Another bear attack in Alaska


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Preacherman
March 18, 2004, 01:47 AM
From the Anchorage Daily News (http://www.adn.com/front/story/4859481p-4795988c.html):

Brown bear mauls guide

By DOUG O'HARRA
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: March 17, 2004)

A Soldotna big game guide hired to protect seismic workers from brown bears was mauled Tuesday morning as he approached a den housing a sow and two cubs in the hills northeast of Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula.

Chuck Brady had been investigating the scene after one member of a four-person crew laying seismic cables reported seeing "something" move in the woods off a steep trail, said Mark Chihuly, who operates a bear monitoring team working with the crew.

"If there hadn't been a bear guard, somebody would have died today," Chihuly said. "They would have walked within 15 feet of the bear den."

Such guards have accompanied oil exploration crews ever since a fatal mauling in 1998. A seismic worker that year surprised a brown bear near Sterling and was killed almost instantly when the growling animal bolted from its den and bit down on his head.

In this instance, Brady had ordered the crew from Veritas DGC Inc. to retreat to a safe location while he walked down the hill to check. When he realized there was a bear den just off the seismic trail, Brady radioed the crew to move further away.

The sow attacked without warning, Chihuly said.

"She came out on a full charge, and he was able to get off a shot and mortally wound the bear, and then the bear attacked him and bit his legs and back," he said. "Basically what he saw was a flash of fur, and then she was on him."

After the bear ran away, Brady was able to walk out to a helicopter, and was taken by ambulance to Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, where he was listed in good condition Tuesday afternoon. Brady declined to talk to a reporter about the attack.

"It was my understanding that there was a claw puncture wound to the back and some more extensive damage to the right calf and hamstring," said Bruce Bartley, spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The sow and two cubs fled the area in different directions. The sow was later tracked by a bloody trail for 400 to 500 yards by Chihuly and guard Ted Spraker, a retired state biologist.

The animal was walking on three legs, but was clearly bleeding to death. They dispatched the dying bear with a shot.

"I was surprised that it was still alive after seeing all that blood," Chihuly said.

State area biologist Jeff Selinger investigated the scene later in the day and found that the bear had remained nearby for a while after the attack.

"It looks to me like the bear ran back to the den, ran back out, then it circled (and) made a loop but didn't come to (Brady) again," Selinger said. "It came back within 50 to 75 meters of the den and then ran off again."

The cubs ran too but never picked up the sow's trail, Selinger said. The yearling animals could possibly survive if they can find food, he said, but he wanted to examine them and put tags in their ears so they could be monitored.

Veritas crews have been conducting seismic exploration for Unocal to check out natural gas deposits in the Ninilchik Dome area of the lower peninsula, said project manager Henry Biggart. The workers lay miles of cables and listening phones across the forest floor. The network records vibrations from detonations as a way to find out about geologic formations underground.

The crew plans to return to the area today but will pull back if there is any sign of the cubs, Biggart and Chihuly said.

Brown bears are listed as a population of special concern on the Kenai. The deaths of eight sows in any year from human causes will, under regulations, shut down fall brown bear hunting. This death was the first of the season, Selinger said.

Chihuly said his goal was to keep seismic crews and bears separate, but Brady had no choice in this instance but to shoot the bear.

"Chuck's going to be fine -- he's just got a story to tell," he said.

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ReadyontheRight
March 18, 2004, 02:00 AM
"...She came out on a full charge, and he was able to get off a shot and mortally wound the bear, and then the bear attacked him and bit his legs and back," he said. "Basically what he saw was a flash of fur, and then she was on him...."

Great article! Does anyone know what gun and caliber the guide used?

Jim March
March 18, 2004, 04:26 AM
Looks like he hurt it bad enough that it soon lost interest.

Damn.

Well, on the bright side, he saved lives and survived. Bad day at the office but it could be worse.

Stand_Watie
March 18, 2004, 04:36 AM
Maybe one of you Alaska types can talk him into coming on here and telling us his story firsthand.

I for one would like to hear it.

PATH
March 18, 2004, 03:58 PM
Lucky he got a decent shot off. Thank God he'll be okay.

12-34hom
March 18, 2004, 04:10 PM
Sad story on both sides.

12-34hom

Travis McGee
March 18, 2004, 04:32 PM
"If you could only get off one shot before a grizzly bear was going to jump you...."

I wish I knew the caliber used in this case.

http://matthewbracken.web.aplus.net/snakelogo.jpg

sturmruger
March 18, 2004, 04:39 PM
Wow.. that is an amazing story. I hope his leg is going to be ok.

Ktulu
March 18, 2004, 04:46 PM
Awsome story. Up close and personal with Griz and able to walk away, goshdarn!

Chipperman
March 18, 2004, 05:07 PM
Sad for the bear. Hope the cubs will be ok.
Glad he wasn't mauled too badly. Sounds like he did a good job of protecting the other workers.

Lennyjoe
March 18, 2004, 07:05 PM
I would be afraid to walk up to a den with anything less than an RPG:what:

I did read in Field and Stream where that guy got killed by Mr. Chocolate or something like that. He was living up with the bears for quite a while and did a few documentaries on them. Guess they found his girlfriends remains next to his too.

Wildalaska
March 18, 2004, 09:34 PM
He used a 12 gauge with slugs as I understand it.

WildthatswhatimtoldAlaska

gbran
March 18, 2004, 09:55 PM
I'm going to the Soldotna area in June for a 8 day fishing trip that will include a fly-in to a lake, river and ocean fishing. I'd planned to bring my carry pistol. Should I take my .454 Casull instead?

tc300mag1
March 18, 2004, 10:06 PM
Good thing he wasnt hurt worse than he was..

JohnKSa
March 18, 2004, 11:19 PM
Stories like this make me think a double is the way to go.

Doesn't sound like he would have had time for 3 shots, no matter what, but he might have had time for a second using a double.

sharpie613
March 18, 2004, 11:53 PM
gbran,

Unless your carry gun is a .41 mag("bear" minimum:D ) or bigger magnum round, I'd take the .454. 9mm's, .38's, .45's need not apply. My cousin is a fishing guide in Alaska and carries a .44 mag and a .300 Win Mag just in case Mr. Grizzly makes a visit.

hso
March 19, 2004, 12:14 AM
Notice that the sow attacked briefly then withdrew. The behavior makes me wonder if it wasn't behaving in a typical protective manner of a sow with cubs and was not committed to killing the guide (not to say that the attack wasn't serious from the human standpoint).

Our comapny actually has a procedure for issuing weapons under one and only one circumstance - work in bear country. The weapon specified is the 3" 12 guage pump loaded with slugs. The selection is based on recommendations from the Alaska Fish and Game folks.

Wildalaska
March 19, 2004, 01:21 AM
I'm going to the Soldotna area in June for a 8 day fishing trip that will include a fly-in to a lake, river and ocean fishing. I'd planned to bring my carry pistol. Should I take my .454 Casull instead?

Dunno if you need your 454 on the ocean:neener:

When I fish the Kenai, I usually carry a 9mm.....

Fly in, have a Rem 870....

Notice that the sow attacked briefly then withdrew. The behavior makes me wonder if it wasn't behaving in a typical protective manner of a sow with cubs and was not committed to killing the guide

That typical protective manner can cause some real pain, viz the guy blinded last year...

WildfirepowerAlaska

Andrew Rothman
March 19, 2004, 03:32 AM
I did read in Field and Stream where that guy got killed by Mr. Chocolate or something like that. He was living up with the bears for quite a while and did a few documentaries on them. Guess they found his girlfriends remains next to his too.

That must be Timothy Treadwell, a good Darwin Award candidate.


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=43584
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=47074

Logan5
March 19, 2004, 03:59 AM
It's sad that he got mauled, that was some solid nerves and good shooting.
Last time I was in AK was for a rafting trip, and the outfitter had two ammo cans full of true Alaskan bear horror story books, to encourage us not to wander I guess. Of course I read them all, and I kept looking at the 12 gauges the guides were carrying and feeling pretty insecure (loaded with shot to discourage.) I remember one story about some trapper who carried a .38 lever gun (didn't say what kind, I guess .38-40?) and a .32 mag revolver, disappeared. Maybe two years later somebody shot a bear and in between the flesh of the face and the skull they found all these .38 and .32 slugs... I hope that was made up, actually.

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