Ski-trek Briton scares off polar bear with gun


PDA






Cap n Ball
March 22, 2005, 01:56 PM
Did a search and didn't see this story anywhere else here. Sorry if this is a repeat. I think this woman is REAL lucky to be alive. I hope she's checking out her six o'clock. Polar bears are known to stalk prey....and for them people ARE on the menu.



Ski-trek Briton scares off polar bear with gun

CHRIS COURT

A BRITON bidding to become the first woman to ski solo to the geographic North Pole has had to scare off a polar bear with her .44 Magnum pistol.

Ann Daniels, a 40-year-old mother of four, said on day nine of her trek: "I had a scary wake-up call this morning. I had just finished packing up my kit, and was halfway out of my sleeping bag, when a shadow passed across the tent.

"I unzipped the tent, pistol ready, and peered out. There was a big male bear eyeing up my tent. I fired one shot into the snow in front of him and one in the air as he retreated. I finished packing quickly and ran away, north."

Ms Daniels, from Whimple, Devon, said she had crossed 20 small "leads" - stretches of open water in the ice.

She has so far progressed 32 miles northwards on the constantly moving ice, with 488 miles to go.

Ms Daniels, pulling a 220lb sledge, set off from northern Siberia after bureaucratic delays held up her departure by 16 days. She was scheduled to be picked up by helicopter from the North Pole on 28 April, but that date has now been put back to 10 May. Her later finishing date means she will face the prospect of crossing more open water.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ski-trek Briton scares off polar bear with gun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
mfree
March 22, 2005, 02:01 PM
Heh, at least she's carrying a proper weapon...

Harry Tuttle
March 22, 2005, 02:08 PM
a buddy had a "really fun" weekend with a polar bear that was trying to eat him last year:

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature4/assignment1.html

He's had run ins with them before:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0012/feature2/assignment1.html

Cap n Ball
March 22, 2005, 02:20 PM
" at least she's carrying a proper weapon.."

True, a .44 Mag is a damn fine weapon but I'd feel much more comfortable with something bigger when confronting a polar bear. Anything other than a well placed head or heart shot would most likely only irritate the bear. I don't know how much skill with firearms this woman has but I imagine she was not exactly calm and cool enough to take careful aim had the bear charged her.

AZ Jeff
March 22, 2005, 02:34 PM
Polar bears are the only member of the bear family that will NEVER think twice about considering man as a suitable meal.

Any of the other bears generally avoid confrontations with man, and almost never consider a man a suitable meal.

To a polar bear, we are nothing more than a seal standing up, and thus, perfectly acceptable as a dining snack.

They are beautiful animals, perfectly adapted to their natural environment, but also THE MOST DANGEROUS of all the bears.

Vern Humphrey
March 22, 2005, 02:36 PM
She was wise to start her trek from Siberia -- if she'd started from Canada, she'd be polar-bear droppings by now.

Bear Gulch
March 22, 2005, 02:43 PM
Proof that some Brits still have spine! Good for her! They do better if the had more MPs like her.

TallPine
March 22, 2005, 02:52 PM
How awful!

I'm sure the poor bear is going to be psychologically traumatized for the rest of his (or her?) life. The big cute fuzzy cuddly bear was probably just curious.

This woman shouldn't be allowed to carry a gun out in the wilderness and terrorize innocent animals.

:neener:

secamp32
March 22, 2005, 03:21 PM
Maybe really hot wings would work like OC spray. We all know that Brits can't be trusted with real weapons. :banghead:

M67
March 22, 2005, 05:08 PM
A couple of Norwegian scientists shot one on Svalbard a couple of weeks ago, the largest bear shot there for some time. They tried to scare it off with a flare gun, which usually works. This one wouldn't be scared. They killed it with a single shot from a revolver (unspecified caliber) at a range of two meters - that's about six-and-a-half or seven feet to you :) .
She was wise to start her trek from Siberia -- if she'd started from Canada, she'd be polar-bear droppings by now. I think the Russians are extremely restrictive regarding guns, more so than Canadians. It is possible she forgot to ask permission, or that the gun was the reason for the "16 day bureaucratic delay". Norwegian pole-trekkers have been arrested in both Russia and Canada on gun issues, but I don't think any charges have been brought. That said, if you're caught bringing a gun into Alaska without every t crossed and every i dotted in the paperwork, you're probably looking at much more trouble than in either of the two aforementioned countries.

I do remember reading about an "expedition" a few years ago, I think they were French although that makes no difference. They were leaving for the North Pole from Norwegian territory when they were stopped by the police. The reason? They didn't have a gun. They were the bunny hugging type who insisted on "bear spray". The police gave them a choice: Either bring a gun, or be forceably put on the first plane to the south. They chose a gun. IIRC, they had to call for a helicopter to come and get them a few days later, apparantly they discovered that they didn't know how to ski either...

Standing Wolf
March 22, 2005, 05:30 PM
A Briton with a gun? The bear probably has a right to take her to court in "Great" Britain.

Bear Gulch
March 22, 2005, 06:08 PM
Some Brits have some sand left. I remember a Member of Parliment who gave is teenage son the shotgun and told him to protect the house while he was at Parliment. There was a great outcry at giving a teen a gun much less the thought of him potting a criminal!

Wildalaska
March 22, 2005, 06:28 PM
That said, if you're caught bringing a gun into Alaska without every t crossed and every i dotted in the paperwork, you're probably looking at much more trouble than in either of the two aforementioned countries.

You surely are living on a different planet than we are :)

Wildintroubleforagun?here?Alaska

4v50 Gary
March 22, 2005, 07:25 PM
I give her credit for carrying a gun and for being willing to use it. It certainly kept her from becoming a snack.

M67
March 22, 2005, 11:44 PM
You surely are living on a different planet than we are

Wildintroubleforagun?here?Alaska I am living on a different planet. I'm European. What I meant is that if I as a foreigner walk across the ice and end up in Alaska - with a gun - every alphabet agency in the US of A would want to see the paperwork for importing said gun. I am just guessing here, but there are probably mandatory minimum sentences for people who smuggle firearms from abroad. I am guessing that post 911 they would throw the book at me. Followed by the book case and then the library, brick by brick.

My impression of Alaska, never having been there, is that it is a nice place. Don't get your shorts in a knot because I singled out your state. It's just that the discussion was about polar bears and walking across the polar ice cap. In that context the gun laws of Utah or Alabama seem a bit irrelevant.

BTW, are Norwegians welcome in Alaska anymore? If I promise not to bring any dogs? :D

BlackCat
March 23, 2005, 01:20 AM
I don't know about Alaska, but the next coldest place, Minnesota, sure welcomes Norwegians, there's alot there already, but more couldn't hurt.


"It's hard to be humble when you're Norwegian."

Stand_Watie
March 23, 2005, 05:12 AM
Shhhhhhh. Don't pass this around. The next thing you know Parliament will be passing a law criminalizing Britons posessing handguns in a foreign country.

Regarding Alaska and British citizens packing, if you were to start your trek from there, I'd think wildalaska could probably sell you a gun when you get there with a lot less legal hassle than trying to import one, and you'd probably get a better price than in most of the rest of the world, but then you'd have to worry about the hassle on the other end of your journey.

akviper
March 23, 2005, 11:14 AM
I don't think anyone up here would bother to check for import permits or anything else from an armed Norwegian or any other visitor. We would probably notice any fool traversing the wilderness without a firearm. There are lots of big hairy things out there that like to stomp or eat you. When you are loaded up with a big backpack or have little kids your options become very limited. Try using pepper spray on a windy day if your protagonist is up wind. It's better to have an elephant gun and not need it than not have an elephant gun and need it. (I carry a 375 H & H Sako carbine in the bush.)

Vern Humphrey
March 23, 2005, 11:18 AM
"It is better to have an elephant gun and no elephant than to have an enraged elephant and no gun." :p

RevDisk
March 23, 2005, 12:21 PM
Personally, I'd rather carry P95's .45-70 BFR or a freakin Barrett.

Bear Gulch
March 23, 2005, 01:02 PM
My choice would be a law rocket. Frankly I doubt that you'd find many folks out on the ice pack checking permits. I was stationed at Ft Wainwright years ago and Alaska is the one place that I have lived where open carry didn't even raise and eyebrow. I would think that most Alaskans would view you as retarded if you attempted such a trek without being armed.

TallPine
March 23, 2005, 01:26 PM
I'd think wildalaska could probably sell you a gun when you get there
No, you would have to be a resident of AK to buy a handgun there (or any other state)

correct ....???

Cosmoline
March 23, 2005, 02:36 PM
Ironic that she has to go to the north pole to find the freedom to own a handgun, let alone carry one.

Nansen and Johansen, when they were stranded on an arctic island after treking over hundreds of miles of ice flows, would wait for a polar bear to poke his head into their cave, then shoot it and eat it. They kept alive in this manner after they ran out of sled dogs to eat.

Cosmoline
March 23, 2005, 02:46 PM
I am living on a different planet. I'm European. What I meant is that if I as a foreigner walk across the ice and end up in Alaska - with a gun - every alphabet agency in the US of A would want to see the paperwork for importing said gun.

I have seen many Germans and other Europeans hunting up here. The only paperwork problems would be getting the firearms into the state from another nation. They would need to go through the relevant European customs I expect, but on this end they would not cause problems. If you came down into the state from an arctic expedition, I can guarantee nobody would quibble about your sidearm. Frankly we need more arms smuggled here.

I suspect Robert Sorlie goes armed on the trail. Whole teams have been killed by early-rising bears in the past.

Cosmoline
March 23, 2005, 02:52 PM
No, you would have to be a resident of AK to buy a handgun there (or any other state)

Any US citizen can buy a firearm up here, you just have to indicate your state of residence on your form.

Since 9/11 things have gotten tougher for non-resident foreign nationals, but far from impossible. Those with a hunting license are allowed to purchase firearms in-state, those competing in shooting competitions and several other classes. Any foreign national can also be exempted at the discretion of the US Attorneys office.

TallPine
March 23, 2005, 03:18 PM
Any US citizen can buy a firearm up here, you just have to indicate your state of residence on your form.
Now I'm confused ... isn't it a Federal law that states that you may only purchase a handgun in your state of residence? :confused:

Or does Alaska somehow have an exemption to that?

Not that it matters to me ... I think we should still be able to buy rifles, shotguns, or handguns through the mail :p

Cosmoline
March 23, 2005, 03:34 PM
Hmm. Maybe one of the dealers can clear that up. I thought that GCA prohibition only applied to private transfers, and that FFL holders were allowed to sell handguns to non-residents as long as the paperwork so indicated.

TallPine
March 23, 2005, 03:37 PM
Let's ask WildknowitallAlaska ... he should know :)

M67
March 23, 2005, 07:03 PM
Nansen and Johansen, when they were stranded on an arctic island after treking over hundreds of miles of ice flows, would wait for a polar bear to poke his head into their cave, then shoot it and eat it. They kept alive in this manner after they ran out of sled dogs to eat. Nansen and Johansen didn't eat sled dogs, but they did feed them to the other dogs until they had to kill the last two dogs when they ran out of ice, there was no room for dogs in their kayaks. They hunted polar bear for food later on the trip. The most famous encounter was when Johansen was surprised by a bear that knocked him over by hitting him in the head so his teeth rattled. Nansen was standing on the ice floe, his rifle was strapped to the deck of his kayak. He had to get the boat back out of the water before he could get the rifle ready. Johansen was on his back, grabbing the bear's throat with both hands, saying something like "You will have to hurry up a bit, Nansen, or you will be too late." Nansen shot the bear in the head from what was probably contact range.

I suspect Robert Sorlie goes armed on the trail. I don't know. I grew up 20 yards down the road from him but I haven't seen him in years. He is about ten years older than me, so I didn't know him that well anyway. I did shoot high power rifle with his brother for several years. His father of my father would drive us to practice and matches once or twice a week for years until we were old enough to drive ourselves.

BlackCat: Thanks for the welcome. When I joked about Norwegians in Alaska, I was referring to Robert Sørlie. He is the Norwegian who has been teaching the Alaskans how drive dogs in the Iditarod. His nephew didn't do badly either, I think he finished this year's race as the best rookie ever, in 4th place. Next year it's his turn to pick dogs first out of the "pool" of dogs he is sharing with his uncle...

I half expected some of the Alaskans here to start a "Best caliber for Norwegian dogs"-thread. :D
Or maybe you could lobby the Norwegian government to reintroduce the strict regulations that made it practically impossible to travel abroad with dogs until recently. That's one of the reasons you haven't seen Norwegians compete internationally in dog racing until now.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ski-trek Briton scares off polar bear with gun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!