Sheriff: Nevada man attacked by grizzly on North Idaho-Montana border died from gunshot wound

This is a strange turn of events. The facts have been reported in three different ways. First, it was reported that the grizzly bear had killed the hunter, then information emerged that the hunters had shot the bear then tracked it into thick brush, now it is being reported that the hunter who died actually died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Sheriff: Nevada man attacked by grizzly on North Idaho-Montana border died from gunshot wound.
By Katy Moeller – Idaho Statesman






  1. mikarooni Avatar

    Okay, let me catch up on the underlying (no pun intended) story here. These guys are from Nevada (what a coincidence… I believe that state might have some interesting history when it comes to people getting shot under strange circumstances). They’re miners, aren’t really into bear hunting enough to know the difference between black bears and grizzlies, and don’t know enough to not chase a wounded bear into cover; but, even in a global economic downturn, they decide to blow their miners’ incomes to go clear across a couple of states, all the way up close to the Canadian border, and squander substantial cash on hunting bears that have no significant value as carcasses. They know each other, maybe have some financial connections, and maybe know each other’s families or significant others …and one of them shoots another in the chest in an alleged fracas with a bear.

    Okay, am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the story line from an Al Pacino gangster movie?

    1. SAP Avatar

      mikarooni — thanks in part to this “Beck” person who used to have a puppet show on Fox (?), gold prices are pretty high (til a couple days ago anyhow). So, Nevada miners are flush with cash. NY Times had a big article about how Elko is booming again (and bracing for the inevitable bust).

      1. CodyCoyote Avatar

        Well now. The hunting scholars over at the Black Bear Blog have some ‘ splainin’ to do…

      2. timz Avatar

        So Beck was responsible for high gold prices?

  2. Leslie Avatar

    Montana has an online test you have to take identifying bears. You need to get something like 80% to pass to get a bear tag. Obviously, these guys didnt take it. Sounds like some drinking was also going on here. Another dopey hunter story with an unfortunate outcome for man and beast.

    1. jon Avatar

      I remember a story I read couple months ago about how a hunter shot someone thinking that the person was a bear. The wild animals aren’t the things you need to watch out for in the wild.

        1. jon Avatar

          I remember that story. Having hunters out there with their guns not being able to tell the difference between a human and a wild animal is extremely scary.

          1. jon Avatar

            This specific event shows how dangerous hunting is, but some want to label it a safe “sport”. There are more hunting accidents than wild animal attacks on people.Hunting involves guns. When you have some hunters not even sure what they are shooting at, it is very much dangerous.

          2. jon Avatar

            If these guys weren’t trying to kill bears in the first place, none of this would have happened and all of this could have been avoided. The grizzly would still be alive and the guy killed by his own friend would have too.

    2. Elk275 Avatar

      ++Obviously, these guys didnt take it.++

      One can not purchase a bear tag unless they pass the test. Your test results are on the computer system and it will prevent one from purchasing a bear tag if one did not pass or take the test.

  3. David Avatar

    Blimey, that cheeky bear has a gun! Only shows that Crappo and those other Idaho politicians are right! We need to protect ourselves from them overbearing bears! Dave

  4. Mike Avatar

    I’ve said it a million times: people need to pass tests before they can purchase guns.

  5. Elk275 Avatar

    Doo Doo happens. Dangerous game hunting is dangerous game hunting, not that black bears are dangerous game. Twenty people drown in Montana this spring during high water, many of them were floating rivers and recreating on waters that they had no business being on. Maybe we should have a test before anyone can by a boat.

    Hunters shooting another hunter during a dangerous game attack happens. One of my best friends has been a booking agent (for world wide hunting trips) all his life. Several months ago one of his hunters/client, who he booked to Africa shot the PH (professional hunter) through the hand with a 375 HH. The hunter had wounded a leopard. The leopard attacked the PH and was ripping him up. The hunter shot the leopard as the PH tried to pushed the leopard off. It did not blow his hand off but put a hole through the palm. That is the allure of danger whether it is climbing mountains, skiing the steep and deep, kayaking off of waterfalls or all of the other stupid stuff one sees at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

    This is and will always be tragic episode for all concerned.

    1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      I have a friend who guides a small number of brown bear hunters. When one shoots a bear that runs into cover, he has the hunter sit out in the open well away from where the bear disappeared and tracks it in alone. Far safer that way. It would simply compound the danger through the roof to have to worry about an excited, frightened and armed neophyte trailing right behind. A brown bear guide from Wasilla was killed by his client with a single shot from .375 H&H magnum last year down by Wrangell.

      I do think pepper spray has a lot to recommend it. I’ve recently been on a panel to develop a new statewide wildlife safety Standard Operating Procedures policy for the agency I work for, and pushed to make it less firearm-centric and with emphasis on pepper spray as a reasonable option, not based on my own experience (or of others in Alaska), but mainly from all of the accounts I’ve read here and elsewhere of it being effective in many situations in the Rockies. Pepper spray is definitely available and used in this state, but I think it is often viewed as a back-up option to firearms — which means in an emergency with very little time, it probably won’t be what gets used at all. Even sport anglers seem to emphasize buying and packing the new generation of more powerful, compact revolvers — .500 S&W, .454 Casull, etc. by Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Fortunately, attacks are very rare on streams that see a lot of angling effort because the bears have generally become accustomed to them.

      A tragic incident that happened in Alaska before statehood suggests a case in which a non-lethal deterrent combined with modern communications technology might have greatly changed an outcome, and also how policy has changed in even fatal wildlife attacks like those recently in Yellowstone where no effort was apparently made to kill and remove the responsible animal(s), whereas in the old days often heroic efforts were undertaken to show concern for the family by not allowing an animal that had killed a human to continue to live. A couple of US Forest Service employees stumbled upon a bear in its day bed above a creek on Admiralty Island. The bear had apparently not sensed them until they walked to within feet and the guy with the rifle was so close he worked the bolt and quickly shot before it had made any move toward them. It jumped on him and he got a horrific mauling while the other unarmed guy tumbled down a bank and climbed a nearby knoll where he watched without being able to help until after the bear had left. With no communication or U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue in those days, it amounted simply to a death watch, and he kept a fire going than night before walking back out to the beach. A crew came in later and retrieved the remains. One would think tracking down a wounded bear might have been a low priority in a remote area, but for some reason (probably consideration for the family), Hosea Sarber (a well-known field employee of the Alaska Game Commission) went back the next year to look for it. For one thing, how would he know he’d found the right one? He saw various bears on his way up the creek and, when he approached the site of the knoll with the day bed where the mauling happened, quietly climbed up on log leaning against a tree. When he worked the bolt on his rifle, a bear suddenly vocalized and came rushing down slope and charged around in the foliage near his perch, before finally pausing and catching his movement. He shot it and it was found to indeed have what appeared to be a healed bullet wound. I guess it shows once again they’re creatures of habit with associative abilities . . . . . (speaking of both bears and humans, although admittedly the associative abilities of humans often go hay-wire).

  6. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I suspect that these guys didn’t care whether it was a Grizzly or not. It was a “BEAR” and they shot first and asked questions later. I have hunted with people that are so eager to kill something that they just seem to lose all common sense when they have a gun and an animal presents itself.
    I was hunting Elk up by Stanley years ago and an airman from Mountain Home Airbase was parked at the end of the road and asked if he could follow along.
    We stopped to eat lunch and a weasel popped out of a hole near my foot. As I was digging in my backpack for a camera, the airman pulled out his large caliber pistol and shot the weasel right at the end of my toe.
    He was hyperventilating in his excitement at having killed the weasel. He spooked me. I think he would have shot the weasel even if I had been on the other side of it in the line of fire. I told him I wanted to hunt alone and went in the opposite direction.

    1. Mike Avatar

      It seems hunting really draws the crazies.

      1. TC Avatar

        It seems this website is really drawing the crazies, and you’re leading the pack.

        Post something of interest on wildlife biology, ecology, or conservation. The anti-hunting sites are elsewhere. On this one thread alone you’ve insinuated hunters are crazy, ignorant, and alcoholics. Classy. Wrong, and short-sighted, and narrow-minded, and obtuse, and argumentative without any merit, but never mind any of that.

        It’s a very simple story. Two men with no business doing so went hunting bears, they shot the wrong bear, things spiraled out of control, and someone (that had parents and siblings and others that must have cared about him very much and that are grieving a senseless death) was killed. Yeah, seems like a good time to spew random bile and hate at the world – we’re dearly lacking those right now. Does your life suck so much that you have to denigrate the lives (and deaths) of others?

        1. Mike Avatar

          Bile. Interesting choice of words. It doesn’t get much more acidic than shooting wild animals.

          Why? What purpose does it serve? This country no longer needs the meat of wild animals to survive as it did when we were settlers. Ever look at a roadless area map? Roads are everywhere. Motors are everywhere, and in turn people. There’s no place where animals can’t be left alone save for a few big wilderness areas.

          Sure, I’ve met some good hunters. I’ve never met Save Bears, but I bet he’s a good one. But there’s a ton of bad ones out there, getting away with poor ethics every single day. Killing seems to invite people to go beyond ethical behavior, and it seems those educated or intelligent enough to stay behind that line are not as many as we’d hope.

          These bears minding their own business out there can’t really stick up for themselves because they face poor odds at fifty yards in the rifle sights.

  7. Craig Avatar

    I agree you should know what the hell you are gonna shoot at! But this isn’t something that anyone plans for! Think about being in that situation? Do you shoot the Bear to save your friend or not risk it because you could kill him!
    You have less than a few SECONDS at this point! Panic, Adrenaline,Stress, all come into play. I would if I thought the shot was clear to take the Bear out I’d take it. But I’ve shot(KILLED) many animals and nerves, excitement do play a role into shot placement! It’s something you cannot control and in a moment such as this nobody on this board can say shit about what happened! If you were not there than shut your mouth! This was a very bad situation and turned even worse! Maybe some things could have helped, but it’s to late!

    1. SAP Avatar

      You’re right, Craig. Lot of jumping to conclusions going on here. I am unhappy about them killing the grizzly, but there’s no need to go accusing them of being drunk, or just not caring whether they shot a grizzly, or whatever. They made an avoidable mistake that set this whole chain of events in motion. Clearly, if they had been carrying bear pepper spray the outcome COULD have been different (who’s to say what a person will do in an extreme stress event like a bear attack?)

      Be unhappy with them. Mourn for the bear. No need to make stuff up with no evidence, though.

    2. Larry Thorngren Avatar

      My,My, Craig. Shut my mouth? Maybe you are one of those who shouldn’t be allowed in the woods with a gun. I see that you aren’t brave enough to use your entire name. Too many infractions you wouldn’t want the rest of us to know about? Do you hyperventilate when you kill something?

  8. MtHunt Avatar

    2words: bear spray.

    1. Mike Avatar

      Three words: Hunting is antiquated.

    2. Elk275 Avatar

      What good is pepper spray when the bear is wounded. One is going to have to find the wounded bear and dispatch it, if possible.

      1. SAP Avatar

        What good would it have been? How about deterring the counter-attacking bear until a clear and safe shot presented itself? The result here speaks for itself – shooting when there was OBVIOUSLY not a clear, safe shot at the bear ended up killing a man.

        1. WM Avatar


          Gotta wonder what good bear spray would do on a wounded bear. I sense the adrenaline surge and survival instinct in a wounded animal going after the threat that might have been the cause of the injuries might ward off any negative impact however painful to the eyes/nose.

          Here, I’ll just spray this wounded bear that I KNOW FOR SURE is not bluff charging me and coming full bore.

          I wonder what SEAK,or his AK colleagues, have to say about that, and whether he would personally use the spray, while waiting for a “safer and cleaner” shot.

          It is an interesting phenomenon, and probably one that will likely not be clinically researched, just left to experience.

          1. SAP Avatar

            WM – scroll down to my earlier post on a different sub-thread: yes, adrenaline could reduce effectiveness. Don’t know.

            Keep in mind, OC spray does not just delivery painful stimulus to the nose and eyes, it disrupts respiration. It’s scary stuff if you ever come in contact with it, and panicking makes the constricted breathing sensation worse.

            I am not saying they should have gone in with bear pepper spray as their first choice of weaponry. BUT: if they had had bear pepper spray — both of them — the outcome could have been different. If the shooter had waded in with bear spray instead of firing when, as the outcome indicates, there was not a safe shot, things could have been different. I don’t know. Maybe they would have both gotten mauled? As it stands now, the shooter will likely face a manslaughter charge, his friend is dead, and a grizzly is dead.

          2. WM Avatar


            I saw your earlier post, which is what confused me about the content of the second one to which I responded. Don’t know what the time lag is from exposure to ill effects of respiration, but it only takes few seconds for the bear to cover ground and to its thing. Maybe you are right. I have no experience with the stuff.

            It would be very unweildy to carry both a rifle and bear spray at the ready (one in each hand), and maybe even dangerous. An eight pound rifle with finger near the safety (very difficult with some bolt actions because of where the safety is located), really requires two hands for rapid and accyrate aim. Suppose you could drop the spray or the gun, or carry one in reserve. A large bore hand gun, as SEAK mentions, would be easier to handle, but still walking into the brush with both hands filled would be difficult.

            As for a manslaughter charge, highly unlikely. The legal elements of the charge are not present, in the facts as they have been presented thus far.

          3. SEAK Mossback Avatar
            SEAK Mossback

            WM —

            I have never heard of bear spray being used while tracking a wounded bear. I think generally when somebody is following a wounded bear the objective to kill it tends to dictate what is used, beyond the idea of whether bear spray may be more or less dangerous in that situation. If a guide did follow up a wounded bear and it charged and he repelled it with pepper spray he would still face the problem of catching up with it again and killing it. And I think given that objective, it would be pretty difficult to consider switching back and forth depending on whether one or the other appeared most safe. As I mentioned, there is strong appreciation among some experienced guides that the danger of an armed client behind may well exceed the danger from a wounded bear in front. Maybe the client should come along but carry only pepper spray? As far as wounded bears in defense of life and property cases, I can only off-hand think of a couple of cases involving fisheries workers where the bear got away after being shot — both times after being hit with shotgun slugs. Although some effort to track them was made, in one case using dogs, neither was recovered. It’s nowhere near a sure thing but I am at least somewhat confident with a powerful open sight bolt rifle — at least it worked out the one time I was suddenly faced with a charging brown bear at very close range — at the abrupt end of my extended complacency period (common among people who discover and become comfortable around coastal brown bears), when it finally dawned that I had been pushing the envelope beyond reason for years in the way I waltzed about the woods.

            I certainly feel much less confident in making quick, accurate shot placement on a charging bear while peering around a scope on a hunting rifle, although it might be remedied somewhat by practice. I had a wonderful, convincing dry run exercise on Admiralty. When our kids were little, my wife and I used to book the USFS cabin at Admiralty Cove for a week in early November and take turns hunting while the other entertained the kids. The area is beautiful with excellent fishing and a trail to a lake with other USFS cabins at each end, so gets a fair number of visitors and the abundant bears in the drainage get human exposure. Despite the cove cabin being booked by deer hunters for most of the fall, it is one drainage on Admiralty where I have never heard of a hunter ever being injured by a bear. During my complacent days, I was known to stash a pack frame up the creek and return 2 miles down the trail after dark with a buck lashed on my back and nothing but a mini-mag flashlight to see with. There was a very large male in the area known amongst deer hunters as old Size 13 for the size of his track. I never saw him, but one snowy mid-November day found an extremely fresh body cast where he had just left an impression in deep snow after pulling a late coho from the creek and laying down to eat it. I probably mentioned this incident before, but one morning I was headed up the trail when I noticed a fairly large fat brown bear only 40 feet away with no real cover between us, sauntering along the stream bank in the opposite direction. I assumed he must have been one that had seen an awful lot of people during the summer, and had already seen me and made way by moving off the trail. However, with the wind blowing downstream, he finally crossed my scent about 85 feet away, and woofed and charged straight at me. I yelled at about 25 feet and he veered past never missing a stride, but as he was coming straight on laying down brush with sticks flying through the air and looking somewhat like a freight train, I wasn’t at all comfortable with the idea that I could stop him while peering around a scoped 30-06. If he had been serious and not merely trying to escape to his favorite hiding spot, it would have been a better job for pepper spray. We have discussed here before the idea of adapting pepper spray to work easily from near the muzzle of a pointed rifle without giving up the option of shooting — not sure how big the market would be but suspect there would be some sales among deer hunters here and probably some elk hunters in the Rockies.

      2. Mike Avatar

        SEAK –

        There’s nothing difficult about carrying bear spray and a rifle. I know twelve year old girls who carry spray with a 30 pound pack.

        Wear a belt and use a proper bear spray holster. It’s fast and easy to access the spray.

        1. wolf moderate Avatar
          wolf moderate

          I think he was implying that while tracking wounded bears, it is an either-or. Either you have the rifle at the ready or you have bear spray at the ready. If you are trying to put down a wounded bear your goal is to kill it, not scare it away. How do you carry a rifle and bear spray at the same time, in your hands? Obviously they can have it on a belt or in a pack.

          I killed a black bear on Thursday evening and I was a bit worried tracking it through a brushy river bottom right at dark. Using a muzzleloader you only have one shot. In that instance, I would have loved to have some pepper spray…

          1. Nancy Avatar

            Wolf Mod – how did it feel to kill that bear with a muzzleloader? Did it take you back to your “roots” given the fact that you were hunting with an antique rifle and a risky shot? (as in no time to re-load)

            Are you eating this bear you shot or were you looking for bragging rights, a rug & head for the wall?

            Just curious……..

          2. wolf moderate Avatar
            wolf moderate

            All of the above.

          3. Nancy Avatar

            Wolf Mod, your response “all of the above” didn’t address my first question – how did it feel to kill that bear with a muzzleloader? “Brushy river bottom right at dark” aside…….

        2. SEAK Mossback Avatar
          SEAK Mossback

          Actually, I wonder how many elk hunters who have been charged have shifted their rifle aside and grabbed pepper spray? Probably lots of bowhunters, but I wonder how many rifle hunters. I was thinking more something integrated under the barrel that could be operated with the hand on the fore-end so the hunter could use what’s already in his hands and not have to entirely give up the option of using the rifle — unless he’s able to function like John Wayne. The worst thing is having too many completely separate plans and different impulses. Granted practice can help overcome that. Pepper spray isn’t carried much here, but a guy went deer hunting on Admiralty with a light .223 rifle that he figured was too light for bear protection but carried a heavy (.454) revolver in a holster like bear spray. Guess what, when jumped he was able to deploy neither. The transition from what was in his hands to what was in a holster did not work out in the very short time he had — got lots of puncture wounds and lost his scalp.

  9. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

    I second that two words: pepper spray

  10. Ken Cole Avatar

    There are at least two other stories about this turn of events, but if you didn’t know the earlier stories, the headline of this one makes it sound like the bear shot the hunter. The headline of the other stories make it a little more clear.

    It’s a unfortunate story all the way around. I don’t believe that bear spray would have helped in this situation. The only thing that could have prevented this would have been to properly identify the bear in the first place and then not to have shot it.

    1. WM Avatar


      Well said.


      When one looks at the risk posed by hunting generally, or bears particularly, it would seem likely (haven’t studied the statistics), on a per recreation hour basis, less risky than many other pursuits – say hang gliding, mountain climbing (from my personal experiences), bunge jumping, or even merely attending an air show (like the recent Reno crash killing nine and injuring dozens). There are no doubt others.

      Collateral damage, where non participants are also at risk, is a factor as well.

      Of course, if you really want to up the risk of being injured or killed go bar hopping/clubbing (also forms of recreation), or take a walk down some Detroit or Chicago streets on a Saturday night about midnight, or even Pioneer Square/International District in Seattle.

      The titilating part of this unfortunate story, from a media perspective, is that it has all the elements to stimulate interest and serve up a case example of bad hunting practices – identify and shoot the wrong bear, that inadvertently results in the death of your friend trying to help (and a new twist, that you may have contributed to your friend’s through accidentally shooting him even with an apparently well placed shot on the attacking bear, with a through and through round).

      1. Mike Avatar

        We all know that a ton of hunters are just plain dumb and the chances of something bad happening are pretty good.

        Don’t equate this with auto accidents.

        1. Savebears Avatar

          And Mike where do you come up with this crap. Be anti hunting if you want, but don’t think you are smarter, for the amount of hunters in the field every year, accidents are actually pretty low.

    2. Savebears Avatar

      People are focusing on the species of the bear shot, which in reality does not make a difference, wounded bears are very difficult to deal with, no matter the species.

      There were many mistakes made in this particular incident and as it turns out, identification was the least of the mistakes. I am a very strong advocate for bear spray, but in this situation, I really don’t think it would have changed the outcome.

      I would like to know where people are coming up with the speculation they were drinking?

      1. SAP Avatar

        I think bear pepper spray COULD have broken off the bear’s counter-attack (let’s start using that term) long enough to get safely away. I wasn’t there, but it’s clearly very dangerous to shoot into a fracas like that. Yes, his bullet stopped the bear, but look at the collateral damage.

        Bear pepper spray and law enforcement OC spray have been suspected of not working in just a handful of high-adrenaline high-respiration situations. Meth users and PCP users sometimes can fight through it. There is a case in Scott McMillion’s book of a charging female grizzly (chapter titled “A Bear of a Job”) who fought through bear pepper spray; this bear charged from an estimated 300 meters and the spray may have hit her on an exhale. Or, since it was 1994, it may have been sub-standard spray?

        Anyway, a wounded bear fighting for survival may not have been deterred by bear pepper spray. We’ll never know.

        High-velocity bullets can do funny things – especially at close range when they have maximum velocity. Exit wounds are sometimes a little surprising, especially on a heavy-boned animal like an adult grizzly.

      2. Mike Avatar

        I think most people just assume hunters are alcoholics.

        1. Savebears Avatar

          The you are assuming wrong, I am a hunter and have not had a drink since 1988, that is the problem with assuming, it makes an ass out of you!

  11. MtHunt Avatar

    Bear spray at close range and when an animal is moving, gun when it’s still and far(ther) away.

    1. Savebears Avatar

      If it is still, then there is NO need to shoot it! Especially if is farther away..

  12. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    Wolves reintroduced in 1995. Wolves responsible for human deaths in the lower 48 since 1995……Zero.

    Hunters responsible for human deaths since 1995……5,10,20,30…..????

    1. Savebears Avatar

      Jeff, this thread has nothing to do with wolves.

      1. Jeff N. Avatar
        Jeff N.

        I know that SB. My point was to show that the biggest threat to hunters are themselves. We’ve all heard the stories of how so-called “manly hunters” were treed by wolves overnight…etc…but here we have another example of a hunter shooting another hunter. When you have gun-toting careless hunters in the woods this type of stuff will happen over and over again.

        Hunters harmed by wolves since wolf reintroduction….zero, hunters harmed by hunters since wolf reintroduction….too many to count.

  13. Mtn Mama Avatar
    Mtn Mama

    I am no bear expert and definetly not a hunter, but have seen both Grizzlies and Black Bear in the wild and have had no question of which is which. Aside from other factors Grizzlies have the distinguishing hump. These guys are/were idiots.

    1. SAP Avatar

      Hmmm. You maybe ought to look at the on-line ID test. It’s not always that easy. Some really big, old Ursus americanus appear to have humps, especially if they have their heads down. Some younger grizzlies don’t seem to have humps.

      Not excusing what they did, mind you. But it’s not always that easy to distinguish. It is the hunter’s responsibility to look for a combination of characteristics, and, if in doubt, to simply not shoot.

      1. WM Avatar

        I’m with SAP on the difficulty identifying some individual black or grizzly bears, under certain conditions.

        There is high variability in both species, in some locations. Sometimes you can’t tell size, see claws or the head. Check out this brown phase black bear video. Think if you could not see the head front on, what you would think this bear might be, especially with the hump? Seeing the head, it is pretty darn easy, but what if you could not, and had no sense of scale, and could not see from the knee joint down?

        Grizzlies can also be very light (Toklat, for example), or very dark, and sometimes in deep timber and low light conditions it can be difficult to tell brown from the jet black so many black bears are.

        1. Mike Avatar

          “It’d be nice to be able to hunt this one”. Wow that’s creepy. You can’t just look at an animal and enjoy it without thoughts of killing it?

          The biggest indicator for me on a bear is the profile of the snout and how it flows to the head. Black bear snouts always seems to be more like a hound’s snout, as this bear clearly shows.

          1. WM Avatar


            This bear is easy to identify as presented. But, quartered away, and if you could not see the head, could you really say for certain?

            I didn’t even listen to the sound, and only presented it for the image, so didn’t hear the hunting comments.

    2. Mike Avatar

      I agree, and it’s even easier in person.

  14. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    According to one of the stories, both individuals agreed it was a black bear. I would hope that both binoculars and patience are involved with hunting bears, and not just squeezing off a quick shot.

  15. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    In Denali 1987, we saw Grizzlies from blonde to almost black in color

  16. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    Again, you weave intricate and entertaining stories. When can we expect the book?

  17. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

    I really like Seakmossback’s idea of a gun that can deploy pepper spray first. Just like people, bears can be unpredictable when they are hurt and in a panic but pepper spray can stop them from seeing instantly either with their eyes or nose but yes it is possible that momentum can still bring them on you and they could still give you a lethal bite but would a bullet stop it that point either? There are a lot of variables but a gun for hunting that has a pepper spray option might really change the statistics for bears killed accidentally while people are hunting for other animals. The times I have seen bears sprayed they stopped whatever they were doing instantly to access their new situation.
    As for a wounded bear I hope I never see one. Seak makes a good point also about people, like me, who have spent a whole lot of time with coastal brown bears and think that all bears are going to be reasonable. You never know when you might stumble on a bear coming out of a tagging drugging situation or a bear just shot by someone else. Although I feel way more comfortable around bears than I do around hunters when I am alone out there, I have never lost the knowledge that bears can kill people just like horses can, or bulls and even cows.

  18. timz Avatar

    So this guy should be charged with at least manslaughter and sent to prison.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue


      1. timz Avatar

        Why, had the bear lived it would have been given the death sentence.

        1. Immer Treue Avatar
          Immer Treue

          It didn’t.

      2. Immer Treue Avatar
        Immer Treue

        I’ll add that he may receive a fine for the initial shooting of the grizzly, however, when all is said and done, with the loss of life, and the shot that killed his partner a horrible accident, I would venture a guess that no charges will be brought against him.
        Doesn’t negate the fact that this tragedy might not have happened if the TWO had made the proper identification.

  19. Virginia Avatar

    At the risk of being blasted by all of the hunters on this site, I still see no valid reason to hunt/kill bears of either type, particularly killing a bear for “sport.” It disgusts me.

    1. Linda Jo Hunter Avatar

      Virginia you would probably like the tee shirt I saw that says “I reserve the right to arm bears.”


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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