Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever been charged by a bear. I have. It turned out to be a false charge, though. The whole scenario resulted in about 15 minutes of video and a number of stills.

The bear wore a nuisance ear tag and was habituated to humans. I am sure that is why it seemed not to fear the three of us.

After observing the three of us while we were scouting the weekend before the season openerl, the bear began a downwind circle maneuver. OK, I thought. The bear will vamoose when it gets our scent. Wrong!! It came straight for us.

It sat down behind a small tree at 7 yards and began to chew limbs and push on the tree, causing it to sway to and fro. After a few minutes of this, it rose as if to leave, and took a few steps away from us. It then returned and again sat down and repeted the above. Then it rose and again started to leave away from us. After taking a few steps, it returned and sat down again. This time, it immediatele rose and popped its teeth as it lunged around the tree toward us. I was just about to press the trigger on my bear repellent spray when it stopped, looked at us with a perplexed look as if to say, OK, if you want play, I'll just leave. And that is just what it did, much to our relief!

The bear stopped a measured 12 feet from us. Now, I know that is too close for effective use of the spray, but I will not let one get that close again!

Btw, it looked to weigh well over 400lbs. Not only did it have the nusance tag in one ear, it had the sow tag in the other. In Arkansas, when sows are worked in their winter den, a tag is affiixed as identification. Boars are not tagged. Just a blackie, but exciting, nevertheless!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
my cousin had that happen about ten years ago here in pa....the charge wasnt on purpose though....it was opening day of buck, and my dad some friends and his cousin were going to their spots and just about got to the valley they were hunting, when it came running out. my dad could see it coming, but my cousin couldnt...my dad yelled that he saw a bear, but he was to far to be heard....as soon as my cousin got his son situated he walked the few feet back to his spot in time for the bear to show up....apparently they scared the crap out of eachother...the bear reared up and "barked" loud enough that my dad could hear it a few hundred feet away...my cousin put his hands above his head, out of reflex, and yelled back as loud as he could, the bear dropped to its fours and took off in another direction.....my cousin just kinda feel over into his spot in shock over what had happened....none-the-less, he had a story to tell after he came back.....my dad figures the bear went about 350 or 400 lbs.....but from that distance that would be real hard to tell...it did stand higher then my cousin, who is 6 foot though, so it was by no means small. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Bear attacks

Yup, I've been charged twice by grizzlies, never by black bears. One was in the Bob Marshall wilderness in Montana. I was fly fishing and the bear wanted to see what the catch of the day was. He bluff charged three times to within 25-30yards. He got himself a creel full of trout, a nice hat, and a good rod and reel. While it was occupied with the trophies, I slowly backed around some trees. Out of sight, I set new records for the 440 and 880 yard dashes in waders. I figure he was a youngin' that just got booted by ma since it wasn't all that big (looked big enough to me though). The other time, the bear got a fresh elk carcass. Went back eight hours later and didn't find much to recover. I will never be without a large caliber handgun in the wilds no matter what certain government entities think. I'm glad the bunny-huggers and government don't want to reintroduce cloned t-Rexs! RKBA! :x
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
848 Posts
This is a long story for a format like this but without many of the details the content will be lost. So I hope it will not screw up this format… here goes!

Oh one other thing, The most common age for a problem bear comes from males between the age of 2 and 4 years old. These males have no dominant home range, no girl friends, and get beat up by every bear that comes along. They are always in a fighting mood and have to try and show how tough they are to every other bear they bump into. I know bears always appear much bigger then they are when they are close, attacking, or very angry because they raise the hair on their body. When I was hound hunting more then one guy would made the comment "who let the air out of this bear" when they were fighting the dogs they were all hyped up and hair on end. Then when they died the hair laid flat and they lost 30% of their visual body size!

A female black bear would be some kind of record at 400 pounds in my experience! In 20 years of bear management I have seen one that was 290 pounds in very late fall. That was the biggest by a margin over the mormal sized females. The average Female will go 150-170 pounds and a whopper female will be over 200 maybe up to 225. Even interior grizzly females for that matter would be large at 400 pounds. The Male interior (not Alaska)Griz will usually get to the 550-650 pound mark on average

When I was working in the bear research and damage prevention program for the Weyerhaeuser Corporation and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department in Western Washington, I had 60 feeding stations to maintain on about 380 thousand acres bordering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascades of Washington state. The reason we had feeding stations for black bears is another story altogether. I will just say for now that we were doing work on tree damage prevention by offering a supplemental food source for part of each spring when natural foods were limited.

I would make three trips each week maintaining approximately 20 stations per trip. One day while making the rounds of feed stations my daughter who was about 5 years old fell and cut her knee pretty bad. She was stressed out and nothing I could do would pacify her need to go home. I found some candy bars in the truck, and gave her some soda. The sugar rush helped for the time being and I really needed to get through the remaining stations so I would not screw up my schedule for the next set of feeding stations.

I did not want to drive all the way out of the woods and have to come all the way back to finish. My daughter was a good sport working with me, as it was all she really knew in her life. We were out working with the bears together nearly every day. I would just strap her into the car seat and pack a lunch and away we would go for the whole day.

Because she was hurt and sore I knew she wanted to go home, she always wanted to visit the feeding stations to look at the claw marks on the trees and look for bear tracks in the mud. She was learning to be quite the little tracker and outdoorsmen. Today was much different because of her injured knee, she did not want to go out of the truck. There were some really steep or brushy stations that were dangerous or too difficult for her so she would sit in the truck and watch the road for bears. The deal was if she saw a bear to beep the horn in the truck so I knew there was a bear nearby. This actually happened several times but was not a normal occurrence.

Because of her little injury I was really hurrying to get done and trying to finish before her "sugar rush" wore off. We had about 4 stations to go when she started with the “I want to go home now” suggestions. She really had no choice in the matter but I certainly did not want her to hate doing this with me, so I agreed to hurry through the last 4 stations if she would help me. I even reminded her that feeding station number 1 was her favorite because we often saw bears there. Especially the one-eared bear that she thought was really funny looking. I never let her out of the truck at station #1 because the bears there were everyplace and the one-eared bear had been getting more and more bold each week through the spring and summer.


When we arrived at the last station I reminded her about using the horn and “keeping an eye on the road”. I grabbed a 50 pound sack of our specail "Land O lakes" bear chow and headed into the woods about 50 yards to fill the feeding station. It was really rainy, typical of this time of year. The trail into the location was very slippery in several places and because I was in a hurry I almost fell a couple times. I opened up the feeder and poured the bag in, not nearly enough to fill the drum. I reset the motion sensing game counter, exchanged the film in the motion camera and ran out to the truck for another sack of feed. I told her I would be right back and ran up the hill to the feeder to put in this final bag.

With my mind on getting home to fire up the wood stove an making something for dinner I was coming around a steep and slippery section of the path when I was hit so hard from behind I lost all my breath. I actually heard something but with the bag over my shoulder I never saw what happened. The bag flies into the air landing right next to my head. At that exact instant I realized a bear was on my back and I was suffocating with the air knocked out of me and the weight of this bear was on top of me. I am now, and was then a pretty fit guy, but working to get out from under this bear was pointless. He had me down and there was nothing I was going to do. He was biting me in the back around the shoulders and neck. One paw was on my head and pushing it down into the mud. I was still struggling to breathe and decided I needed to somehow get my Ruger Redhawk out and resolve this problem.

I could not move a muscle without getting bit again and again. My thoughts turned to my daughter who would certainly come looking for me and would also be attacked and killed for sure. Even if the bear left me what would I look like when she found my body? What panic would set in for her? What would a very young child do with a dismembered parent alone in the woods? These hundreds of thoughts go through your mind like the bullet train, one whizzing thought flying through your head after another.

That was probably the single scariest moment of my life. I was terrified she would come looking for me, I needed to do something but was completely helpless to get up. This was really a horrifying situation. Then as quick as I was knocked down the bear jumped off and ran into the bush, I briefly caught a glimpse that he had only one ear. I was in shock for several seconds sitting up and trying to get my wind back. I felt like taking out the Revolver and throwing it as far as I could. What a worthless piece of dead weight I had been lugging through the woods for many years. The one time I really needed it, I can’t put it into action! Then I heard the horn of the truck blowing and my daughter yelling out the window that the bear with one ear was in the road. “Hurry up papa, he is leaving.” I am not an exceptionally religious guy, I believe in God but am not an extremely religious church going person. I guarantee you this though; no one is an atheist when a bear attack is occurring!


I eventually got to my feet and filled the feeding station. I went back to the truck trying to clean off my face and hair with my shirt. I was really choked up, knowing how close I was to losing my daughter and my own life, it was difficult to remain calm and un-emotional about what just happened. When I arrived at the truck my daughter stated sharply, “What took you so long, you missed the one eared bear, he was standing in the road, didn’t you hear me beeping the horn? --- What happened to you? How come your so muddy, what happened to your face? Are you okay, what happened to your shirt?

She was like some kind of semi-auto question machine, those of you with children can probably relate. I explained what took place and that I was okay and we could go home now. Of course at this point she wanted to stay and go shoot the bear. Going home and allowing the bear to run free was just unacceptable. We did however go home. As it turned out I had massive bruising on my back and neck; many of the bruises on my head and neck look like shoestring licorice in purple. I had many long purple blood blister type marks from the claws. The claws did not break the skin. My heavy carhart jacket has holes in the back from the bites; I feel it saved me from much worse injuries. There was a minimum of blood; the biggest fear was my very difficult breathing, and the injuries I would find when the adrenaline wore off and when the mud was cleaned off. I was for more sore and miserable in the days to follow as the bruising and swelling became worse.

I took an F&W employee out several times who really wanted to shoot a bear. We eventually shot the one-eared bear. I have it shoulder mounted in my shop. He was a 2.5-year-old male that weighed 210 pounds. The most “typical” problem bears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Female bear

Hi JJ,
We have killed one young female bear in the same area as the story. She weighed 252lbs. She was just a two year old; age indicated by tooth section.

These Canadian-strain blackies get fairly large here in AR where they have plenty to eat and do not sleep that long!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
hi jj
You are correct on those sow Black bear figures all the ones we pulled out of dens in Alaska None of the sows were much more than 300 lbs and that was a big one.Had many charge but could always get out the way
in time or the dogs were used to help keep them back.
I have been bitten and clawed by a brownie though and I thought it was all over for me.
I was with a Moose hunter and we were cleaning his kill when a sow Brownie and two cubs ran in on us and tried to take the Moose didnt hear it coming until after she ran over me. Then she took a chunk out my thigh and ripped my chest open trying to roll me over well. H.shultz the hunter shot her with a 300 win mag and she turned and got off of me old Harry then shot one of the 3year old cubs as they were as big as their moma.
Harry did well until that point then he jacked his other round out some how and started to reload but what he stuck in the Barrel was a tube of chap stick.Well those bears were after harry now and it was looking bad but I was back up by then and put all three of the bears down with the 458 win magI was carrying.We got some help had to skin all three bears and still haul the moose out I got out of all the work though I had to get patched up and stay in the hospital a few days due to infection and all the sutures.
Thats the short version and was a long time ago I was a little young and
so sure of myself and probably should of paid more attention to
my surroundings instead of whooping it up about our great moose kill my
grandad told me i should of respected the spirit of that moose and do things the traditional way. You can bet your life I have since and do now.
Dabigmoose
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
848 Posts
Advocate, I have two books published, close to 100 magazine/newspaper articles and I'm currently the western Editor of Bear Hunting Magazine. So yeah I guess I've done a bit of writing over the years. Aside from usually being in a hurry and hidious typing skills, once in a while I can peck something out on these hunting forums that actually reads well! Thanks for the post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I feel a need to chime in here. First I want to thank JJack and Dabigmoose for threir stories. I can't (and hope I will never be able to) match these two stories. A buddy and me were involved in a defense of life and property situation. Before I tell the story I want to make clear that nothing illegal was done here. The troopers out of Cordova were very proffessional. At the end all I had to do was sign my name on the form at the kill site and no more questions were asked. I only say this because I get asked questions like was it a false charge? Especially from people who read a lot of books about how to handle bears. This is an honest story. Everything I say happened in about 6 seconds. But honestly, who knows about time when you are trying to save your @$$? Time and distance and size are all estimated during the event. But here goes:

Around the middle of this past October a friend and I went to Hinchinbrook Island to deer hunt. We were scheduled for a week at Shelter Bay Cabin (the week before Brownie season opened).

We hunted about 3 days without seeing any deer but did see a few bear tracks (more than a few). . On the fourth day of our hunt we had an exceptionally stormy night and the weather was still extremely windy and rainy. We decided since we had paid for the transportaion over their we were going to hunt no matter what.

We were walking off the top of this large hill out of the trees and into the bottom of a small clearing maybe 50 feet in circumfrance, very small clear area.
The wind was in our faces, couldn't hear anything due to the wind and my friend was nursing a bum knee from the prievious moose season. He was leading the way. He walked to the edge of the clearing and while I was trailing behind standing in the middle of it. He was looking down as he was getting ready to go into the alders on a game trail. I was standing on a small knoll in the clearing and spotted a sow brown bear with a yearling cub. Just saw the tops of their backs. I yelled bear! bear!

At this time he could not see her and she could not see him. But my buddy could see me with my gun aimed almost in his direction. They were only about six feet apart on a head on collision but didn't know it. The wind is blowing and it is noisy outside. When I yelled Bear She sees me first standing off on her left shoulder maybe 25 feet away inside the clearing. All this time my friend quickly comes to my location. Anyways, She first sees me, wheels around and looks behind at her cub, spins back around. I already had flipped off my safey and flicked my scope caps off and got the cross hairs on her. Instead of coming straight through the alders (which maybe would have cut the distance to our location to maybe 15 feet) at us she stays on the game tail and takes two leaps to make the clearing. She then pivoted 90 degrees to clear a thick alder and lines up on us like a plumb bob. She displayed no hesitation, no growling, no noise --just lowered her head and charged. I was not consious of time, of where my buddy was located. All I had was a sight picture of nose and teeth through my scope before I pulled the trigger. All I can say all these events that take so long for me to tell ---were happening together and was maybe 6 seconds (if I had to guess). The distance was about 10 feet off the muzzzle. One shot killed her.

I consider that we were lucky. I had one advantage over the bear. I spotted it before it spotted me -otherwise I do not think we would have had much of a chance. I don't consider myself cool hand or dead-eye or anything like this --I just did not have time to get scared. If I had time to think about it I might freeze --I hope I never have to find out. This is not a brag story. It is real life. It happened so fast. Afterwards I was shaking. We were both shaking. The bear looked to be a 10 footer at that time but I think she was probably a six foot to seven foot bear. I could not believe how small she looked when the troopers escorted us two days later to the kill site to get Her scull and hide.

We could not skin her out that day or the next day because the yearling wouldn't leave the carcass. The wind was so loud we could not hear anything in the alders and we thought there might be another yearling that we couldn't see. Our suspcions were confimed and we saw the the same yearling plus and even larger bear at the kill sight on the following day. That's when we called the troopers on my cell phone. The trooper record revealed the skull was 21 1/4" inches. The Troopers wre very professional. I was impressed with trooper Jimmy Jones out of Cordova. Very professional.

I have reflected a lot on this event. I am not givng first had advice beacuse this is one of a few isolated incident but will give my thoughts on the matter:
1/)I don't think it would have mattered in this situation what gun I carried. It was a 338 with a 250 grain hornady but even though I thought I hit the bear in the nose it actually hit the base of the neck where it juctures the chest and went length wise --no bone was hit (i think). a lucky hit at best. No post mortum was performed. The only thing that saved us was luck-- we saw it before it saw us -and we had time to react. That particular day we were trying to jump deer out of their beds --we had out rifles in our hands, not slung on our shoulders. I think this made a lot of differnce, again lucky. I sling my rifles a lot of times and will continue to do so but will be more cognizant of my surroundings in the future.

2.) The 44 with 300 grain bullets on my hip would not have saved us. I carry on my left side in a cross draw usually covered with up with camo clothing and not so accessible --especially with a pack. I just read the concealled post in Greybeards "my eyes are opened". this post said that even at 25 feet an armed citizen will not have time to draw on an attacker. i believe it. But I still will contiue to carry a 44 especilly when i do my morning constitution :lol:

3.)The most important thing is to have a partner and watch out for each other. Don't split apart to far and keep track of each other. Prior to that day we split up a lot and went diffent directions --Man did this change our perspective for the remainder of that hunt! There are a lot of people with a lot more experience in bear country than me who have never experienced a bear charge. I never thought it would happen ot me. This is not a good way to think.

4.) If it is windy outside and you can't hear anything--neither can the bear. In our case the wind was in our faces and the bear could not smell us. We diffenently surprised her. I think they generally try to avoid us if they can. Although I do have a few lesser bear encounters that do not neccessarily agree with this theory. I will never hunt heavy growth areas during windy conditions if I can help it.

A few weeks later we read about a guy from Anchorage getting mauled about 7 miles from us. The weather conditions sounded exactly the same as we experienced. This guy was not so lucky. The bear saw him before he saw the bear. I think the same thing could just as easily have happened to us.

Sorry for being so long winded --but you asked.............Balto
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
hi balto
Glad things turned out good for ya
I know how you feel about it having to take a bear
unexpectedly like that its excites, saddens and relieves then scares
the S### out you all in a few moments.Glad fish and
game was helpful to ya.They always seem to do a good job on bear encounters i haven given them a few myself .Those windy days are something on the islands for sure.
Keep your spirits up about it and keep a watchful eye just as ya did.
thanks for the great post.

dabigmoose
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top