I've read Ammoland's compilation of over 100 Bear vs Pistol documented attacks and Watched Stuck in the Rut's video.
Only time I had something similar happen was in 2014 I was stalked by a big lion in Colorado, but he did not attempt anything. Felt pretty secure with my suppressed .22 for grouse and my 7 mag I was carrying.
I had special ordered a 10 inch Casull .454 from Freedom Arms up in Wyo. I put a 2x Stainless steel scope on it and I wanted to get an elk with it.
I was hunting east of Jackson in elk unit 81. My Mrs. at the time and I decided to split up and each take a side of a draw with quakies and a few pines.
About 1/2 way up she started hollering across the draw at me and pointing behind me.
I turned around and could see movement in the underbrush of the quakies and then bam!! it was a grizz coming at me.
All I had was that .454 and ya don't draw a 10-inch barrel pistol very fast!
I drew and started hollering but everything happened so fast and then he went to my left @ about 5-8 yards and was gone down the draw.
I've had a couple false charges on blackies but nothing got as close as that grizz did.
Needless to say, we got the hell out of that draw that morning.
Good luck, Robb
When the grizzly charged it came at us at us unbelievably fast and stopped at 10 yards popping it's jaws and growling. After a few seconds the bear turned away and we thought it was a bluff charge. After about 3 steps of going away she changed her mind and came back at us this time not stopping. The guide shot the bear with a scoped rifle in I think .325 SWM. Due to being very close the shot barely hit the bear. The grizzly turned to run away and after a few leaps turned back around and came back at us. The second shot spined the bear and dropped it in it's tracks.
So my only take away from my experience is an open sight rifle is better than a scoped rifle at 10 yards.
But I really thought I was going to get mauled , if it wasn’t for the cliff I think I would have
But I really thought I was going to get mauled , if it wasn’t for the cliff I think I would have
I have only used spray and it has worked well. They went the other way.
Now I carry a Glock 20, and although it’s been pulled many times, fired plenty of close range warning shots, I have yet to actually defend myself with it. The one time I needed it and would have been firing it for real, it was on my pack a few hundred yards away. I’ve changed my carry system and it’s never off my hip now. Same bear, same situation, the bear would’ve had as much lead it it as I could fire.
The first I was sheep hunting in the Brooks and saw a really large boar about 2 miles off and 1500 feet below me grazing on berries down in a bowl. After not seeing bears for several days and being alpine, I'd left my pistol at camp and was carrying spray. I ended up spotting a ram who had popped over the edge of the bowl and I raced to the other side to try and get in behind him. As I got close, the boar had switched drainages too and as I'd moved down and towards him, I unluckily ran into him as I came over a rise, there he was with us walking right into each other. He was about 150-200 yards off and immediately came galloping, but not the all-out run that makes you crap yourself, so I always thought it was a bluff. I yelled and pulled my spray and got it ready. I had a pretty strong cross wind and hit the spray too early when he was about 30 yards out. The spray made a big cloud and he stopped right before it and we both watched the cloud float off to my right with the wind. It never hit him, but he'd seen enough and ran off to my relief since I was down to BHs and a Havalon.
The second was the scary one; I was moose hunting on a float trip on the Omar river, which is known to have a lot of bears due to a very large chum salmon run. It was the end of the hunt and I was floating out and only about 5 miles from where I was meeting the plane and I came around a bend in the river and saw a big bear (although not as big as the previous bear) walking towards the river, obviously intent on crossing it, which would put us right in contact as I was floating his way and the Omar flows very quickly. I'd been seeing bears this entire hunt and yelling at them and them running off, so I figured I'd yell at this one to avoid the first time him seeing me being as I floated right by him.
I yelled and he immediately charged with that full speed charge that is really intimidating. He was about 200 yards away when I yelled, but they run fast and I was floating towards him in a quick-moving river. Anyways, he hit the river straight away which slowed him down significantly as it was about waist deep on me, but he was parting the Red Sea and water was flying. The problem was that it was raining and I had my pistol on my hip and was wearing chest waders and a rain jacket. Sitting in the raft to try and get out of a wind in my face to speed up, I couldn't get my rain coat unzipped all the way and when I reached into my chest waders, I could only get the very tip of my fingers on the handle of my gun, which brought a little feeling of helplessness (I was yelling/cursing). I had to lay down in the raft to be able to reach it and when I sat up, he was at about 20 yards, but deeper in water. I chambered a round and fired a round right into the air before even aiming and then fired two more, which I will not say if they hit him or not publicly.
He stopped and I floated right up to him as the river moved at the speed of a slow jog and I steadied myself to aim for a better shot because I was only going to have time for 1 more. But I didn't take it because he turned to his right as I came up on him to his left and the raft, now sideways in the river, was going to hit him and I was trying to decide if I wanted to flip the raft or what to do. Anyways, he sort of turned to his right and the bow of the raft went right up to his butt and brushed it, which turned me upstream with the bear now upstream of me. I could hear him panting and he started walking after me as I continued to yell and steady myself for a head shot, but in a second, the river had me rapidly floating away from him. It all happened so fast. Once I got to like 20 yards, he turned around and ran the other way.
That was the only time I really thought I was going to get chewed on.
The 3rd time was year before last when I was sheep hunting in the DCUA. I was camped on a knife ridge and had just gotten out of the tent in the AM and was toilet paper in hand about 10 yards from the tent headed to do you-know-what, when I saw what I thought was a 2 year old black bear coming over the lip of the depression I was camped in. I thought that because the year prior, a 2 year old blackbear had come into my camp and ran off with one of my gaitors. But when it turned sideways, I saw instantly from its forehead that it was a grizz, and that meant it was a 2nd year cub. Another cub ran up just as I figured that out and I thought, "oh shit." They were about 60 yards away. I didn't even bring a pistol on this hunt because I was bivvy hunting on a long hunt and didn't want the weight. Before I saw mom, I bolted for the tent and grabbed my spray.
I had a slightly quartering-to wind in my face, which is why the bears didnt scent me and I popped the safety and got ready as mom came over the lip. There was no where to go as the ridge was only about 40 yards wide and there was a very steep cliff on each side.
I was expecting an instant charge as the two cubs were between me and mom, but I stayed calm and let her sight me as I sort of cowered behind my tent with the spray ready and pointed her way. She woofed and the cubs ran back to her. She stood up for a better look and was sniffing the air, but couldn't catch my wind. She did the "3-bound-stomp" bluff charge a few times and I started yelling at her. I really had no way to go as they needed to go right past me.
This went on forever, probably 15 minutes. She was intent on not going back the way they came, but I had no where to retreat to. She never acted very threatening and only ever did the 3 stomp charge thing, but she kept doing it over and over and trying to get around me. After seemingly forever, they finally turned around and ran off the other way. I gave them a good 2-3 minutes and when I peeked over the lip, they were nowhere to be seen.
So I've sprayed once, fired once, and nearly sprayed a second time. I've not killed a bear and I'm not certain I would have been mauled anyways on any encounter. I've seen bears in Wyoming more than a dozen times and I've come across grizzys in AK while bird hunting another dozen times that all ran when I went after them with slugs in my shotgun. I've also yelled off another dozen or so bears moose hunting and they usually just run the other way, scared. Except in WY, where they just walk off like you're a squirrel in a tree.
I’ve never fought one off, but did have one sniffing my boots just outside my tent. The sound of the huge boar sniffing at about 18” from my head is something I’ll never forget. I had no gun, and my bow was hanging in a tree 20 feet away - not that it would have been any help. The bear just walked away - no harm, no foul. Saw him on the slide the next morning, and I peed again :).
Here is a pic of my son, Robbie holding the .454 the day we got it back from getting the scope mounted on.
Good luck, Robb
The son was attacked by a grizzly and his dad came to his aid and hit it with his bow and then I believe they were able to kill it/shoot it? It was a couple years ago and there were some pics of his wounds.
It was a great read, especially since it had a happy ending (not fatal).
Hopefully someone else will remember or the fella will see this. I tried to look for the thread but can't find it.
That's why, for most people, the broad pattern of spray has a much greater chance of connecting with the target in a panic situation than a handgun.
I think this is how it went down - if my memory serves me right. They were looking for a wounded elk. Came across some bones of a deer. Heard a noise and the griz was full charge very close and was on the guy before he could swing his rifle around.
The griz hit him full charge in the stomach - his rifle went flying one way and him the other - the griz was on top of him and as it attempted to bite his face the guy pushed his hand into the griz's mouth. He was screaming for his son-in-law to shoot it.
The son-in-law missed with the first shot, hit the griz with the with second shot (unknown where), the griz moved off and bit at where the shot hit it, back on top of the guy, the guy was kicking at it and still screaming for the son-in-law to shoot it again. The son-in-law then hit his father-in-law in the knee, his third shot.
The griz was still on the guy and him screaming to shoot it again. The son-in-law was screaming he was out of bullets. He found the other gun (30-06) and shot the bear again and as he tried to reload, he couldn't due to he was right handed and the guy was left handed with the bolt on the other side.
He finally was able to get another shot into the bear, it got off the guy. Now this gun was also empty - the guy reached into his shirt pocket and handed him 2 more bullets. The son-in-law loaded and shot it 2 more times - it walked off.
They were able to get cell service and call for help. The guy had his son-in-law call his wife - he said his good-byes to her then called his daughter and said his good-byes to her as well. The guy lived but took a long time untill he could walk again.
On two occasions I've had night-time Alaskan grizzlies sniff the backpack tent inches from my head. Scares the hell out of you but I'm still here and still hunting big bear country in BC, with bear spray on my belt. And what worries me the most is wandering into a gut-pile or carcass from and earlier kill that has a bear on it, with a sow with cubs in a close second place. I've seen an Alaskan grizzly run two wolves about 200 yards chasing them off my moose boned out carcass. They don't screw around.
That said on an Alaska hunt Randy Giesey, Ron Pittsley and I watched one lone wolverine chase a sow grizzly and her 2-year-old cub off a caribou carcass. All I can say is wolverines must really be bad -sses!
Warden asked why I didn't kill it and I told him I didn't want to skin the bear and clean the skull only to give it to him. He just laughed.
But to suggest that he was “at fault” for (perhaps) just stumbling upon the carcass just rankles.
The birds can be quite an attraction for bears. I counted 23 bald eagles and 2 owls not to mention the magpies the morning after working a deer and packing it out except the gutpile. I had arrowed 2 bucks and the first one I was unable to locate, then I ran into the second one heading back. I did not want to go back to the valley but wanted to make a respectable effort to locate the first deer I arrowed which I was able to find using the spotting scope and saw a magpie away from the activity where the bird show was happening on the gutpile …. I was able to recover the buck early that next morning but was on high alert for bears the whole time. My experience has been that if you leave it overnight it is not going to be there the next morning like it was in this case.
We’ve been bluff charged and had bears at night around the fence and tent. To be honest I don’t know if the fence actually works on bears but we certainly don’t ever have our game anywhere near camp and pretty much use multiple ziplocks and airtight compression bags to store freeze dried meals and other sealed food items.
The bears can definitely smell the blood and scent from our goats and deer handling on our camo as well as toothpaste and coffee but the encounters and run ins have been packing out and returning to recover the next day. It’s no fun breaking down an animal and packing it out in the dark. Once at the beach getting meat and capes in game bags inside of contractor trash bags then submerging it to get the air out before tying and submerging it under rocks works great. I’ve had bear tracks along the bank where game was submerged in this manner and not bothered. It’s been raining or snowing usually in November and the cold helps once you have game stashed.
Am I just imagining that arrow stuck in that bear???
I don’t suppose there’s an old link with the full story somewhere??
LOL, Bud! I missed the recurve the first time and that’s when the arrow poked me in the eye…
I’d love to see the video on the bear charge, though….
Philosophical Question: If you have to deal with a grizz that’s charging you because you have Poked The Bear and pissed him off…. Does that still count as “Defense”, or is there a separate category for Offense Gone Bad?
There was another one here a couple years ago. Black bear goes up the tree and pulls an archery elk hunter down out of his stand. Buddy fights the bear, climbs back up and gets pulled down again. They continue their hand to hand fight as he makes his way back to the truck, eventually getting there and driving off. He spent several weeks in the hospital having his leg reconstructed - most of his calf was given up as bear food.
A guy was up a tree with his bow at hand and probably an arrow on the string…. and he got pulled down off of his stand???
I don’t get it. What part of a bear coming up your tree trying to eat you doesn’t constitute a DLP shooting???
We can’t carry handguns, btw.
(Just joking fellas, just joking...8^))
I knew a gent that was the head of Ruger's production and he told me why the heavy pull # is do to lawyers.