Lady on a horse saved a boy from a grizzly attack near Glacier National Park by charging the bear on her horse, a part-percheron standing 18 hands high. One tough horse and a determined lady wrangler who wasn’t going to let a 750-pound grizzly attack an 8-year old boy is what it took to give a happy ending to a dangerous encounter on a mountain trail. Story here.
A 57-year old California man was killed by a grizzly in Yellowstone the other day, on a trail not far from Canyon Village. He and his wife spotted the female bear with two cubs from a distance of about 100 yards. They immediately stopped, backed up slowly and retreat back down the trail. The bear charged, ran the man down and killed him in the space of seconds. The wife was farther down the trial and was only slightly injured.
The rangers say the bear was acting in a normal defensive mode. They have no plans to capture the bear for relocation of for any other reason. The newspapers are making a big deal out of the fact that the man was not carrying pepper spray. Well, he was a tourist visiting America’s oldest National Park. He might not have been aware of pepper spray or how to use it. And despite all the hype of how safe you will be if only you have pepper spray, it’s not the panacea its proponents claim. I always carry it, along with other types of bear repellant, but in a wind it’s pretty easy to spray yourself instead of the bear. Wind just happens to be fairly common in bear country. Any cop can tell you that there are some humans who are unaffected by the very strong pepper spray they carry, so I think it’s safe to say there are a few bears that might be immune to it as well, especially when we’re talking about an adrenaline-filled 600-pound animal as naturally nasty and cantankerous as a grizzly.
The unfortunate man and his wife were on a short walk from Canyon Village, a busy area populated with tourists. They weren’t headed into the back country. If you ask me, Americans should not have to fear a grisly death from a grizzly when they visit their national parks, at least if they are mere sightseers and not back country trekkers. The Park Service is irresponsible in not keeping dangerous bears away from areas where tourists are plentiful.
The rangers are also idiots. One of them made this public statement: “We’re able to reassure people,” she said. “We told them that if they keep a safe distance they can enjoy the wildlife safely.”
For God’s sake, lady, the guy was 100 yards away from the damned bear when he first saw it and immediately tried to leave the area! I guess the National Park Service recruits its rangers from the same service used by the motor vehicle department. I take that back, the people at the motor vehicle department are no where near that dumb.
I Spend about 10 days in the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona at Christmas every year. The place I stay hosts a cookout at least once during that time, at a site called Yucca Flats about 5 miles out in the desert. Most get there by horseback or jeep, but I walk. I love walking through the desert that time of year because I don’t have to worry too much about getting snake bit. Although a rattler can be seen in the desert on a warm day any time of year, they’re mostly asleep in December.
A person afoot is advised to carry a firearm and know how to use it nevertheless. Not for snakes, for which a firearm is not good defense anyway, but there are mountain lions and wild hogs that might have to be contended with. Lots of coyotes also but they’re not a bother. If they were a good growl would get rid of them. There are some two-legged critters that are rightly labeled desert rats and hooligans. Although I’ve never encountered any in the flesh their presence is known by the mess they leave behind at a certain place I can’t easily avoid on my way to the cookout. I could avoid it by bushwhacking but that is little fun in country where everything one encounters either sticks, stings or bites. It would be like walking through a horde of lawyers.
The site where the hooligans hold court consists of numerous empty beer and liquor bottles, food wrappers and other junk. I know they are armed because most of what they leave behind is shot full of holes. The broken glass from using their empty beer bottles as targets is everywhere and looks to be several years worth. Using glass bottles for target practice is a nasty habit and leaving the mess behind is an antisocial act. So is mixing firearms with alcohol. Therefore, I’m wary.
In early Spring, one also must be aware of rattlers since a snake bite while walking alone in the desert several miles from a road is the most likely to be fatal. Few rattler bites are fatal if medical treatment is available. Having to walk several miles to get to a medical facility severely lessens one’s chances of successful treatment. The snakes are reported to be out early this year.
When I can I visit the Sonoran desert in April because it’s blooming then and not too hot. At that time of year snake boots are essential, especially if one intends escaping civilization for a day, as do I. Most of the rattlers in the Sonoran are Western diamondbacks. That species is a bad one, although the Eastern diamond back could be worse. The diamondback is a large snake and can deliver a big dose of venom. It usually strikes without warning as you walk by the bush it’s hiding in. The stuff of bad dreams for sure. Snake boots specially constructed to avoid penetration by fangs are therefore critical.
The Western diamondback is more dangerous than most rattlesnakes because while it’s not pugnacious like a copperhead or water moccasin, it won’t move away like most other rattlers when it feels the vibrations on the ground you make as you approach its hiding place. It’s hiding in wait for prey and those vibrations sound a dinner bell to the snake. Like all other snakes the diamondback does not have ears and does not hear, but feels and smells your presence.
The part of the Sonoran with which I’m familiar was the site of early mining activity and there are lots of mine ruins to explore, as well as lots of abandoned mine shafts to fall into and never be heard from again. Just one more hazard to avoid.
The desert is flowering this time of year.
Curious bear approaches deer hunter in a tree stand. Hunter keeps his cool, holds his fire, and all turns out well. Interesting bear behavior.
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Email received from a reader, about a brown bear (Alaska’s version of the grizzly) attack near Soldotna, Alaska:
King season is over, and since I had a day off before silvers start, I thought I would go for a walk! This occurred at 11:16 am this morning (Sunday), just 2/10 of a mile from my house.
ON OUR ROAD while walking my dogs (ironically trying to get in shape for hunting season!) for the record. This is in a residential area-not back in the woods. No bow hunting. No stealth occurring.
I heard a twig snap. And looked back. Full on charge-a huge brownie, ears back, head low and motorin’ full speed! Came with zero warning; no Woof, no popping of the teeth, no standing up, nothing like what you think or see on TV! It charged from less than 20 yards and was on me in about one-second! Totally surreal. I just started shooting in the general direction. And praise God that my second shot (or was it my third?) rolled him at 5 feet and he skidded to a stop 10 feet BEYOND where I was shooting from. I actually sidestepped him and fell over backwards on the last shot. And his momentum carried him to a stop past where I fired my first shot!
It was a prehistoric old boar. No teeth. No fat. Weighed between 900-1000 Lb. and took five men to DRAG it onto a tilt-bed trailer! Big bear. Its Paw measured out at about a 9-1/2 footer!
Never-ever-thought ‘it’ would happen to me! It’s always some other
Well, no bull. I am still high on adrenaline. With my gut in a Knot (felt like I did 10000 crunches without stopping)! Almost puked for an hour after. Had the burps and couldn’t even stand up as the troopers conducted their investigation! Totally wiped me out. Can’t even put that feeling into words.
By far the most emotion I have ever felt at once!
No doubt that God was with me, as I brought my Ruger .454 Casull (and some “hot” 350 grain solids) just for the heck of it. And managed to draw and snap shoot (pointed, never even aimed!) from the hip! Total luck shot!
All I can say is Praise God for my safety and for choosing to leave the wife and kids at home on this walk!
Now, if either Hillary, or Obama or anyone else in this administration starts making noises about taking away your right to protect yourself with a gun, we need to let them know where we stand.
Looks like this was an old bear no longer able to feed itself and desperately hungry. That made him very dangerous.
This is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 6-shot, 2.5 inch barrel revolver that appears to have been used. It’s available in .44 Magnum or .454 Casull, holds six in the cylinder. Bullets vary from 300 grain to 360 grain in .454 Casull load, and usually loaded to make about 1100 feet per second at the muzzle which is awesome out of a 2.5 inch barrel. With hard cast lead bullets (recommended for bear defense) the recoil of the .454 Casull in this revolver is stout but manageable. With copper jacketed bullets the recoil is miserable.
Would bear spray have worked in this case? If it had worked would it have better for this old bear? Would it have been better for the people of this community? Does it make sense to place your life on the line in hopes that some pepper under pressure will save you?