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Bear joins Mississippi hunters in tree stand

By Ben Hooper

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A pair of hunters in the Mississippi woods captured video of the moment a curious bear climbed up into their tree stand.

Jordan Coopwood and Andrew Smith said they were in a ladder stand overlooking a food plot while hunting for deer when a pair of young bears showed up on the scene.

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"They were playing like puppies," Coopwood told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "They were younger bears just playing in the field."

"They definitely weren't cubs, but they weren't grown. It was like something on National Geographic. So, after watching them for about 20 minutes, one walked past us. The second one, he was walking the same way toward us. He was probably 30 yards out from us and he b-lined it to us," he said.

The bear quickly climbed the ladder to the tree stand.

"He got two feet from my foot. I didn't think to yell at him until he was in my lap," Coopwood said.

The bear quickly ran off when it was started by the men yelling.

Coopwood said the bears might have been attracted by the smell of their snacks.

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"My friend was eating a honeybun right before we saw the bears," Coopwood said. "We were actually both eating a honeybun."

A young hunter in Alberta was caught on video in a similar situation last year, when family friend Mark White captured video of a bear climbing up to join him in a tree stand. The teenager, Davin Grunlow, 14, held still while the bear climbed the stand and sniffed at him before climbing back down.

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