OXFORD - George Muttick was almost home Wednesday night when something massive struck the rear passenger side of his Chevy 2500 pickup truck, nearly tipping the automobile.
Muttick jumped out of the driver’s seat, looked around and saw a sight he never expected: a 250-pound black bear dead on the side of the Hunters Mountain Road near the Naugatuck border in Oxford.
“I’ve hit deer before, and I knew right away this was no deer when it struck,” he said. “This thing tipped my truck pretty good.”
Muttick, a 24-year-old aircraft electrician at Sikorsky and a volunteer Oxford firefighter, saw fur sticking out of the rear wheel well and blood on the side of the truck bed, but no other damage. He immediately called 911.
State police arrived at 7:27 p.m. and called officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to check on the bear. Muttick said officials estimated the bear weighed up to 250 pounds. It was not tagged, meaning it had not come in contact with any state or federal regulatory agencies in the past.
Muttick, who was not injured, lives just a few houses away from where the incident occurred. He said he’s heard of bobcats and people discussing mountain lions in the area, but hasn’t heard about bears before. He’s never seen one and certainly never hit one.
Asked if he was shocked by the incident, Muttick said, “Well I certainly never expected that a bear would try to jump in the bed of my truck.”
The bear has been sent away to be gutted; the outside remains will be sent to a tannery. The DEEP has given the bear to Muttick, like they would if he hit a deer or another animal.
“It’ll make a nice rug,” he said.
It will certainly make for one heck of a story.