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Thread: Threatened by Bear??

  1. #1
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    Default Threatened by Bear??

    I have read probably one hundred post's over the past few years, inquiring
    "what do i buy for bear protection". Or "Should I take a shotgun or big bore pistol for bear protection". I have in 11 years in Alaska, had one instance where I was nervous and had to fire a shot because of a bear. Actually it was 3 bears on the beach at night, they seemed very interested in my headlamp and sniffing in the air for the dead brownie hide on my partners packframe at the time, but one shotgun blast in the air cured the problem. In my experience, they usually haul ***** as soon as they scent us. Just curious from you guys/gals, how many times have you had to put one down or just scare them away even.
    I'd like to read the stories, did you walk into a kill site, or spook a sow and cubs, or maybe just curious like in my situation?

    Chris

  2. #2
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Mayor, I had only one occasion since 1980 that I felt pressured by a bear.

    I have never had to shoot one, never had to point at one, and I have likely seen as many as most.

    But, like the guy Solly said in the Utah black bear thread, I have frequently made my mistakes, and, with good fortune, no bears have climbed into my sleeping bag.

    I have always moved away from fresh kills as soon as I've seen them..... and wondered if I wasn't moving the wrong way.

    I have confronted brown bear sows with cubs and seen them all turn tail.

    I have been between a black bear and her cubs and been totally ignored by both....apparently.

    And, to be honest, I think a lot of DLP kills are based more on the fear of the shooter than on the behavior of the animal.

    Having said that, I did know three people who have had physical contact with a bear. The first was my grandfather. He was guiding a client that shot (at) a bear that he was asked not to. The bullet struck both lungs, and, the bear would be dead in time. But, in 1948, guides might have felt a different type of responsibility, and Grandpa tracked it. The hunter was behind him about 20 yards because he didn't want his guide killing HIS bear, and when my grandpa heard the guy screamed, he turned around, rifle ready expecting to see his client getting slammed..... the bear ran past the hunter and straight into my grandpa..... he shot a round into the chest as the bear hit him. He said it felt like being hit by a truck.

    The bear collapsed on him and started chewing on his leg. He yelled at the hunter to "SHOOT!" At the time he said, "It didn't really hurt, and I didn't care if he hit me or the bear. I just wanted the situation to end."

    I also worked with Harley Seivenpiper in 1981 or 82..... can't remember. We were doing weir measurements on the sewer system in Juneau. (yes, that's as bad as it sounds). He got ate. Ate. We weren't close friends, so I don't have any real good stories....other than the fact that he got ate.

    The other guy was even more distant to me than that. He had a body shop (may still have it for all I know) in Juneau. I did business with his company back in 1989. He got rode down a mountain by a brownie. Lots of collateral damage. Sticks through the face, that sort of thing.

    My grandpa offered three other bear attack stories, and in 2.5 of them, he had time to take action. The .5 was when he had someone between him and the charging bear and he threw his hat in the direction of the threat. The bear distracted, the shot opened, and he killed it. Another time he and a partner were charged from across a stream and both men unloaded. The bear never made their bank, but, they went to see where she came from, and found cub parts and pieces. Then, on Kodiak Island he got charged on the beach, and, with a 30-30, dropped what he said was the "biggest bear I ever killed with a single shot."

    Excepting my grandpa, what I know about bear attacks is that it doesn't matter what is in your hand. What matters is visibility and time. The ability to process what is happening and respond ACCORDINGLY means more than all the lead you can fit in your magazine.

    I love these stories. More than you can know. Because sooner or later you meet the guy that SWEARS he was charged by a blackie from the far side of a salmon choked creek and you can never convince him that the bear was charging a fish.

  3. #3
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    Default Good stories

    I too have friends who have had bad eperiences.
    The one that sticks in my mind is a guy I work with, he was out with his grandfather on Montegue I believe, maybe Hinchenbrook. Anyway, he was dragging a deer back to the boat and a brownie came at him while he was next to a cliff. With nowhere to go, he got one shot off before the bear hit him and they all went over the side. I don't remember how far it was to the beach below, but the fall broke several bones and bent the barrel of his rifle beyond repair. I guess he could not move once he woke up and they found him the following morning by a lighter he was flicking in the dark. Saw the light from the boat and went in to retrieve him.

    I will agree with no gun is "The Gun" to have for bear protection. I think situation and shot placement are the biggest factors.
    Thanks for the story.

  4. #4
    Mark
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    I've had two close quarter surprises with black bears. In one a very small black bear "charged" (more like getting out of there by running right by me). In the other, when I jumped up from a prone, resting position and going for my rifle, the bear that was approaching my campfire was spooked by my sudden movement, turned 180 degrees, and rumbled away. He circled me while out of sight for an hour or two afterwards, keeping my dog in an incessant barking campaign, and I realized there would be no sleep there. I packed up and left that spot in the middle of the night and spooked him on the trail yet again at very close quarters. He again ran off when the dog went crazy. I think he was more curious than aggressive.

    I've never spooked any sows with cubs of either species at close quarters.

    Even though I've had a small grizzly sniffing at the back of my tent at night, I've never had one try to get in with me.

  5. #5
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Mayor,

    I was once "charged" by a black bear that was on his way to the garbage I was burning.....he knew he had to get there quick since we burned all trash.

    With regard to the situation where I felt pressured mentioned above...

    I was with a work crew in the woods and we saw 2 young brownies wrestling in a meadow (muskeg). They chased eachother back and forth, tackled, wrestled, growled, and it was quite a sight. Like watching puppies or kittens testing their skills.

    Then, they walked off up the hill into the timber, and, away from us.

    I kept watching over my shoulder and finally my boss asked me to pay attention to what I was doing. I told him I was watching for the bears....

    According to him, "They are miles away from here by now."

    I told him, "they don't know where they're going, and....."

    Then one popped out of the woods less than 100 yards away up the hill, and... he/she was moving in.

    I got on the radio and called in the chopper to run off the bear.

    The helicopter came in and circled over and over again below us and I kept wondering why he wasn't chasing the bear ABOVE us!?

    Those two juveniles had seperated in the woods, one was coming up from below, one coming down from above, both converging on us. This to me was pressure.

    It could have been coincidence. It could have been intent. But, it felt like we were being examined as potential toys.

  6. #6
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=SoggyMountain;116752) I love these stories. More than you can know. Because sooner or later you meet the guy that SWEARS he was charged by a blackie from the far side of a salmon choked creek and you can never convince him that the bear was charging a fish.[/QUOTE]

    Aint that the truth...

  7. #7

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    I have been charged by two Grizzlies. Both were bluffs, the second came within 4 feet whilst I was fiddling around with the bloody orange toggle on my bear spray. had I a rifle in my hand I would likely have shot the bear which would have been a shame as it was long gone by the time I had stopped shaking. (and changed my shorts) Encounters were hiking through the bush. several Black encounters whilst working, all were chased away with bear spray or yelling etc. Likely curious bears and me approaching too close without making noise.

    I think about bear protection because it is wise to do so, but the best defence you have is that thing between your ears and some basic woods skills, knowledge of bear habitat and habits. walk softly, carry a big stick and if you see a massive footprint in your path, walk the other way.

    Hunting is tough as you are creeping around in the bush, or carrying dead things on your back but using your head will keep you out of trouble 99.9%of the time and for the 0.1% you have the .375

    I know a fellow who interviewed a Canadian who videoed a predatory encounter with a black bear chasing him. There was no charge/huffing/noise the bear approched calmly, ears up as if stalking and sizing him up --it was a very eerie piece of film watching the man being hunted and if you are ever in that position you will know!

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    Default

    Just once on the Russian a few years ago. Probably about 10 years ago. I was fishing for rainbows and intently staring at the water. All of a sudden I heard a Loud whoof and dirt hitting me in the head. A Brownie was just Feet away. I think I just wandered into his fishing hole without even relizing it! Holy moly that was scary. Nobody around either. I fell down in the river and got my hip boots all full of water and just wallowed/swam downstream.

    Any other bears I have seen Have been way far away, or high tailing it.

  9. #9
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Default Thats too funny!

    Now thats just way too funny! Got that image in my head and LMAO.

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