Chad Dueck lived to tell the tale of Tuesday’s encounter with a protective grizzly bear sow and two cubs but the hunter suffered numerous injuries in the ordeal.

While bow hunting elk near Cranbrook, B.C., Dueck came within 50 metres of the bears and he attempted to ward off the animals by shouting.

The grizzly bear sow attacked and Dueck tried to fight off the bear by firing several arrows. The hunter managed to return to his vehicle and call for help.

Dueck was airlifted to the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary where he underwent an emergency surgical procedure.

The hunter’s injuries included bites to his lower back, buttocks, face and neck, a torn bicep and minor nerve damage to his face.

According to Dueck's family, the injuries are not as severe as photographs suggest.

“The surgeons were pleased with what they found,” said Christie Dueck, Chad’s stepmother. “Not nearly as much serious damage to the nerves and the arteries and neck and face as they’d anticipated.”

"They did some stitching up of some of the puncture wounds and other areas of the body that had been harmed. We're just eagerly waiting for him to come back and take some time off and heal up."

Conservation officers searched the scene of the attack and located the arrows Dueck had shot. The arrows contained no trace of blood or fur, leading officers to the belief the bear had not been injured. The grizzly bears have not been located

With files from CTV's Ina Sidhu