Contributors to this thread:
Ever Been Charged by a Bear?
How will you react if it happens to you while out n about in the elkwoods?
Twice, sort of. Once while blood trailing a boar I shot, another bear (sow I believe) stood up at 15 yards or so. She did a little bluff charge, bounced on her front feet and popped her jaws. I backed out and we found him in the morning.
The other time was on the tundra in Northern Quebec. A buddy and I were admiring a caribou I just killed when my buddy alerted me to a really nice size bear running at us about 50 yards away. I nocked an arrow and yelled at him waving my arms and he stopped. He looked for a bit then turned to leave. My buddy was filming and I said to the camera its a good thing the bear didnt realize he had us scared. Just then the bear in the background of the shot stopped and turned back. A little more shouting and he left. Amazing how a big black bear can appear and disappear in country you would assume you would see them a mile away.
Yes, on a Utah hunt with Todd Thayn and his best friend Gauge we had a blackie charge us hunting elk. We had been in watching a herd of elk that were in a place that if we tried to go in, the wind would give up so we backed out. Gauge his chocolate lab and hunting partner was a fabulous dog and worked flawlessly off hand signals. When we would spot elk Todd would give him a signal to stay and Gauge would lay down and with a whistle he would rejoin us. After backing off the herd we cut a two track and started back toward the truck. About a half mile down the two track Todd was leading, Gauge was in the middle and I was in the rear. I happened to look over my shoulder and off the mountain was a big blackie about 150yds away and closing. I said to Todd "bear" and motioned toward it. The bear was covering ground fast and Todd said " get an arrow on the string". Instead I raised my bow over my head, tried to look as big as possible and started towards the bear yelling. The bear stopped at 20-25 yds and Gauge jumping around me running towards the bear. The bear turned and started running away. Todd called Gauge off and he immediately came back. When we reached the truck Todd called the local CO and reported the aggressive bear.
Yes. Both bluff charges luckily. One black and one brown bear. Still exciting when they are really close to you and upset
I arrowed a British Columbia grizzly back in 2014. I was on a slide run-out down in the timber 13 yards below him and 15 yds below his sow. When the arrow hit him he spun around in a circle while he let out a ferocious roar, then in three bounds went by me less than 2 yards away...could have touched him with my bow. He continued down the mountain, but the sow was really confused...looking around wondering were in heck he ran off too. We had to spook her way with some yelling seconds after the boar ran past.
The boar wasn't actually charging us, but luckily we weren't centered right up on his escape route....which was right down my shooting lane from the slide. He was on us so quick he would have mowed us down before we could have reacted. It took two days for the adrenalin to clear my system after that one.
A Colorado black bear did not charge me, BUT I charged it! Yea, I charged it! My elk hunting buddy had killed an elk that morning and had hung up some of the meat before he hauled some back to camp where I had joined him. We decided to do some elk calling/hunting in the same area and then retrieve the rest of the meat right a last light. As we approached the hanging meat, my friend yelled, BEAR!. Yep, a bear was on his hind legs reaching for the meat when we approached. I charged the bear, yelling loudly. The bear surprised by the commotion, climbed up the tree and was looking down at us and then decided this was not a good place, dropped to the ground and disappeared into the dark. After that, I was then known as the "bear whisperer". Go Figure!
Not really charged here either but have had 3 fun encounters.
1. Was on a solo hunt in ID and shot a cow elk and was hiking back to camp. I was getting close to camp and kept thinking "where is my tent? Some SOB stole my tent!" Got real close before that little blackie stood up. She walked off but stayed in the area. I really liked that tent, but it was no good with all those holes in it after that.
2. Manitoba bear hunt. Was going in with the guide to bait. A good bear wanted in there bad. I grabbed my bow while the bear circled us. I started to circle him then. Then he started coming in, but not a charge. 8 yard frontal shot had him down fast.
3. Ontario bear hunt. I shot a bear and got down to go get my pickup and grab my friend to find the bear. On the way out I saw the bear died on a two track I could get the truck on. Went and grabbed my friend, we drove right up to the bear and started getting ready for pictures. I had set my bow and pack on the ground beside the back door. When I came around the front of the pickup to grab it there was a small one sniffing my pack. He wouldn't leave until he got a nose full of bear spray.
Never felt in any danger on any of these. Just fun little happenings.
Bluff charged by a sow black bear in northern Alberta. I guess I’m probably stupid, but it didn’t really seem like a big deal at the time. Of course, there were 3 of us and we all had big guns ;)
Years ago in Colorado, I had cow called in a bull for my son which he wounded with an arrow. As we started the bloodtrail, a bear showed up at about 20 feet, stood on his hind legs and refused to give ground. I remember telling my son "I do not have a tag, the bear season opens tomorrow, I am going to challenge this bear at full draw, if he charges and you see me shoot, you shoot too and keep shooting." The bear finally left after a few half circles and challenges by the bear and me. If this had not been a black bear, I don't know what I could have done.
Back in 1993 when I was the running back for the Denver Broncos I was charged by a Chicago Bear William Perry aka The Refrigerate. Big bear about a 330 pounder.
I’ve gotten bluff charged a few times by black bear in Colorado. Always been bluff charge thou.
Good story I had one time thou. One night at our house our dog was going crazy barking at the front door. I woke up in the night and got up and opened the door to see what was out there. Unknown to me There was a SOW with 3 cubs and the cubs were closer to the front door than the sow. Literally a few feet from our front door. As soon as I opened the door the cubs scattered and that sow locked in to my dog standing there in the door and she came booking at us. I slammed the door shut or else might have had bear in our living room haha She the cubs ran up a nearby tree and the sow went up the hill. Just another night in the mountains haha
Just one we called in, smaller show. Shot her in self defense.
Black bear sow with cubs a few years ago. Cubs climbed a tree across a field I was moving towards. Sow came running out of the brush below them.
I started backing up fast. Put a bush between her and I. Had an elk call in my mouth, so I let out a bugle figured she's always around the elk and would think I wasn't a threat. She never came around the bush. I'm sure it was just a bluff, but was pretty shaken the next few days. A runner got scratched up pretty good a couple drainages over by a sow with cubs the previous year.
Black bears several times. Never seen a grizzly in the wild. Walking into bait sights in the dark is always interesting. The huffing and poping jaws in the dark where you can’t see your hand let alone a black bear will get that bear no breakfast that morning.
The ones that make me nervous are the ones that skirt you and follow you.
Yes, I startled a bear while shooting the walk- thru range at the club in mid summer. He growled and showed his teeth like a dog, I made myself look big with big with him at 20 yards. He took offense to that and charged to 10 yards when I threw my bow at him, and clonked him in the head. He stopped, shrugged his head a few times and walked in the brush.
Had a large MT blackie boar stand up on his hinds @ 25 yrs and look me and the dog over, not the least bit scared, until the dog took off after him. Bear took off with lab on his ass and I thought I was gonna have a dog to bury or a mad bruin in my lap with a trembling dog behind me. Neither happened, dog came back after a couple minutes of trepidation on my part. All the rest of the bears I've encountered ran like a raped ape in the opposite direction. Never charged. The two griz I saw paid no attention, didn't see me luckily.
I've had lots of bluff charges and foot stomping and jaw popping. I can only remember one that was really mad and wanted to kill me, for sure! But then I'd just run an arrow through him after chasing him a round a bit. Last season I had a spooky encounter being stalked twice by the same bear with the incidents being about two hours and a mile apart. On the second one I was humped over a spotting scope and just straightening up and caught sight of the bear slowly advancing less than fifteen yards away. I yelled at him and he retreated a couple yards but then started to circle in the low brush. I tried to get an arrow through the brush but it deflected and went high through his back. I tried getting another one in him but he stayed about thirty yards ahead of me in the brush for about a hundred yards. He finally made a break down into a steep deep ravine. I looked for him in the area for the next several days while hunting, but never saw him again. First time in hundreds of bear encounters, that I was really thinking that a bear was looking at me like food. It's better on top of the food chain.
Yes. Twice. Both times on a guided hunt. The first time my guide shot a grizzly right in front of me. I was busy taking pictures until I realized he wasn't going to stop. Then I knocked up an arrow just as the guide shot him in the head. That really screwed up a perfectly good moose hunt.
The second time was seconds after I put a perfect arrow behind the shoulder of a huge brown bear. He got our wind and came right after us. My guide put him down about 10' in front of me. I was busy knocking up another arrow on that one as well. If you hunt enough things like this just happen. It's all part of the adventure.
Not a bear, but elephants. I was in Zimbabwe on a bow and rifle hunt. We we tracking a herd of buffalo through some real thick stuff. All of a sudden the black trackers who were 20 yards in front of me and my PH ran in the opposite directions hat we were traveling. Then about five seconds later we could hear big branched breaking. Three elephants were coming our way at a high rate of speed. My PH started screaming and waving his arms. The elephants stopped and reversed direction. It was exciting, to say the least. My PH said that they probably were not charging but had been spooked by something and happened to run in our direction.
2 bluff/false charges one a young grizz outside of Jackson and one a big blackie in Utah.
Both of them woke my azz up real fast!
Good luck, Robb
Had a black bear try to get in a treestand with me. I was tied on with no place to go. After enough yelling and arm waving he backed off. Legal or not I always carry a handgun after that incident.
Bluff charged by a sow in Maine.
I guess I should have posted this on the general section. Wasn't thinking about all the hunters back east that have bears in their neck of the woods.
And Canada and Alaska too ;)
Twice. Many years ago my brother and I where turkey hunting in Mass and were walking to another location when a sow ran her cubs up a tree, made a circle around us and bluff charged us several times as we backed away. My brother took pictures with a camera and the flash seemed to stop her charges.
The second time I was bow hunting over an elk wallow in a small ravine in Colorado sitting under a pine tree . At dusk I had spotted a 5x6 bull on opposite side of ravine and called with excited cow call and the bull came closer. As I was watching the bull turning broadside, something caught my eye to my right side, and the bull booked out of sight. As I turned to my right there was a brown colored phase black bear approaching on the other side of the pine tree branches 5 feet away. I grabbed a can of pepper spray (human) and had to spray it twice to make it leave. It was a long dark walk back to camp after that.
While running a single track near Steamboat CO, I came around a corner and a very pissed off blackie was standing on her hind legs hissing and growling before she dropped to all fours and charged down the trail at me. I sprinted away before I remembered I wasn't supposed to do that, then stopped and faced her. She immediately veered off the trail and into the brush. That's when I saw her cub run up an aspen.
I was retrieving a black bear this past fall in the dark and had a sow bluff-charge me a couple of times. She's put her cubs up a white pine in a rhododendron thicket, I was trying to shine the tree (hearing the cubs in it and thinking it was my hit bear) I backed out (literally) while hollering "hey!" at top of my voice and holding the mag light and my .45 LC revolver on her. It was exciting but not a "real" charge.
Closest one basically brushed me on his way past. I'd pretend I was macho but I was holding a longbow and simply couldn't get the arrow off fast enough. I didn't think he was gonna charge but I could barely see him stalking me in the dark through the pines. I was talking to him at about 10 feet and then the bugger came at me. He wasn't a giant so I didn't wanna fill my tag on him. Pretty sure it was my man-scream at 3ft that ultimately deterred him. Then he stalked me the half mile back to the truck. Still hate that bear. They usually don't come that close.
Pat sure has! One of my all time favorite hunting videos, and the crazy man actually put another arrow in him on the charge. Pat you are insane!
Never charged. Had a sow with a cub climb up my tree once (I believe she was following my scent).
I stood up and looked down at her, when she got about 3 feet from my legs, and she immediately slid back down like she was using a firepole, and bugged out with her cub.
Wow that is a lot of action on a short thread. People were very fortunate that things did not end up worse in any of those scenarios.
I guess the next question is if things had gone south in a bad way did everyone have access to an InReach unit to summons help?
Yep, black bear in Colorado. Since then I try not to get between a sow and her cub in the Oak brush.
Yes, one that a neighbor wounded. It broke into his garage to get at cooking oil for his little restaurant. He wounded it with a 38 pistol. It was night-time and he was afraid it would go after a jogger as he lived on a road that borders a pond with a lot of camps. I have a high powered headlamp and could hear the bear in the woods. I spotted his eyes and he charged. All I could see was bushes moving and I waited until he cleared the brush. I shot him at about 15 feet with a 12 gauge slug. When I turned around, my neighbor was gone. The warden came and gave him to my neighbor because he did a lot of damage. He weighed 354 as I remember. That slug dropped him like a rock. My neighbor was screaming “shoot, shoot,” when he started to rush me but I wasn’t about to shoot at moving bushes and risk a bad shot. A 12 gauge slug is brutal.
Was tracking a wounded polar bear when it reversed direction. I thought it was charging me, but it was really just reversing direction to get away from the Inuit guide and the dogs, and I happened to be in its way. Passed me at less than 10 yards.
Like Paul, I charged one that had recovered my bull before we did. I ran at him yelling and waving my bow around, as the newbie from Missouri who was with me ran away yelling and waving his bow. The bear ran off a few yards, and watched me over a log as I skinned and quartered the bull. Whenever he would creep closer I yelled and threw sticks at him. Got the meat out without any mishaps.
So Trophyhill last year started a thread "380 Bulls" and then proceeded to shoot a 377 bull that fall. Trophyhill sounds like this fall is going to be an adrenaline rush for you...be careful!!!
Four grizzly charges, two of them just bluff charges. All of them enough to make me pucker up. One little black bear who apparently thought he was tough. He came back multiple times huffing and bouncing at 5 yards.
Ron, ...and what happened with the two that weren't bluffs?
Nick, my dad was with me on both of those. He must smell bad or something. :>) One was coming off an elk carcass and hit our wind just as we were gonna spray him down. 10 yards +-. The other came charging to cow calls and veered off at 10 feet or so when my dad threw his bow up over his head and screamed/yelled. I heard that one running and turned to ask my dad if he could hear it. That's when I saw how dang close it was.
I think I told this story before but here it is again just to relive the fun of the memory.
At 13, dad was single and we chose to live in a camper and rent out the house he owned. We were fairly remote in location. One night we pull up to the camper and there is a sow and two small cubs in the garbage can. Dad blurts out when the truck stops jump out and start chasing those bears while barking like a dog. ?????? ok??????? The truck skidded to a stop and he was gone running after the bears barking like a dog, I joined in only half believing we were doing such a thing. We chased for 30-40 yards into the lodgepole forest. Soon the bears were far enough ahead of us that the sow sent the two tiny cubs up a tree and she ran off. Dad hustled over to the tree and peered up at the two cubs, he says " keep an eye out for the sow she will be back, and be patient the cubs will climb down soon and we can pet them."
He was right, I got to pet a tiny cub of the year, Then we hear the sow pop her jaw (if you have never heard that it is crazy) Dad yelled time to go and he was gone. I got a slightly slower start, and all I saw was the sow bearing down on me at breakneck speed. I turned and ran with all I had, I never knew if I outran the bear or she stopped to tend to the cubs, because I never looked back until I was under the truck.
The time I was charged by a bear. =)
During a charge, at what point or yardage do you consider the no return point, your shooting? I know a bluff can come close but when would you shoot?
LBShooter, it's more body language than distance IMO
LBShooter, it's more body language than distance IMO
Was in CO a few years ago elk hunting when my buddy got charged by a rather large chocolate black bear. He was in some thick scrub oaks and had the bear charge him twice from downwind. The bear bluff charged twice to within 10 yards and he was considering putting an arrow in him if he returned a third time, which he did not. My buddy had a .380 pistol in his pocket, but only considered using it as a last resort if the bear got to him.
The bear had ear tags in both ears designating it a two time problem bear, probably removed from nearby Telluride. When back in camp, he called the Parks & Wildlife folks to report the incident. While on speaker phone he reported the encounter to a rather "soft spoken", light-in-the-loafers speaking representative who informed him that the bear was now designated as a third time offender and would now need to be put down by authorities. My buddy refused to tell them the location because he did not want a bunch of gun toting game wardens scouring the area while we were stilling bowhunting. We were into elk daily and did not want our limited time ruined.
My buddy is a rather hot-tempered individual and was still mad as hell over the encounter with an imported problem bear. He asks the dude, "Why is that bear even out there?". I can still to this day remember the limp wristed answer... "Sir, he lives there". We still laugh about it today.
Yes, sorta, kinda. Black bear bluff charge toward my tree stand. My first shot (8 yds.) was a clean miss striking a log in front of his shoulder below his head. He stopped, and I thought “What in the hell?” Quickly strung a second arrow and took my second 8 yd. shot. 2nd. arrow shaved the hair off his back behind his shoulder leaving a white streak across his back. Bear whirled toward my tree, saw the cord (used to haul bow and backpack into the tree) dangling in the breeze and charged. The cord had fallen from the limb where I’d rolled it up and laid it. Bear stopped at the cord, huffing and puffing, popping his jaws. I’m sitting in my tree stand wondering “What in the world is going on? (Well, not exactly those words.) I had just missed two 8 yd. shots and have one very unhappy bear under me. Bear slowly backed off, turned and disappeared into the brush.
I then began to inspect my bow and discovered that the serving was loose, still wrapped around the string but loose. Yes, a very embarrassing but true story.
BigOzzie, that's an awesome story! Fuzzy nailed it about the body language.
LBShooter there are a lot of bear charge videos out there. There is no substitute for experience but watching those will get you grounded on what the "feel" is like. Just remember that just like with dogs, hogs and humans, a bluff can turn serious so stay vigilant and aware even when it feels like a bluff. Bears are FAST and you don't have much time to make a decision.
Bluff charged by the same sow with cubs in Alaska, two days in a row.
By a small black bear in CO in 2015 - shot in the arm with an arrow.
Never by a grizz till this past season when I was charged twice - once on my sheep hunt ended in the bear stopping short of my bear spray plume and then retreating. A very large boar.
Second was on my moose hunt while I was floating out and was very hairy as I couldn't get my pistol deployed till he was very close because it was on my waste and I was wearing chest waders and a rain jacket. That's not going to happen again.
As far as how I reacted, I was very calm throughout all of them, although on the last one, I was having a quick convo with Jesus about helping me get my fingers around the handle of my Glock...
… must have been a hairy situation if your pistol was on your waste!!!!!!!!!!!!
Twice. One brown charged in and stopped on my backpack at 6 feet. She had a 1.5 year old cub with her.
Also had a sow grizzly and two cubs come in on me sitting next to a dead Dall ram. Neither situation was enjoyable but I’m still alive.
Hah, good catch GhostBird
Blackie sow with cubs. Never actually saw her, she would charger at me in the brush, chomping her teeth. I thought it was an elk. My dad yelled at me and when he finally got my attention he pointed to two cubs in a tree between me and him. I was between the sow and her cubs. We backed out and moved on.
I used to wish we had bears here..........
I have trapped and relocated several bear. The blackies that we trapped were very accustomed to humans. One big boar was very scary when we tried to tranquilize him with a syringe full of nicotine. We finally had to use the tranquilizer gun on him, risking an overdose, when we used a loop of half inch nylon rope attached to the bumper of a pickup to pull his paw out. When the needle touched him he broke that rope like nothing. He then got the loop wrapped around his paws and broke it again. That was when the gun came out and we knocked him out and tagged him. We moved him twice and he covered over a hundred miles back each time. This time he decided to visit a bear bait, and became a rug.
In the Alberta Wilmore Wilderness last year. Tracking a big bear in fresh snow As I was also carrying a bear tag with no plans of using it unless it was a giant. Had a hunch it was either a monster black or a grizzly. Grizzly of course was off-limits. After only four or 500 yards of moving extremely slowly a giant furball bolted out from under a pine tree and headed quartering right towards us. The big grizzly ran by at full speed without even turning it’s head. I can honestly tell you that it happened so fast that had that bear wanted us he could’ve had his choice! There was no time to even raise a weapon let alone use it. I always had respect for them, and now I have even more.
Had a black run at me full bore. It was walking along a ridge then stopped walking. I stopped walking. Here he/she comes full speed. Got about 20 yards. He/she put on the brakes. Stood up sniffing the air. It turned around and trotted back the way it came. All I had was a walking stick. I was on a mountain trail just outside of Bryson City,NC
I've had plenty of close encounters. None were "charges" per se unless you count the ones who take a running start and clamber up the tree your sitting in. All the responses have me wondering about the validity of bear attack stats (and what comprises a significantly aggressive interaction). Low relative to the overall population but, perhaps high when sampling routine outdoorsmen. Puts a different perspective on the necessity of bear defense.
Fuzzy is right about dogs. If you can read a dog, you can read a bear. That should give comfort and guidance in the moment.
I killed one couple years ago about a foot from my leg. I approached a den on a hillside that we had been trying to call a bear out of. I had a twelve gauge Defender with a twelve inch barrel pointed at the hole and I was just leaning sideways to look in when the friggin thing growled and his head shot up out of the hole right by my leg!! I just instinctively shot and blew him right back down into the den. If the barrel had been longer, he may have brushed past it and got hit in the guts or similar. As it was, he took it right in the head. Happy I didn’t shoot myself in the foot instead of the bear.
I agree with owl, although I'll never cry for a bear that's shot even if it wasn't going to make contact. I believe in personal responsibility, even for animals. If you, as a bear, choose to charge someone, you're going out on a limb and must accept the consequences.
Yes, maybe. An arrow struck coastal brown bear entered the wood line in our direction, stopped, came on right at us. I drew a line at 10 yards, 3 x 300 grain .375 H&H Magnum slugs were administered. 15 year old boar. Charge or just in his path? Dunno.
I've had numerous close encounters but never charged. Had a couple stand up and woof at me and I raised my bow over my head and woofed back and they retreated. I guess ugly helps. Years ago when I carried a plastic army canteen for water I sat by a good wallow for a couple hours and later headed back to camp. Realized i left my canteen by the wallow but no biggee, planned to go back there sometime tomorrow. Did go back and there was my canteen with a few punctures in it. Walking up a trail later I saw a bear coming down the trail sniffing along. Aw that's the bastard! Hid by a rock figuring I'll fix him and when he got real close I jumped out I screamed at him. He turned himself inside out going the other direction. Fast! Yah, I had a drink in camp that night and thought about how not smart that was! But we're out there for fun, right? He wasn't a real big bear!!
One other, I was camped in my favorite wilderness spot. A few days before season my two daughters and a girlfriend wanted to do a hike and offered to help pack me in to my spot. Duh! Not as dumb as I look! So each of them carried a pack and i had the big pack frame....so I carried my Mountain House meals.(said I wasn't dumb). Got to the site and was setting up my tent etc while they had a beverage and they made several comments about something smelling bad. Figured it was just smart ass comments about my personal issues! And we hiked back out. I went back in day before opener. Second day I was hiking back to camp in the dark from a different direction and about 100 yards from camp smelled dead something.
Snooped around in the trees and there laid a dandy 6x6 mostly eaten. Had velvet on but most of that was chewed off and antlers bloody. Thought geez, 100 yards from my tent. Next day went over and twisted a very nice rack(head off) and drug it out in the open and sawed the rack off.(see I'm not totally dumb). Laid the rack other side of my tent(well, not totally smart). Each day I'd drag a chunk of remains a little ways and check it every day. Yup, a bear feeding on it.
Well, I have this little blind I created about half mile from camp i built cuz elk come down there most evenings and neat spot. One day I realized i left my bugle tube there.( I know, I know, you'll be that way someday). So couple days later I decide to sit there for the evening. Half way there this huge bear stands up in the weeds and woofs about 50 yards away.. Tell you the truth if there were griz in Colorado this would have been one! Been around black bear all my life. Geez! Well I did my usually instinctive bow over head and woofed back. Two cubs rose up. Oh! First thought was dang that's not a bear feeding near my tent every night, it's a sow and two cubs! Hmmm. The cubs immediately tried to scurry up a tree but mama swatted them down! Pretty funny, and they ran down hill, and she immediately followed, in the direction of my blind. I let the activity process, I decided I really probably wouldn't sit in that blind tonight. The next day I moved that rack from near my camp to about a half mile back the way I'd hike out and hung it in a tree. Oh yah, I thought about those 3 bears for a couple days as I went to sleep at night. Not the end.
A couple days later I decided to go sit in that blind and recover my tube. Crawled in there and there laid my tube with a bunch of bites on the end(that goes in my mouth). Obvious cub gnawing and I had to cut about 2 inches off that thing. Pretty funny really. End of story. Never saw those bear again and I was there for a couple more weeks. Have that nice rack at home.
Go ahead and ask, did I get paperwork from the wildlife officer to posses it?
Bluff charged several times And a close call with a spine hit bear a friend shot that came at us a couple of times. Thank goodness it was a time in my life I could run fast
Yes, several times in one night, scariest thing I've ever had happen to me. Up in Alberta one spring, sitting in the tree and waiting to here the quad coming to get me and it wasn't happening. It was just about dark and I had 2 average size bears at the bait. He used an extension ladder to go up to the stand so I came down part ways and banged on it and they just kept eating, pretty soon I was on the ground. I had to walk out to the cutline about 100 yds away through thick brush witch was spooky because I was seeing over 20 bears a day. Got to the cutline and started walking the 4 miles out to the main road. I had walked a couple hundred yards when I thought I could hear something walking beside me in the bush. That when he came crashing out running straight at me, slapping its front paws hard on the ground as it rushed in at me. All I had at that point was my bow in my hands. They had taken my bear spray away from me at the border crossing. It only took a second but I yelled as loud as I could for all I was worth with my arms up I stepped at the big black blob and swung my bow at him. He veered off, I almost tagged him with my bow. I then grabbed an arrow out of the quiver and my skinning knife and clutch them. That damn thing must have charged me like that a dozen times, I was exhausted when the quad finally came down the line. I jumped on and couldn't talk from screaming so much so I pointed as I kind of said BEAR BEAR! As I pointed. Sure enough he was standing there, my outfitter drove a circle around the damn thing and said "look at this prick, he's not afraid of us one bit!" I was thinking lets get the hell out of here! ha ha He had broken down with the wheeler, that's why he was so late. From now on I stay in my stand no matter what!
Lol Carl (smarba). I've had mucho encounters in the Gila, last summer while coming out of a canyon after checking trail cams with Alan and JP, we happened upon a sow with a cub at about 30 yards. The cub was up a sapling tree, and mama bear stood up on her hind legs letting us know she was standing her ground. Never felt threatened and we eased our way around her and back to the truck a mile away.
However being that you are from Alaska, and hunted there quite a bit, we'd love to hear about your bear adventures ;)
Idyllwild I'm with you with the quid-pro-quo that in the case of my multiple bluff-charge experience the sow would have had to have given me some serious aggressive body language and here are the reasons in order of importance:
#1 She had three cubs with, too young to be on their own. (moral issue)
#2 She had three cubs with too young to be on their own (legal issue). My State law prohibits taking sows with cubs. I WOULD have reported the kill (assuming that the bear lost the fight and I survived) and a C.O. WOULD and SHOULD have fined me.
#3 I'd already killed a bear (just hadn't recovered him yet) so that's another fine.
#4 I was the one at fault. I was a dumbass. I should have waited til daylight to recover. I knew my bear was too hard hit to climb a tree (even a big pine) and yet I pushed the tree because I second guessed myself. Rhododendron is no joke even in daylight and I had no business following a wounded raccoon into a "rhodo" thicket in the dark, much less a bear.
#5 I knew this sow personally and she knew me. I live in her home range and have watched her raise at least three sets of cubs (before these) She and I have gotten to where we recognize each other and give each other a respectful and wary trust. She never raided my garbage, she never got into my garden or my neighbor's beehives. I REALLY didn't want to put her down just because I blundered into her in the dark. I kinda like to think she had a rudimentary parallel of the same feelings at the time.
Had one (grizz) come up behind us (5-10 yards) silent on a trail in Yellowstone. Forgot the bear spray in the truck so swatted at him with my fly rod as he went by growling, popping his teeth and swaying his head back and forth. That's the worse encounter I've had.
Grizzly in Yukon, bluff charged at 20 yards, was about ready to shoot him at 10 when he stopped and slowly walked back into the brush. Had a tag in my pocket and to this day I wish I would have shot, guide wasn't with me at the time and he was adamant that we don't shoot a sow even though they were legal, it was a good sized bear and trophy fee would have been very cheap, this was on a Stone sheep hunt 1990.
In my previous comment, I did not want to imply that folks should be complacent in the presence of a bear. Every critter has its comfort zone. Even humans. If a bear gives cause to spray it or kill it, trust your instincts. Just don't go around like Ichabod Crane about it. I've had bears climb up my trees that were no more of a threat than my rat terrier looking to nibble off my dinner plate. I've also had one in a stand-off at 8 yards who, by his body language, needed no more than a watchful eye and a giving of the right-of-way.
Got charged by either a small wolf or a really really big coyote last year during elk season. Pulled the handgun and promptly got yelled at by my wife who wanted to make sure I knew we didn't have hearing protection in. wolfyote did the right thing and turned around ran away, situation was a bit surreal
I’m of the firm opinion that bears are smart and learn fast when bad behaviour works. Every time they get away with something, they try a little harder and more aggressively the next time. Where I live anyway, I would not tolerate a bear that would not leave a camp or the area of an animal I had killed. A bear with no fear is a danger to the next person that walks through.
I was chased by coyotes when I was a kid, and chased by a wild pig when I was in high school...I'll pass on getting charged by a bear!
Surfbow Details on the Coyote and wild hog chase???
I had to shoot this one baiting a few years ago when me and my Black lab surprised him At the bait. 3 yards the hole Is the exit. Very exciting for just a minute . Hunt
Wow Hunt! That was gonna be my question in another day or two. Anyone ever had to shoot in self defense?
Had more than a few episodes with cattle and horses growing up that would have to rank right up there for dangerous encounters...
Actually was stupid enough to strap myself onto a few bulls in my younger days...
Probably prepared me for some of the really crazy encounters I’ve somehow managed to survive over the years.
Had a lion come out of a cave once after I stuck an arrow in to the fletching under her chin. Almost knocked me off a 100’ cliff! Thankfully, I was able to jump up and grab my buddy’s hands as she came out of there...
Been up close and cozy crawling on my hands and knees with plenty of pigs in plum thickets both with and without arrows in them. Fed my Groves recurve to a big sow once that was really upset with being stuck with a Bear broadhead in the ear... Certainly an adrenaline rush!
Have gone the rounds with turkeys, mule deer and a couple of whitetails...
Gotta say, though, after all the totally idiotic stuff I’ve done over the years, a bull elk has to rank as the toughest Mano-y-Mano tussle I’ve encountered to date.
So far, no bear wrestling! Beginning to think they just don’t love me in Colorado! Can’t seem to ever find one to skewer in season, in a legal unit, with the right tag in my pocket!
RK, I posted the coyote chase on here once before. When I was young my best friend and I were out shooting BB guns on his ranch at dusk. We heard couple of coyotes yipping up the ridge, which was normal, then a couple minutes later we heard them again, much closer though and more of them. We looked up that direction and there was a big pack of them starting down ridge at us, maybe 200 yards off. We turned and ran toward one of their horse barns down the hill, with the coyotes chasing and gaining on us the whole way. We got to the barn and ducked inside the tack room, they chased us right up to the door and circled and sniffed around a bit, then finally took off after a while, it was pretty hairy. The worst part was we had to leave the barn and walk back to his house in the dark, and it was about a 1/2 mile up the road, it took a while to get up the courage for that. His mom was pissed that we were late for dinner and didn't believe our story. A week later she was out for a jog on the ranch and had coyotes around her the whole time, one in back and a couple in the brush on each side and close, she believed us after that. There had been a severe drought for years and we figured they were just running out of things to eat and getting desperate, a couple scrawny kids probably looked good to them. I was terrified of them for years.
The pig chase happened on a hunt, we were in a swampy area and got into a herd that was spread out in some thick stuff. I got between a big sow and her piglets, and she wasn't having it. She came right after me and made a few passes, then I found a good willow stump to climb up on. My buddies were rolling, it must've looked pretty funny to them, in hindsight it was probably hilarious to watch.
Not a charge but damn for 4 days would have this guy terrorize our camp while on a caribou hunt. We had two revolvers so 12 shots no extra bullets so no warning shots were fired lol and our bows he stayed out about 100 yards from camp unless we were gone then would help himself luckily no destroyed tent, but sleeping at night was difficult, pretty sure he had played this game before, needless to say we all agreed that if some had to take a leak better do it before going to sleep so that no accidental discharge of a firearm happened with movement of the tent in the dark.
No charges but had this bore about to climb into the stand w/ me when hunting him over a dead cow. Killed him a year later.
Surfbow. Thanks. GREAT stories
Few bluff charges by blackies.Twice involving the cubs going up the tree thing.One occasion proved to me that despite considering myself a 'runner' back then,I was slow compared to a short,heavyset,well known bowhunting friend who easily lapped me going downhill. Too close to grizzleys a few times,couple tooth popping deals,but no charges.
Last August while checking trail cams, I was charged by this bear that showed up on trail cam a couple weeks later. I have no doubt that it was my lucky day. I've seen a bunch of bears while hiking or hunting the Gila. And never felt threatened.
But this one was different. I was following a dry creek bed, crossing it back and forth and following the easiest path of least resistance when I came to a choke point. The canyon walls came together right here on either side and the walls were steep. I heard some noise that got my attention in the only willows in the Gila, and so I stopped, looked and listened.
My hand drifted down to grip my .45 but did not pull it out of the holster. After several moment's, I decided it was nothing. But just the same, instead of entering the thick willows, I decided to Billy goat the sidehill and avoid those willows.
I got a few hundred yards past and heard the noise in the willows again. So I stopped, turned, looked and listened. Again I saw and heard nothing. Hoping it was just some loose rocks that had let loose from above. I knew the possibility of a bear existed, as the dry creek bed held pools of dissipating rain water and I had been seeing big piles of bear pooh. Big dark piles that did not have the usual vegetation and nuts you'd expect to see. It was obvious to me that this bear or bears were meat eaters. So the thought was definitely in the back of my mind.
But I was on a mission. I was there to see the trail cams in hopes of seeing a few elk. Which I did, eventually. So I kept moving. After another few hundred yards, I was now fixated on my gps knowing I had to climb out of this canyon to get to the trail cams. I wasn't even thinking about the noises I had heard. I was excited and anxious to see what we had. JP and Allen couldn't make this trip so I was solo once again on this trip. JP and I had set the cameras back in early June and all 3 of us had drawn the same tag.
This is when all hell broke loose in a split moment in time. First off, I'm here to tell you that unless you've experienced it, you really have no idea how fast a bear can move. Previous encounters were me seeing those bears first. And they all left lickity split as soon as they knew I was there. Accept the sow with a cub that stood up in front of us at 30 yards. Even then I never felt threatened.
But this was different. The bear obviously knew I was there and had followed me for a few hundred yards. Displaying predatory behavior in my opinion. I was looking at my GPS knowing I had to climb out when I heard the rocks crashing at his feet. By the time I turned, he was 50 yards and closing, head down and full speed. By the time I yelled out "oh f-bomb" the bear ran up a tree 5' from me.
I had no time to pull my weapon. But when he ran up the tree, I was quick to unholster it when the bear had reached the top of his climb. As he was climbing, chunks of bark were flying off the lodgepole pine. You'd be hard pressed to peel healthy 1" thick bark from a healthy tree, but it was flying off like nobody's business as he's climbing.
Now my .45 is pointed at him while I am cussing this bear out and telling him what I'm gonna do to him as I'm looking up at him 30' above me. And he's looking at me like yeah right. And I know what he's thinking at this point. "I'll eat you up and shit you out like everything else in this canyon.
As he starts down the tree, bark is flying off again, and his eyes are fixed on me, and mine on him. No way I'm turning and running. Either it's going to be a violent end in a second or 2? Or we are going to come to an agreement. One way or another, it's about to come to a head. Now he's at the bottom of the tree leaning against it looking into each other's eyes. The time for talk was over and picture the scene of Jose Whales and Ten Bear for a second.
We are 5' apart and when the bear came down to all 4's, his head was facing the opposite direction, and he slowly, and reluctantly starts walking away which was a good thing. Then he stops and turns at 20' as if to tell me I am not supposed to be here. I revert back to cussing and telling him I'm about to send him to his maker. He walks slowly another 20 or 30 yards, stops and turns again.
Funny its almost like I could read his mind. Now he's telling me "you're still here, I thought I told you to leave". But at less than 50 yards, there is no way I'm holstering my weapon and turning my back on him.
He repeated this several more times as he slowly moved away. It was clear he was postured and ready for a fight or attack each time he stopped and turned.
It was also clear he was not afraid of me or the .45 I was pointing at him. It was clear he did not want me there. And it was clear I did not want to see him again.
He would stop about every 20-30 yards and turn and look. He made his way up a Rokslide with ease that I would never attempt to climb as if he was displaying his sheer power and telling me this was his canyon one last time. The last time I saw him before I felt safe to go the other way, he was about 300 yards and on top of the Rokslide.
In hindsite, I had no chance of surviving an attack in that circumstance. It happened so fast that my weapon was not drawn until it would have been too late. I think it was a predatory encounter. I also think that had I not turned and yelled at the bear while raising my trekking poles in a last ditch effort to brace for the inevitable attack, I would not be here telling y'all about it. I feel there was divine intervention. I feel thankful, that I experienced this and lived thru it to tell about it. I also wanted to let those who haven't experienced anything like this know that it can happen so fast that neither bear spray or a bullet will stop a determined bear if he wants you and you have no idea he's coming for you. It was my lucky day.
I have never offered a bear credit!
Damn Trophyhill ! I thought this post was gonna end with, “and he ate me!” Too close for comfort !
Lmao DC. It was definitely up close and personal and another experience I would not have had if I weren't a hunter. We as hunters get to experience so much that the average person will only ever see on NatGeo. We get to live it!
That's wild Trophyhill, and cool!
Once, by a black bear. It was May, I was up in the mountains bowhunting turkeys. I was wearing a ghillie-style suit, full face mask, the whole deal. I was calling as I slowly walked. No trails, just making my way along.
I ended up in a patch of Ostrich ferns, which were quite high (shoulder high in some places). I see a sow with cubs ahead, at the same time she saw me. She pushed her cubs up a tree and started coming at me, full speed. I didn't have time to nock an arrow or take any action at all. I stood my ground, she stopped at maybe 10 feet, and stood up on her hind legs.
I slowly backed away and then gave her and her cubs an extremely wide berth. I'm certain she had no idea what I was and was just bluff charging to make certain there was no threat to her cubs. It is a stand-out moment for me that I'll always remember. I spend a tremendous amount of time in the mountains and have seen hundreds of black bears, with at least dozens who have cubs with them. This is the one and only time they have done anything other than rapidly go in the opposite direction.
On Monday, September 11th, 2017 I was attacked by a Grizzly Bear while Elk hunting with my father in Wyoming.
That evening my Dad and I had decided to hike to the top of a nice ridge to sit on the edge of a meadow where we have had luck in locating elk in the past. I sat down on a downed stump and Dad did the same about 10 yards away. The plan was to sit and listen for elk and if we heard elk, we would move in on them. I took my pack off as we were also using that moment to take a break to rest after the hike.
About 15 minutes go by when I started to hear something coming through the timber behind and to the right of us. Assuming it was elk moving through, I quickly knocked an arrow. As I turned my attention to where the steps where coming from I saw a large sow Grizzly Bear walking to my right about 20 yards away followed by three 1st year cubs. (Grizzlies keep their cubs for two years).
At this moment, I set my bow down on the ground and began to pull out my Bear pepper spray from the holster on my left hip. There was a small bushy pine tree about 3 yards in front of me that was about to block the line of sight of the mother Grizzly to me as she kept walking. My thought (as I was pulling my spray out of the holster) was to get the spray out with the safety off and pointing in her direction. That way, if she saw me and advanced, I would be ready to spray.
As all of this was going on the bear disappeared behind the pine tree and while pulling my spray out, (which all took place in a second or two) I looked at my Dad and whispered loudly, "GRIZZLY BEAR!, GRIZZLY BEAR!, GRIZZLY BEAR!" as I slid the safety off the spray.
Just then, all I see is the pine tree bend over and claws and bear teeth as she plowed into me sending me 15 feet off my stump and getting slammed to the ground. All my gear flew off me, arrows, hip quiver, range finder, etc. I immediately tried covering my face and neck with my arms as she rolled on me and got on top of me. I immediately felt a sting in my back and at that moment I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm gonna be torn apart now.'
At that moment I heard Dad screaming at the top of his lungs and I fealt the weight of the bear suddenly jump off of me. I opened my eyes and and the only thing I saw was my bear spray that was laying an arms length away from me.
I immediately grabbed the spray and stood up and started sprinting towards my Dad. I had no doubt that the bear had now turned her attack on him and needed to do what I could to help him.
I got around a tree to look to see Dad holding his bow in the air screaming, "YEEAAA YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!!" The bear at this point, ran into the timber. Stopped, looked back and then took off.
Dad said that when he screamed at her while she was on top of me, she got off of me and charged at him. She got less than a yard away and bounced to the left of him at the last second.
As we stood there in shock, I felt stinging on my lip and back and I couldn't lift my left arm past shoulder height. I touched my lip and there was blood and asked Dad "is my face tore up? How bad am I? Am I tore up bad?" He said my face looked ok. I reached to my back and felt my vest was wet on the outside. I assumed it was blood and asked Dad to see how bad it was. He said there was a tear in my vest. I lifted my shirt to discover two puncture wounds from her bite and the wet vest was her saliva and not blood.
Once we calmed down a little, we started looking over the scene. We looked at my gear spread across 15 feet where she took me from the stump to the ground. We saw the dirt ripped up where she stopped a yard in front of Dad.
I can't explain the emotions we had at that point. We never had that feeling of helplessness and fear before. Myself, the helpless feeling of about to be torn apart by a Grizzly and there was nothing I could do about it. My dad just experienced the helpless feeling of watching his son possibly being severely mauled or killed in front of of him.
I don't want the details and length of this story to stray from the fact that this whole incident took probably about 6 or 7 seconds. The speed and power she had was unbelievable. She covered 20 yards in a couple bounds before I could pull my spray and take the safety off.
So that is my story. We reported the attack to the U.S. Forestry Service. The next day the Bear Biologist from the Wyoming Game and Fish came and took our statements as well as GPS coordinates of the attack.
This is what I know for a fact. My Dad saved my life that day. If it wasn't for him I know the outcome would have been horribly different. He continues to be the man I look up to and will be there for me no matter what. I've thought a lot about this after the attack and wondered how many "friends" would have stood up to that Grizzly like Dad to try to save me rather than run.
My injuries were pretty minor astonishingly. Teeth puncture wounds to the back, cut lip, shoulder and elbow injury and scrapes and bruises. Extremely lucky.
Also... I can't express enough how fast this happened. Please carry a pistol but in this particular situation it didn't help because of her speed and instinct to grab for my spray first. Use whatever you need to survive, gun or spray. I just hope none of you ever have to make that choice.
Hunting in Wyoming and parts of Montana really should be a team sport. Glad you and your dad were at it together and that it ended well.
Wow Rowdy! That's as bout as close as it comes to cheating depth. Thanks for sharing that great story and re-living it with us! The speed in which these animals move can't be overstated. Prior to my experience, I would hear stories but never grasped the speed and power. I couldn't comprehend not having time to draw my sidearm. Even after seeing many bears turn tail and run previously. I always thought I would have time. The speed and power is very real!
ive Had 2 run between my legs .the whole time me pumping them full of 357 bullets ... I’ve run bears with dogs since as long as I can remember ... seen them do a lot
A number of years ago had a small sow black attack me as I was sitting on the rim of a small gravel pit with the bait about 80 yards away. Not an experience I would care to go through again...shoved the muzzle of a 450 Marlin into her side and touched the trigger. Actually headed back with the same outfitter this spring for another hunt. Have had others very close physically but she was the only one that ever attacked.
Rowdy, that sounds scary as hell! How long did it take to get your mind right and go back out?
Did she scratch you up, Newfi?
Huntiam, how the hell tall are you? Would've been a hell of a video!!
Rowdy- I guess you can say a fathers love is more fearless than a grizzly bear. Glad the story has a happy ending.
Dyjack...scratched the stock of the gun! There is a bit more to the story...as she was coming at me I bailed out down the edge of the gravel pit. A nice soft decent! She went around the rim and right after me. First attempt to shoot failed as the crossbolt safety would not come off...some gravel in it...clubbed her in the head with the gun...used Buck knife to unjam the safety and was able to shoot her. Hunted them the next two years or so but not on ground sets. The last hunt took a nice boar back on a ground set.
Dyjack - I continued to hunt that trip although I was unable to pull my bow back due to my injuries so I just called for my Dad most of the trip. Mentally I was fine but shaken up of course. Obviously I was spinning around at every noise the woods made from there on out. I've been to the same area twice after that trip. That was not my first encounter with Grizzly's in that area. I have had 5 other close encounters with them in that area over the years. Close meaning within 30 yards. Most of the time it's about a 5 to 10 minute stand off while they stand up and bark. It's always pretty intense every time but most of the time they end up grabbing their cubs and moving on without issue. Hunting in that area I have come to conclusion that it's the risk of hunting there.
That is one hell of an encounter Rowdy! Glad you and you father are still with us!
Last year in Wyoming we kept bumping into a grizzly sow with three cubs while elk hunting. Luckily, she always rounded up her cubs and went the other way. Found an elk carcass that they had been eating on in the timber that spooked me pretty good. Stayed away from that little corner of the woods after finding that one.
I have. I forgot her name. But luckily for me, I was too drunk to do anything about it.
Here is a photo of a bull my hunting buddy hit and we ended up deciding to leave overnight to pack in the morning. Put up a trail camera for the hell of it. Last time we ever left elk overnight. Doesn't matter if it takes all night, we get that Elk as fast as possible now.
Here is another Bull I got. I hit it a little far back late in the evening and decided pull out and start in the morning instead of risking bumping him and pushing him out. The next morning my hunting buddy and I ran into a Sow Grizzly with 2 cubs. After a long stand off with her 20 yards away barking at us and standing on her hind legs, she reluctantly walked away. I told my buddy "we are close to my elk, she didn't want to leave". 50 yards farther I could smell guts which led us right to my bull. You can see where she ripped the guts open and she pissed and sh** all around my bull and my bear spray by my side on the ground. I knew we were in a bad situation. So we got out of there to get the other 2 guys in our hunting group and more firepower. It was cold so I wasn't worried about the meat spoiling. When we got back to camp my dad said he shot a bull that morning. Worried that grizzly's would get at that one too, we decided to get his packed out first and then go get mine. By the time we got to mine, it was nothing but damn skeleton.
On a hike walking on an old overgrown two track. It was moderately windy. There was tall grass on the sides of the road. The tall grass swayed in the breeze as some unusual movement in the grass caught my attention just as a black bear’s head appeared coming out of the grass 10 feet in front of me. It looked at me then looked away down the two and bolted away down the road. I could not have done a thing to prevent an attack if that’s what it’s reaction would have been. If it wanted me it could have had me. Had it been a sow with cubs, it might have been a different story. Thankfully grizzlies are unknown in Colorado, at least not around here.
Rowdy, always thought that you Wisconsin guys were tough and your story confirms it. Those grizz sure need to be respected when it comes to predictability. Congrats to you guys for surviving that attack..........Bob
Rowdy, Please don't be telling anyone that we have grizzlies in the Dubois area. We won't have any bowhunters coming here. :-) I saw 9 while guiding this fall. I have been charged twice but haven't had your experience, thank God!
Well, that's it. You guys have scared me off. I'm done elk huntin.