The victim, who was not identified by police, told officers in the Putnam County town of Kent he was in his back yard around midnight Tuesday when the bear struck him in the shoulder and knocked him to the ground. He told police he fought back and was able to get up and run back into the house, which is about 55 miles north of New York City.
The family saw a black bear and some cubs outside of their residence several hours earlier. Local fire officials say the man apparently got between the adult bear and the cubs.
Police say the victim was treated at a local hospital for scratches to his arm and stomach.