There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s. So why am I writing one? Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong. Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject. It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information. Or you may not benefit at [read more]
JUNEAU, Alaska – As Josh Dybdahl waited for help on the side of a mountain and tried to hold pieces of his flesh together after a bear tossed him around like a rag doll, he tried to concentrate on the bright side of things.
“At least it’s sunny out,” Dybdahl recalled telling his hunting partner while the pair were waiting for a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter to find them.
Dybdahl, 30, knew he was losing a lot of blood, he knew that there was a chance the helicopter might not find him and he also knew there were more bears in the brush circling them. But none of that mattered. He had already made up his mind that he was going to live.
Sitting up in his hospital bed Tuesday, Hoonah resident Dybdahl went over the surreal mauling he had suffered just three days prior while on a hunting trip near Port Frederick bay with his friend Anthony Lindoff, 36. The two had taken a boat out to an area just 10 miles southwest of Hoonah to look for deer. As they were getting ready to make deer calls, Lindoff said, he heard something. He hoped it was a deer, but then he turned and locked eyes with a sow brown bear running straight toward him.
“It didn’t get the memo that it was supposed to bluff charge, this was serious,” Lindoff said. “It chased me first, and as I was running, backing away, I was trying to swing at it with my trekking poll because my rifle was in my sling on my backpack. I immediately thought that was the biggest mistake I could have made. . I felt like the worst hunting partner.”
Dybdahl threw off his pack and headed farther down the hill, trying to get his rifle in position to help out his friend. Unfortunately, Dybdahl didn’t know that the same direction he was moving in was where the sow bear had left two of her cubs behind. In what Dybdahl said seemed like a single moment, the bear changed direction and Dybdahl was on the ground. His rifle no longer in his hands, he screamed for his friend to shoot the bear as it pinned him down, and had its teeth in his flesh.
Dybdahl said he had never been more “in the moment,” able to see, hear, and smell everything so intensely. Everything he knew about bears went racing through his head. He realized quickly he was angering the bear more by moving and screaming. His body went limp and he was silent. But even though he made himself appear harmless, the sow didn’t stop. For the next 10 seconds, he said, his whole body could feel the bear’s ferocity and rage.
“When she bit down on my leg, my thigh, she ripped so hard. . I could hear everything,” Dybdahl said. “It sounded like paper ripping and she pulled my thigh. I felt my whole thigh muscle move away from my leg bone.”
[ … ]
Although he flinched when Dybdahl recreated the sound of flesh tearing, Lindoff was not as unsettled on Saturday. When he saw the bear on Dybdahl, he went through six motions in approximately 10 seconds, never skipping a beat. He slung his rifle in front of him, took the gun sleeve off, took off the scope cover, chambered a round, aimed and fired.
“I’ve never de-slinged my rifle that quickly,” Lindoff said.
The bullet entered the bear’s side near her lungs. She had just locked her jaw onto Dybdahl’s skull. Lindoff shook his head at the pure luck that his rifle’s scope was already focused for the shot. One more second to adjust the scope and his friend could have been scalped, Lindoff said.
Josh was very blessed. If you’re going to be in the bush, carry your rifle in hand, regardless of whether it’s comfortable or not. Or if you don’t want to do that, carry a sidearm for self defense. I think most Alaskan’s will tell you to carry a wheel gun, .44 Magnum or .454 Casull. That’s probably good counsel for the entire Northwest. Down South here, carrying .45 ACP is just fine.