Category Archive 'Grizzly Bear'
08 Sep 2017

Bow Hunter Mauled by Grizzly in Montana

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Rexburg Standard Journal:

A grizzly bear mauled a bow hunter in southwestern Montana, slashing a 16-inch cut in his head that required 90 stitches to close.

“I could hear bones crunching, just like you read about,” said Tom Sommer, as he recovered in a Montana hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Sommer said he and a hunting partner were looking for an elk they had been calling Monday morning when his partner spotted a grizzly bear feeding on an elk carcass in the southern end of the Gravelly Range, just north of the Idaho border.

“The bear just flat-out charged us,” Sommer said. He said it closed the 30-foot distance in 3 or 4 seconds.

His hunting partner deployed his bear spray, which slowed the bear’s charge. Sommer said he grabbed his canister so quickly that he couldn’t release the safety and he couldn’t afford to look down as the bear closed in. He ran around a tree twice and dropped his bear spray in the process.

Sommer then grabbed his pistol and turned to confront the bear.

“It bit my thigh, ran his claws through my wrist and proceeded to attack my head,” Sommer recalled Tuesday.

He still had his pistol in his hand and was going to shoot the bear in the neck when it swatted his arm down, Sommer said.

“Just like that it stopped. He stopped biting me, he got up and started to run away,” said Sommer, who splits his time among Idaho, Missouri and Florida.

His hunting partner had been able to deploy the rest of his bear spray, ending the attack Sommer estimated lasted about 25 seconds.

“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Sommer found his bear spray canister. His hunting partner had some blood coagulation powder and they made a turban, stopping the bleeding after about 15 minutes.

They walked a mile back to their spike camp and rode mules another 4 miles out to their base camp, followed by a two-hour ride in a pickup truck to get to the hospital in Ennis.

“Through it all I was very conscious, very level-headed and low key about it,” Sommer said. “Besides some scars, it doesn’t appear that I will have any problems.

RTWT

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First reported by gun writer Mike Venturino on FB.

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Extensive gossip, wisecracks, discussion at 24 Hour Campfire.

28 Jul 2017

Darn! She Almost Had Him

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A young sow named Bear 148 almost caught a fleeing bicyclist earlier this month in British Columbia. Had it not been for a passing couple and their truck, she would have.

Sporting Classics:

Two Idaho sightseers wanted to see wildlife on a recent trip to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, along the BC-Alberta line. Did they ever! The couple was driving a pickup truck along Highway 93 when they spotted a bicyclist heading their way, fast. It wasn’t until they saw what was behind him that his need for speed became clear.

A young grizzly bear, known to local authorities as Bear 148, was hot on the cyclist’s trail.

“I was sitting in the passenger seat and had my cell phone and had been taking scenic pictures all the way,” Cassie Beyer told CBC News. She continued taking pictures as the chase unfolded, snapping the above image during the process.

Another driver began honking their horn at the bear, allowing Beyer’s husband to put their truck between the cyclist and Bear 148. With the cyclist safe, the couple then headed on down the road.

This wasn’t the first encounter with humans Bear 148 has had this year. The young sow has chased a woman who was pushing a stroller and walking her dog; has interrupted a rugby event at a nearby high school; and has followed a number of hikers. She was relocated to nearby Kootenay National Park earlier in July but returned to Radium within two days.

As amazing as the bear’s brazenness is, the public’s outcry over the incident is even more so. Locals are organizing protests against the Alberta government’s decision to euthanize the bear if any more incidents occur, despite the many close calls people have had with 148 in 2017.

RTWT

Well, if Bear 148 will stick to only eating bicylists, I think she ought to be treated as a priceless natural resource, be bred from, and have her offspring transplanted to Eastern states.

08 Jul 2017

Watch Out For This Bear!

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19 Mar 2017

Unwise

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13 Feb 2015

Old Ephraim Versus Electricity

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“A Montana grizzly bear attempts to retrieve an electrically charged, road-killed deer. The deer is electrified as an experiment to protect hunters’ game kills and, in turn, to minimize bear-human encounters.”

Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.

31 May 2014

Tums Bear Commercial

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Also from Harberson.

08 May 2014

New Record Grizzly Bear

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RecordGriz

Fox News reports that a Grizzly Bear taken last Fall near Fairbanks by a fellow out hunting moose has broken the Boone & Crockett record.

Larry Fitzgerald and a pal were moose hunting near Fairbanks, Alaska, when they came across fresh bear tracks in the snow. Three hours later, the auto body man had taken down the grizzly that left the prints, an enormous bruin that stood nearly 9 feet tall and earned Fitzgerald a place in the record books.

Although Fitzgerald shot the bear last September, Boone and Crockett, which certifies hunting records, has only now determined the grizzly, with a skull measuring 27 and 6/16ths inches, is the biggest ever taken down by a hunter, and the second largest grizzly ever documented. Only a grizzly skull found by an Alaska taxidermist in 1976 was bigger than that of the bear Fitzgerald bagged.

I’m not really a trophy hunter, or anything,” Fitzgerald, 35, told FoxNews.com. “But I guess it is kind of cool.”

Fitzgerald brought down the bear from 20 yards, with one shot to the neck from his Sako 300 rifle. He said he and hunting buddy Justin Powell knew from the tracks he was on the trail of a massive grizzly, but only learned this week that he held a world record. …

Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements, and Missouloa, Mont.-based Boone and Crockett trophy data is generally recognized as the standard. Conservationists use the data to monitor habitat, sustainable harvest objectives and adherence to fair-chase hunting rules.

14 Feb 2014

Jean Jacques Annaud, “The Bear” (1988)

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16 Jun 2013

Grizzly Bear Chair

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Humboldt County, California was once home to half-horse, half-alligator mountain men rather than Pacifist, tree-hugging, pot-farming hippies. One old-time resident, Seth Kinman 1815-1888, boasted of killing 800 Grizzly bears in his lifetime and of having shot 60 elk in one month. He made furniture out of his trophies and presented examples to Presidents James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and Rutherford Hayes.

Hat tip to Greg Nylander via Vanderleun.

30 Aug 2012

Stopping Ephraim When He’s Angry

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A highly-provocative, must-read thread for those likely to go fishing or hunting in Grizzly Bear country from the Box O’ Truth’s discussion forums. (Firefox misinterpreted this as an attack site, which it is not. I just ignored the warnings.)

The bear came upon us on a creek at about 50 yards from the ocean. We were sitting, shooting the breeze. My friend fired first, hitting the bear in the left upper chest, it turned and ran at full speed around a bend. I popped up and shot as it passed through a small opening about 20 yards after it was first shot, about 1 second later. I hit it low in the left shoulder as it was running with it left paw extended towards the rear. The bear rolled another 15 or 20 yards, but was out of sight from our position. He let out a death bellow shortly after my shot. We waited 15 minutes before turning the corner and we found him dead.

We were both shooting the .375 H&H. CM was using the 260 Nosler Accubond and I was using the 260 gr. Nosler Partition. CM’s frontal shot hit high on the heart and my shot was low. … Both bullets exited from the same hole. … Remember, after a shot through the heart the bear went from a standing start to 35 MPH and had covered 20 yards in 1 second. Only after a second shot through both shoulders and the heart did it stumble.

CM’s bullet disappeared into the rear of the animal and mine went through the left shoulder, not breaking the bone, hit a rib, went through the heart/lungs exited the chest and stopped in the right shoulder, not breaking the bone.

We were in a race with the tide so we quickly skinned the bear and ran (staggered) a mile back to the cabin. The next day I went back to perform the autopsy. Something (many) had been feeding on the carcass and had eaten the bloody portion of the right shoulder including the bullet – one big bite. The next day another bear came and picked up the entire carcass, several hundred pounds, and walk off with it with out leaving a drag mark, presumably up the creek and into the alder where visibility was about 10 inches.

So, I think a grizzly bear is tougher than ballistic gelatin and a bullet that would penetrate 12 inches of jello would not penetrate 12 inches of bear shoulder. Therefore a side shot on a bear through the shoulder with a handgun cartridge would not make it into the chest or, if it did, would not have enough energy left to do much damage. Same bad news from the front. Even if the bullet eventually killed the bear it would not die in your life time which would only be another few seconds.

It has been determined the factor which determines your survival after a bear encounter – death vs being mangled – depends upon if the bear can get your head in its mouth.

They go on to discuss whether a hail of pistol bullets from a conventional large magazine handgun would work in such a crisis. I had John Linebaugh build me one of his 5-shot custom Bisleys chambered for the .500 Linebaugh cartridge. That pistol can send a 450 grain bullet downrange at 1300 fps, but the recoil is ferocious and I’m not sure exactly how fast I could hope to get back on target for a second shot. Not all that rapidly, I expect. All this is a very intriguing, and potentially a matter of life-and-death, debate.

03 Apr 2012

Man-Eating Grizzlies Are Eliminated From Yellowstone… With Reluctance

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The female grizzly bear, referred to as the Wapiti sow, killed Brian Matayoshi on July 6, 2011 and then killed John Wallace on August 27, 2011, after officials declined to hunt the bear responsible. The Wapiti sow was finally trapped in late September and euthanized October 2nd after four days of forensic analysis and chin stroking.

Jessica Grose, in Slate, describes how the swift and hearty justice dealt out to man-killing grizzlies in simpler and less-grovelly-toward-Nature times has been replaced by a new intensely ethically conscientious regime that will only kill bears which are deemed to have behaved with “unnatural aggression” or which have been found to have eaten people.

In the bad old days, they knew what to do with man-killing bruins.

The first extensively documented death by grizzly within Yellowstone Park’s borders was the fatal mauling of 61-year-old government laborer Frank Welch in 1916. And the park’s first extensively documented judicial execution of a grizzly soon followed. Some historians suspect the bear that killed Welch was abnormally ill-tempered because his toes had been ripped off when he escaped from a trap in 1912. Whatever the bear’s motives, though, Welch’s fellow laborers decided that “Old Two Toes” deserved to die for his crimes. Men from the road camp where Welch had been working placed some edible garbage in front of a barrel filled with dynamite. When the bear began to eat, they blew it to smithereens.

That was how grizzlies were treated if they injured humans in the early days of Yellowstone: They were killed.

Not today. Today, when Ephraim or Ephraimina takes out a tax paying citizen, there is the equivalent of a judicial procedure. There are major exculpatory loopholes. And even totally guilty bears are put down reluctantly, as big, salty tears pour down the faces of the responsible officials.

Every bear is pwecious, you see.

The euthanization of the bear known as “the Wapiti sow” was the culmination of a series of horrifying events that had gripped Yellowstone for months, and alarmed rangers, visitors, and the conservation biologists tasked with keeping grizzly bears safe. In separate incidents in July and August, grizzlies had killed hikers in Yellowstone, prompting a months-long investigation replete with crime scene reconstructions and DNA analysis, and a furious race to capture the prime suspect. The execution of the Wapiti sow opens a window on a special criminal justice system designed to protect endangered bears and the humans who share their land. It also demonstrates the difficulty of judging animals for crimes against us. The government bear biologists who enforce grizzly law and order grapple with the impossibility of the task every day. In the most painful cases, the people who protect these sublime, endangered animals must also put them to death.

Whenever a grizzly bear commits a crime in the continental United States, Chris Servheen gets a call at his office at the University of Montana in Missoula. Servheen has been the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for three decades. …

Before Servheen, Gunther, and their bear management colleagues could decide what to do, they’d need a lot more information. Was a grizzly bear in fact responsible for this second death? If so, which bear did the mauling? And what were the circumstances that led up to attack—was it provoked or had some hiker just been caught unaware? The answers to those questions would determine whether a precious animal would need to die. …

Wildlife biologists like Kerry Gunther help the park’s crime-scene investigators by speculating on a bear’s emotional state. Based on the evidence at hand, he tries to determine whether a given act of bear aggression might have been a natural behavior—the result of being startled while feeding on an elk carcass, for example, or seeing someone approaching her cubs. If a bear appears to have followed a hiker down the trail instead of backing off, or if it attacked campers while they were asleep, that would be more unusual—the result, perhaps of a deranged grizzly mind.

If you blunder into a bear that is thought to have attacked and killed you out of natural aggression (you violated that bear’s space, dude!) or via an impulse of self defense, that’s just too bad for you. The bear goes free, as long as he refrains from dining on your pitiable remains.

The authorities in question reluctantly draw the line at actual predation, simply because they are afraid of the public response to tolerating man-eaters in National Parks.

The zero-tolerance policy for man-eating bears invites an obvious question, though. Once a bear kills someone, whether it’s out of some wild-animal psychopathy or a natural inclination to defend her young, why wouldn’t she eat the corpse? Everyone agrees that it’s natural for grizzlies to eat carrion—they’re scavengers, after all. When I ask Servheen whether grizzlies can get “a taste for human blood”—whether a grizzly that starts eating people-meat will desire it endlessly—he dismisses the idea. “That’s for horror stories in movies,” he says. “Bears don’t get a taste for human blood. There’s no studies that show that.”

No studies show it, in part because every time a bear eats someone, they kill it. Not that it’s something that would ever be studied—biologists would never want to take the risk of keeping a bear that had eaten a person in the greater bear population. “We don’t want to test whether bears really get a taste for people,” Gunther explains. “The public wouldn’t appreciate us using them as subjects.” That’s for horror movies, but it seems like even the bear biologists think there might be some truth to the campfire legends.

22 Dec 2010

Viral Email Humor: Bear Hunting & the Pope

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The Pope went on vacation for a few days to visit the rugged mountains of Alaska . He was cruising along the campground in the Pope Mobile when he heard a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. He found a helpless Democrat wearing shorts, sandals, a Vote for Obama hat and a Save the Trees t-shirt. The man was screaming and struggling frantically, thrashing all about and trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly bear.

As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers wearing Go Sarah shirts came racing up. One quickly fired a 44 Magnum slug right into the bear’s chest. The two other men pulled the semiconscious Democrat from the bear’s grasp. Then using baseball bats, the three loggers finished off the bear. Two of the men dragged the dead grizzly onto the bed of their pickup truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they began to leave, the Pope summoned all of them men over to him. “I give you my blessing for your brave actions!” he proudly proclaimed. “I have heard there was bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic environmental activists, but now I’ve seen with my own eyes that this is not true.”

As the Pope drove off, one logger asked his buddies, “Who the heck was that guy?”

“Dude, that was was the Pope,” another replied. “He’s in direct contact with Heaven and has access to all wisdom.”

“Well,” the logger said, “he may have access to all wisdom, but he doesn’t know squat about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait still alive or do we need to go down to California and get another one?”

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Hat tip to Robert Breedlove.

15 Nov 2010

Bear v. Bison

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An amateur photographer with a habit of driving around inside Yellowstone National Park in his spare time taking shots of wildlife last month encountered a grizzly bear pursuing with intent an injured bison.

The photographs were taken around 7 AM at the Fountain Flats area, located between the Madison Junction and Old Faithful inside the Park.

The unfortunate bison had blundered into one of Yellowstone Park’s hot springs and was badly injured. As events unfolded, the bison managed to outrun the bear, but it was subsequently concluded to be too badly burned to recover and was put down by Park rangers. It seems a pity that the bear lost the race.

KTVQ reports.

The photographs have gone viral, and have been published in many places, including Field & Stream.

Hat tip to Karen l. Myers.

10 Nov 2010

One More Warmlist Entry

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It is always a good day for NYM when we are able to add one more dire effect to the Warmlist catalogue.

Julie Cart, at the LA Times, consults the environmental seers who explain that grizzly bear predation on humans in Wyoming and Montana results from Global Warming.

A number of complex factors are believed to be working against grizzlies, including climate change. Milder winters have allowed bark beetles to decimate the white-bark pine, whose nuts are a critical food source for grizzlies. Meanwhile, there has been a slight seasonal shift for plants that grizzlies rely on when they prepare to hibernate and when they emerge in the spring, changing the creatures’ denning habits.

The result, some biologists say, is that bears accustomed to feasting on berries and nuts in remote alpine areas are being pushed into a more meat-dependent diet that puts them on a collision course with the other dominant regional omnivore: humans.

Of course.

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