(AK) Man attacked by bear, duct tapes wounds and drives self to hospital


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spacemanspiff
September 25, 2003, 01:21 PM
http://www.adn.com/front/story/4002102p-4023341c.html

WASILLA -- Bill Murphy spotted the little bear out of the corner of his eye and knew he was in trouble. It was a grizzly cub and next to it was mom. In an instant, the sow's head snapped around, and she was charging.
"I didn't even have time to jump," Murphy said, recalling the attack in an interview Wednesday at his home near Wasilla.

The 54-year-old heavy-equipment operator grabbed his rifle from the side of his backpack but couldn't raise it before the sow slammed into him, pinning him stomach first to the ground.

She clamped her jaws around his right shoulder and started shaking him like a rag. He felt her teeth pressing against his skin, then a pop as they sliced through.
"I just lay perfectly still and said, 'God, don't bite my head,' " he said.

A gregarious man with graying hair, Murphy suffered bites to his shoulder, thigh and buttock in the attack Sept. 17 along a trail north of Sutton. Polaroid photos taken at the hospital of the worst bite on his hip show an ugly red gash that looked like something made with a dull knife.

The bear also ripped his backpack, bloodied his down vest and left him with a nasty ring of deep purple bruises and welts on his shoulder.
"I wouldn't want to recommend doing this on anybody's to do list," he said.

Murphy ran into the bear on the Permanente trail off the Glenn Highway north of Sutton. An avid hunter, he'd gone to the area to hunt for sheep and moose. He rode in about 15 miles on a four-wheeler before putting on his backpack and setting out on foot.

He'd gone about two miles when he decided to walk through some willows to look for moose. In retrospect, he said, he should have made more noise given that he was walking into a headwind.

He saw the bears as he popped into a small clearing. They were lying down about 40 feet away at the edge of the clearing. The sow was facing away from him. But when her cub stood up, she turned her head and immediately headed for him.

"She made no noise," Murphy said. "She was on her feet and coming before I could blink an eye."

Murphy said at first he didn't know what to do, but as she continued to bite him he got mad.
"I said, 'Oh screw this. I can't just lay here and take this.'"

He slid his rifle free and jabbed the barrel at the bear. He doesn't know where he hit the animal, but the sow grabbed the rifle and started shaking it.
"It felt like you had a dog and were fighting with a broomstick handle," he said. "I just held onto it as hard as I could."

At some point, the bear let go, but then stood over Murphy, panting and drooling onto his head. All he could think about was the bear attack this summer near the Russian River in which a man bitten on the face was blinded.
"I just tried to keep my face down. I laid as flat as I could," he said.

Finally, the bear started to move away. Murphy said he got up planning to shoot the sow, but then realized his rifle had fallen apart. The stock was broken off.

He said he has no idea how long the attack lasted, but it felt like "two lifetimes." Still, his ordeal was far from over. He was bleeding and needed help. He wrapped duct tape around his shoulder and cut up a cloth bag to wrap around his thigh. He then put on his backpack, hiked out to his four-wheeler and began riding out.

He said he ran into some other hunters who helped dress his wounds, then continued on his way. They offered to help him get back to his truck, but Murphy told them he could make it on his own.

He got back to his Ford pickup and drove about a half hour to Valley Hospital in Palmer, sitting on his jacket to keep from getting blood on his truck seat. He reached the hospital parking lot just as shock started to set in.
"I opened my door and looked down and said, 'Whoa, I don't know if I can make it.' " He walked up to the counter and said, "I need some help, I've been bitten by a bear."

Murphy said doctors told him it will be about two weeks before his wounds heal. They didn't stitch up the bites because of the possibility of infection. Instead he has to clean them with antibiotic-treated gauze.

He also has to be careful how he moves. For now, he has to sleep on his stomach and can't sit down. He said he doesn't plan to give up hunting, but hopes not to run into any other bears.
"I can laugh about it now, but I wasn't laughing then," he said.


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he shoulda thrown the rifle at the bear. :neener:

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DorGunR
September 25, 2003, 01:30 PM
Whoa.......that was some story, glad the gentleman is ok.
I've never hunted in bear country, but I understnd they can be extremely quick.:eek:

Quartus
September 25, 2003, 01:33 PM
as she continued to bite him he got mad.
"I said, 'Oh screw this. I can't just lay here and take this.'"

He slid his rifle free and jabbed the barrel at the bear.


:D I love grumpy old men! Tough bird.




Hey, DorGunR, glad to see you around...

Jim March
September 25, 2003, 02:42 PM
I've seen and handled a Ruger SRH454 that had been turned into a 3" barrel "snubbie from hell".

That would have been DAMNED useful right about then.

Dr.Rob
September 25, 2003, 02:46 PM
uses for duct tape #23500.. bear wounds

DorGunR
September 25, 2003, 02:48 PM
Poated by Quartus
I love grumpy old men! Tough bird.

Hey, DorGunR, glad to see you around...
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Quartus..........it's good to be back.:D

TallPine
September 25, 2003, 03:48 PM
"I need some help, I've been bitten by a bear."
Understatement of the century. :D

When I was up there a few decades ago, I remember seeing some pictures of a Super Cub whose fuselage had been repaired with black plastic garbage bags and duct tape. Seems some fishermen had landed on a gravel bar, and a grizzly had opened up the side of the plane to get at their lunch.

Carlos Cabeza
September 25, 2003, 04:00 PM
I'm thinkin' snubbie hand cannon !:what: BEAR ! ! ! ! !

NEWSFLASH-----Man severely bruises wrist after shooting a SRH 454 five times to stop a charging bear.

280PLUS
September 25, 2003, 04:06 PM
add duct tape to backpack...

:eek:

Quartus
September 25, 2003, 06:35 PM
Man severely bruises wrist after shooting a SRH 454 five times


:confused:


Why would 5 rounds of .454 bruise anyone? :confused:

Chipperman
September 25, 2003, 10:11 PM
The bear will have more than a bruise.

I think he should return the rifle to the manufacturer for repairs under warranty. They obviously sold him a substandard gun. :D

4v50 Gary
September 25, 2003, 10:15 PM
Perhaps Duct tape should be renamed Alaskan Silver.

Quartus
September 26, 2003, 12:12 AM
Well, another name for a griz is "Silvertip", right?

:D

JeepDriver
September 26, 2003, 06:28 PM
And to think I was worried about Black Bears this season.

S&W 629 Mountain Gun moves up on spot on the "guns to buy list"

Mark Tyson
September 26, 2003, 07:58 PM
Duct tape: is there anything it can't do?

Missouri Mule
September 26, 2003, 09:26 PM
That folks is one tough hombre!:eek:

Cosmoline
September 26, 2003, 09:38 PM
You did know that Wasilla is the DUCT TAPE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!

Didn't you?

http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/wasilla/

I've seen houses that are pretty much held together with the stuff. Soon I will be living in one! I love the Mat-Su.

Cosmoline
September 26, 2003, 09:42 PM
There's a rough pattern to these sow attacks. Most of the time, lying still is the best bet unless you can get a FOR SURE kill shot in with a long gun. Shooting her with a handgun at point blank, unless it's in the brain pan, is just going to make her conclude you really *are* trying to kill her and eat her wee ones, and you'll be in deeper trouble. She'll throw everything she has into killing you, even if her heart is gushing blood.

Of course, then there was the fellow who lost his eyes to a sow.

And then there's the sows who's bouncing "wee ones" are 300 lbs of claws and fangs.

All in all, it's something I'm hoping to avoid!

Don Galt
September 27, 2003, 04:31 AM
So, is the correct solution (Besides making noise) to have your rifle on a sling, rather than in your pack?

And is .308 sufficient for such a situation?

A charging bear would be presenting its head, but I figure the heads moving as it gallops, so a headshot might be very difficult.

Visited alaska once, came upon a creek with a bunch of half eaten fish by it during a hike... and a nice flat area where a rather large bear had taken a nap within the previous twelve hours. (Hell, the fish couldn't have been more than a couple hours old.)

I don't know why I kept on hiking, but I did. Young and dumb. Didn't ever see the bear, though. Oh, and I was *unarmed*.

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