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Thread: What rifle was the hunter carrying who got mauled by a Bear on the Maclaren River?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default What rifle was the hunter carrying who got mauled by a Bear on the Maclaren River?

    From what I gather (I could be wrong) he was carrying a 30-06 that was possibly an old M1 garand (or variant) style rifle. From what I've read, he was a tough and well trained Marine too.

    The bear was gaining on him so fast that he had to go from an attempt to avoid the bear, to defending his life. He only got one shot off, and it was done, the bear was on him. They claim he didn't even hit the bear. It makes me wonder if this man would have real life lessons to teach some of the forum members on here who have pipe dreams of high capacity magazines and rapid firing rifles chambered for diminutive cartridges like the 7.62x39. It also makes me wonder why some know-it-all forum members from other states like Florida, are telling Alaskans what is proper bear protection.

    Starring into the eyes of a 9 ft. tall bear (or larger) standing only 20 yds from my boat with my son and hunting partner with me, it changed my perception a bit. Every time I sleep alone out there, I remember that we let that bear live the year prior, and he is still roaming around, and he has quite a reputation. The bear that tore that man's flesh off his body like butter is still roaming free, and in the same game management unit, the large bear I let go is still out there too.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    From what I gather (I could be wrong) he was carrying a 30-06 that was possibly an old M1 garand (or variant) style rifle. From what I've read, he was a tough and well trained Marine too.

    The bear was gaining on him so fast that he had to go from an attempt to avoid the bear, to defending his life. He only got one shot off, and it was done, the bear was on him. They claim he didn't even hit the bear. It makes me wonder if this man would have real life lessons to teach some of the forum members on here who have pipe dreams of high capacity magazines and rapid firing rifles chambered for diminutive cartridges like the 7.62x39. It also makes me wonder why some know-it-all forum members from other states like Florida, are telling Alaskans what is proper bear protection.

    Starring into the eyes of a 9 ft. tall bear (or larger) standing only 20 yds from my boat with my son and hunting partner with me, it changed my perception a bit. Every time I sleep alone out there, I remember that we let that bear live the year prior, and he is still roaming around, and he has quite a reputation. The bear that tore that man's flesh off his body like butter is still roaming free, and in the same game management unit, the large bear I let go is still out there too.
    One write up posted below says he did hit the bear, the other two don't say. If you only have a split second to make one shot at a charging bear, it doesn't matter who you are or what size cannon you're carrying. What matters is shot placement and a hell of a lot of lot of luck. It can be argued and speculated about forever, but that's the bottom line.
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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    One write up posted below says he did hit the bear, the other two don't say. If you only have a split second to make one shot at a charging bear, it doesn't matter who you are or what size cannon you're carrying. What matters is shot placement and a hell of a lot of lot of luck. It can be argued and speculated about forever, but that's the bottom line.
    Shot placement could be perfect, and you'd still get tackled. Some bear guides have told stories of fatal shots from large caliber rifles (416 and larger) and the bear still running strong.

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    This is why I dont go anywhere alone anymore. Who knows how a second rifleman would have changed the story.

    BTW Mainer, was your bear in unit 13 too? The bear that attacked the guy was in our swamp the day before we got there (judging by tracks on our trail and the daily rain). It's become my personal obsession to go find that bear and let the air out of it this spring. Was your's was in the MacLaren area too?
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Shot placement could be perfect, and you'd still get tackled. Some bear guides have told stories of fatal shots from large caliber rifles (416 and larger) and the bear still running strong.
    On the other hand, I know a person who dropped a charging Brown bear with a single shot from a .44 revolver while back pedaling, with only a second to make the shot. Shot Placement and LUCK is the bottom line.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    A bears heart only beats about 30 to 40 times a minute, so you could shoot it in the heart and it would still come at you and maul you, it would be just like holding your breath for a minute or so, the bear will die but it will still put a hurt on you. the bigger the round the more bone can be crushed. Crushed bone stops movement.

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    Scott Newman down here in SE got mauled by a bear his client had already shot. He went in the brush after it, and shot it again as it came at him. His gun jammed and the bear got him, then basically died on top of him. They can still fight awhile even after taking a few hits.

    On the other hand, my wife's grandfather got charged on Baranof one year. He didn't get a shot off till his barrel was basically touching the bear. First shot, the bear sat down like a dog within feet of him. Then stood up and ran off as he reloaded. The scariest thing about big bears is when mad, they can be dang unpredictable.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBoater View Post
    The scariest thing about big bears is when mad, they can be dang unpredictable.
    Yea, I hear that! Not only bears ether.

    I was coming home from town Sunday night and there was a trooper just up the road from my house spotlighting the trees. I asked him what was up, seems somebody tapped a calf moose with a car. On up the road, by my mail box I found the limping calf and mommy moose . . . I soon found mommy moose now hates vehicles!

    She danced on my snow plow a bit telling me to get away from her calf. I backed away to go tell the trooper where she was and she went in the woods. I told the trooper and I donít know if he found her or not. Then last night my wife almost hit that calf as it ran in front of her, as she watched the calf run into the dark out of the dark comes momma with her ears pinned all set to kill the mean ole car . . . my wife, having heard my story wasnít giving her a chance to dent up her ride though.

    I been on this mountain 12 years with moose all over and this is the first car attacking moose I ever heard of . . unpredictable!!.
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    You all need a reminder on the duck hunters who shot that bear with 12 guage shotguns using #4 shot. If all you have at the time is a AK 47 then that beats the **** out out a stick. Or as the guys duck hunting all they had were there shotguns. Phil Shoemaker uses a 458 win mag, Joe Want used a 500 H&H double. If you read enough of Shoemakers posts he loves the 30-06 with 220gr nosler partitions.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I've read of numerous case of big bears staying alive for 5 minutes or more after a heart shot. It takes a spine shot to make sure they can't move. I always try to put the first shot in the boiler and then target the spine. Making a spine shot on a bear facing you is no easy task, made even tougher when under pressure.

    Like my boss in the Army used to say, keep shooting until it changes form!!!
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    Nobody found out if he hit the bear, he swears that he will start carrying spray, had he gotten to spray instead of get a shot off the story would have gone much differently... I love guns and carry one everywhere I go but sometimes other tools work better.

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    Back in the 80's we got too close to a, BIG bear 29", on a moose kill. My client fell down in the alders and I had to put 2, 600 grain Barns from a .458 into his chest at 20' or so, which neither went through, he circled us because of the wind. Long story short, we took off running and got away fast. waited an hour and went back in. Looked like a D-9 cat. had torn up the place, but the bear finally had died. Have also shot a charging bear in the right eye with a .300, that fell in his tracks.
    In my personal opinion the nervous system, brain,neck, spine ect. works much faster than the conventional heart-lungs shot on a charging bear in an emergency situation. Just my thoughts-
    Goo

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    I shot a bear on Kodiak a few years ago with my 375 H&H 300gr. bullet. The shot was 50 yards and went in just behind the left shoulder on a broad side shot. The bear ran off and I heard it breaking brush in front of me twice running may 50=70 yards each time and the second time was ten min. after the shot. When we caped it there was a 2" hole in where it took out the rib and you could see a pulp where the heart and lungs were. Gave me a new respect for big bears for sure, glad it decided to run the other direction.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    In my personal opinion the nervous system, brain,neck, spine ect. works much faster than the conventional heart-lungs shot on a charging bear in an emergency situation. Just my thoughts-
    Goo
    Absolutely.

    And I think, in reality, there are precious few individuals who can reliably make an effective CNS shot on a charging bear, given only a split second to react, regardless of firearm/caliber. Certainly not me. You?

    ....Gotta have lady luck on your side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Absolutely.

    And I think, in reality, there are precious few individuals who can reliably make an effective CNS shot on a charging bear, given only a split second to react, regardless of firearm/caliber. Certainly not me. You?

    ....Gotta have lady luck on your side.
    +1 Ya always read about Cape Buff hunters in Africa going for the brain on a charge - big mean critters only have a few key spots that will stop them in their tracks - lotsa luck and steady nerves make a great combo...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    What can I say?? So far so good-- guess its just where you aim. I am not new at this, and this is not the only time it has worked-
    enough said---sir

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    What can I say?? So far so good-- guess its just where you aim. I am not new at this, and this is not the only time it has worked-
    enough said---sir
    My "You?" wasn't directed at you, Goo, but at the larger internet audience. Seems there is a near constant running debate about nuances of caliber, magazine capacity, etc., but when faced with a charging bear, at close range, and only a split second to react, a CNS shot is likely the only thing that's going to do the job. The rest of the debate just tends to be so much bavado and hot air.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
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    Yes sir-- get your drift, you are right, and I probably have had "LADY LUCK" on my shoulders--
    Cheers,
    Goo

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    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    You all need a reminder on the duck hunters who shot that bear with 12 guage shotguns using #4 shot. If all you have at the time is a AK 47 then that beats the **** out out a stick. Or as the guys duck hunting all they had were there shotguns. Phil Shoemaker uses a 458 win mag, Joe Want used a 500 H&H double. If you read enough of Shoemakers posts he loves the 30-06 with 220gr nosler partitions.
    Yea and a sharp stick is better than Karate, Karate is better than smiling but there are better options than 7.62X39.
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