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Thread: Starving Grizzly Bear Attack

  1. #1
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    Default Starving Grizzly Bear Attack

    HI,

    I need someone with serious bear experience to help me out.

    I have an instance in a story I'm writing where a starving grizzly bear (in its own hunting grounds in the Alaska bush) is attacking two people even though the bear is in the vicinity of a flying helicopter, perhaps 200 yards up.

    Is this realistic, or will a bear, even a starving one, run away from a helicopter if it gets that close? Or, better, how close does a helicopter have to come before it will spook a starving grizzly?

    I know it's hypothetical, but any info would be helpful. Anyone?

    (Posted this at the Bear Bait Forum first, but thought I might get a wider range of opinions here. Hope that's OK.)

    Thanks, peterd

  2. #2

    Default Treadwell

    If you read the Trooper's account of the Timothy Treadwell incident, you will read about them buzzing the bear that was eating on Treadwell with a float plane within feet of it, and it wouldn't move off. Now a starving bear vs. a bear protecting a food source is different, but it depends on the bear and to what extreme they are starving. I don't fit your "serious bear experience" profile, but thought that story might relate for you.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default With fiction, anything is possible

    Them starving grizzlies are mean! Helicopters don't scare them none. Once they start attacking nothing will stop them. They are the meanest critter on the planet, and even when starving due to old age and worn teeth they can gum you to death. Not to mention they use them dern claws to good effect too.

    I once saw a monster starving grizzly attack a helicopter! It was in the process of landing and must have disturbed a nearby bear cuz while the rotor blades were still going after it touched down the grizz just ran right up and ripped one of the back doors off and starting munching the helo crew. Blood everywhere, pretty grisly scene <pun intended>.

    So it could be a hovering helo makes it attack your characters even more. Of course if you want to really be realistic, your characters can't survive the attack. Keep in mind a monster grizz can fit a human skull in its gaping jaws.

    Yep, with fiction, anything is possible <grin>.

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    I worked remote for a while and was walking toward a fishing hole after work one evening. our work helicopter saw a bear at the spot in the river where i was going and tried to buzz it a few times to get it to run off. it went a little ways but stayed pretty close to where the food (fish) were. the pilot figured that the bear was not going to leave and landed by me to let me know that the fishing hole I was heading toward was taken. I returned to camp.
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    Not a starving bear
    I did watch thru a spotting scope a ADF&G helo, about a mile away, they were checking on a hunters moose kill, that hadn't been retrieved due to high water, the moose was killed 5 days earlier, and F&G wanted to check to see if the meat was still salvageable, they knew that a large grizzly had 'claimed' the moose the day after it was killed. This was on a hillside.
    When the helo first started landing at the kill site, the pilot immediately aborted when the bear charged out and actually leaped in the air for the helo, very near miss, and fun to watch. ADF&G spent close to 20 minutes trying to chase the bear away, didn't work, when the helo would 'dive' on the bear, the bear would try to catch the helo. No success for the helo.
    They did get some awesome pictures though.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Guess it could happen but mostly a story like that will just make folks like PA feel he needs to pack heavy when visiting and use your words as gospel.Thing is it don't have to be a starveing bear or a bear on a kill or a sow with cubs. It could just be your unlucky day for being in the right place at the wrong time

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEDWUF View Post
    Not a starving bear
    I did watch thru a spotting scope a ADF&G helo, about a mile away, they were checking on a hunters moose kill, that hadn't been retrieved due to high water, the moose was killed 5 days earlier, and F&G wanted to check to see if the meat was still salvageable, they knew that a large grizzly had 'claimed' the moose the day after it was killed. This was on a hillside.
    When the helo first started landing at the kill site, the pilot immediately aborted when the bear charged out and actually leaped in the air for the helo, very near miss, and fun to watch. ADF&G spent close to 20 minutes trying to chase the bear away, didn't work, when the helo would 'dive' on the bear, the bear would try to catch the helo. No success for the helo.
    They did get some awesome pictures though.
    ????
    Not certain I understand the issue. If a "...large grizzly had 'claimed' the moose the day after it was killed..." it would seem that moose was history from a salvage standpoint since the killing of the bear could not be justified legally from a DLP standpoint.
    Joe (Ak)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by peted View Post
    HI,

    I need someone with serious bear experience to help me out.

    I have an instance in a story I'm writing where a starving grizzly bear (in its own hunting grounds in the Alaska bush) is attacking two people even though the bear is in the vicinity of a flying helicopter, perhaps 200 yards up.

    Is this realistic, or will a bear, even a starving one, run away from a helicopter if it gets that close? Or, better, how close does a helicopter have to come before it will spook a starving grizzly?

    I know it's hypothetical, but any info would be helpful. Anyone?

    (Posted this at the Bear Bait Forum first, but thought I might get a wider range of opinions here. Hope that's OK.)

    Thanks, peterd
    Don't intend to sound cruel - but - there has been enough damage done to the perception of bears by the "hypothetical" already written. Would be nice to read and certainly would be of great benefit to the resource if...
    Joe (Ak)

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    Default Wantj43

    Can't fully give a complete answer, all I know is the local F&G officer knew about the moose kill soon after it happened, this happened about 20 yrs ago, the officer retired about 10 years ago. His name was Jesse Smith, and if I remember right, it might have been the year he got the F&G 'Trooper of the year' award.
    I'm not sure of the intent of F&G with particular incident. I told the trooper the meat that remained in the 'pile' had most likely soured.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Supposedly the death of Japanese photogapher Michio Hoshino was brought about by a Russian film crew hazing a brown bear from a helicopter in Kamchatka, Russia. The bear was allegedly so enraged that it later broke into the chopper for food! Sadly, it then dragged Hoshino out of his tent and killed him.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    It was Hoshino's time plus he insisted in staying by himself in a tent insted of the cabin with the others.He was about the greatest of what he did

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    I saw a fight between a grizzly and a helicopter once in a seventies horror flick. I am pretty sure that is what finally did the grizzly in, after it survived a bazooka round. It might be the other way around though.

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    That makes no sense whatever.

    Up here in the Greatland, we all know that Bears attack for one reason only. (Someone in Anchorage left their garbage out.)

    Seriously though, Bears are unpredictable, and you can assign whatever reason for whatever behavior you like.

    It don't make no nevermind to the bar.

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    Well,

    I can't ask for more than that. Thanks to all who took the time to relate their stories.

    peted

    And, wantj43, the story is kind of a romantic comedy, so the bear incident is kind of light and silly. In the end nobody gets hurt and the bear ends up taking a ride down an ice chute.

  15. #15

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    [QUOTE=peted;545451

    "...And, wantj43, the story is kind of a romantic comedy, so the bear incident is kind of light and silly. In the end nobody gets hurt and the bear ends up taking a ride down an ice chute.


    "... a story I'm writing where a starving grizzly bear (in its own hunting grounds in the Alaska bush) is attacking two people even though the bear is in the vicinity of a flying helicopter, perhaps 200 yards up. ?...".
    [/QUOTE]

    Romantic comedy!!! - Should have guessed!!! Really no excuse for the misunderstanding on my part - I apologize. Just "read too much" into to the "...starving grizzly bear..."; "...attacking two people..." part of the original post.
    Best of luck with the story.
    Joe (Ak)

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    wantj43,

    I hope it makes it to the big screen and you can recollect this forum thread.

    peterd

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by peted View Post
    wantj43,

    I hope it makes it to the big screen and you can recollect this forum thread.

    peterd
    Me too!
    Good Luck
    Joe (Ak)

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    I once saw a single bear attack and nearly-destroy the Air Force ICBM complex at Malmstroom AFB, Montana.


    ... Of maybe that was just a bad dream. I can't recall for sure.

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    plenty of other answers already, but we were chased in a helo by a bear near Red Dog on the Ikulukrok River. It was April and he had just woken up, but he probably wasn't even starving because he was on a moose kill when we found him. The first day he took off like you'd expect when we came around the hill, but the second day he chased the helo when we got within about a hundred yards. made for spooky work around there for the next few days.

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    You might look up ALASKA BEAR TALES, by Larry Kaniut. Pg. 118: "The bear had not been frightened by the sound of the helicopter, for now having finished with the contents of my pack it began to tear again at the flesh under my right arm. Then I heard the helicopter coming back, circling, getting closer."

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