuries.
If you run into them, as Courtney and Damon did, end the encounter.
"It is one thing for someone to read about and see what to do with a bear encounter, it is quite another thing when you are faced with a 200-300 pound animal and that fear response is very strong. They did the right things and moved away from the bear," Minnesota Conservation Officer Steve Chihak said.
The DNR said moose are also on the move because of the fall rut.
One was struck and killed on Interstate 94, just east of Moorhead, this past Saturday morning.