"I sat down on a log and the bear cub poked its head out of the shrub nearby. It was so close I could touch it. It let out a yelp, because I scared the heck out of it," he told the CBC. "I knew right away I was in trouble. It's calling for mommy."
Soon the cub's 300-pound mother came rushing through the bushes to defend her cub as Nelson's dog "went berserk."
Nelson told The Sudbury Star that he spent years hunting bears and boxing and called upon both of these experiences to combat the bear.
"I'm fairly familiar with bears and what they do, and normally in a situation like that they'd snort, try to scare you away, but that wasn't the case here," he said. "The bear came in swinging."
The bear struck Nelson in the chest, back and face and he injured his knuckles by punching it in the teeth after failing to find a rock or stick to defend himself.
"I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed," he said.
Nelson said as the altercation, which he estimates lasted about four minutes, carried on the opportunity for him to take the offensive eventually presented itself.
"I had the perfect shot to take. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout," he said.
At this moment the cub let out a whine again calling its mother over.
"Now it was the moment of truth. What's this bear going to do? Is it going to follow its cub or is it going to come after me?" Nelson said.
According to Nelson, he expected the worst when the bear turned around and snorted blood.
"But it just turned back around and walked away like nothing ever happened and followed the cub," he said. "So I really lucked out there."