Fists And Pocket Knives Against Wolves And Bears

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 3 weeks ago

Via WiscoDave and BRVTVS, first, in Banff National Park, Canada.

The Rispolis were asleep in their tent at the park’s Rampart Creek Campground when they were jolted awake after midnight by the wolf.

“It was like something out of a horror movie,” Elisa wrote in the Facebook post.

Matt instantly threw himself in front of his wife and the children, fighting the predator as it ripped apart the tent. While her husband was trying to keep the wolf at bay, Elisa wrote that she lay on top of her two boys to shield them. Together, the couple cried out for help.

Luckily, Fee heard them.

When he arrived at the family’s campsite, Fee told “Calgary Eyeopener” that he saw the wolf attempting to yank something free of the tent, like it was “pulling on a toy.”

“It was big enough that I immediately figured out what it was, which is weird because I’ve never seen one outside of the zoo,” he said. “It was just so much larger than any dog I’ve ever seen.”

Inside the now mostly collapsed dwelling, an intense tug-of-war was unfolding. Elisa wrote that the animal had “started to drag Matt away” and she was holding on to his legs.

“I cannot and don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly describe the terror,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, as Fee ran toward the tent, carrying only the lantern his wife gave him, he devised a hasty plan.

“I just kind of kept running at it and I just kicked it . . . in the back hip area like I was kicking in a door,” he said on the radio show. “I booted it as hard as I could.”

The kick may not have done much physical damage, but Fee said it was enough to startle the wolf into letting Matt go. Then, the animal emerged from the tent and Fee said he “immediately regretted kicking it.”

“I felt like I had kind of punched someone that was way out of my weight class,” he said.

But before Fee had to think of another way to take on the wolf solo, he said Matt, whose “whole half side was just covered in blood,” came flying out of the tent. The two men began screaming at the wolf and hurling rocks about “the size of a head of cabbage” at the animal to drive it back, Fee said. Soon, the wolf was far enough away that the group was able to flee to Fee’s campsite, where they hid in his minivan.

Next up, Vancouver, Canada.

Keeping his bike between him and the bear, he gave it a firm poke with the hiking pole, which led to brief a tug-of-war.

He remembers negotiating with the bear, saying “I know this is your territory, I’m just passing through – we don’t have to do this”.

The grizzly kept coming at him with “methodical, heavy swats” and – as those swats got heavier and stronger – Mr Dowler threw his bike towards it.

That’s when it came for him, biting deep into his abdomen below his ribs.

“It was so much pain and weirdness, I could feel the hot blood,” he says. “I’m being rag-dolled, suspended by my flank by a bear carrying me.”

It dropped him near a ditch about 50ft away and began taking deep bites into his thighs. He tried gouging at the bear’s eyes, and briefly, playing dead.

He then reached for a pocket knife in his right pants pocket – it was painful to do so as he could hear the grating of bear teeth on bone – and went for the bear’s neck. There was a rush of blood and the bear let go and walked away from him, back towards where it had come from.

Do you see anything in common here?  Let me point out two things: [1] Both of these instances occurred where the victim wasn’t carrying a large bore handgun, and [2] both of these instances occurred in a country that prohibits the carrying of large bore handguns.

The solution here isn’t to suggest that we not enjoy the wilderness God gave us.  He commanded us to “subdue the earth.”  The solution here in both instances would have been a large bore handgun.  If you lose a fight like this it will be because you relied on fists, rocks and pocket knives.


  1. On August 15, 2019 at 7:52 am, Bram said:

    Right after I got home from the first Gulf War in 1991, I did a walk-about on the Appalachian Trail.

    One night I camped a little ways off the trail on the Tennessee side. I did heed the Rangers’ warning signs and hung my pack with the food over a tree branch about 20′ up. I woke up to heavy breathing and footsteps the next morning and realized there was a large animal nearby. Of course it was the first time in 9 months I didn’t have an M16 strapped to me. After a minute I decided I rather fight it outside than have it come through the tent. So I drew my hunting knife and rolled out ready to knife-fight a bear which really wasn’t a good feeling.

    Luckily it was a relatively small female looking up at my pack and she took off running at the sight of me. But damn – when I do a similar walk-about at retirement, I’ll be sleeping with a gun.

  2. On August 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm, Fred said:

    This is my favorite part: “I’m being rag-dolled, suspended by my flank by a bear carrying me.”

    “Unprovoked bear attacks – provincial conservation officers believe this is such a case – are extremely rare.”
    Here’s a news flash for the Officers; the guy walked around a bend unannounced to come 30 meters from a griz. Uh, that’s called PROVOCATION. Your honor, I enter into evidence as exhibit A. The subsequent resulting attack. But what do I know, they are the Officials after all.

    As to the wolf attack:
    “There was no food or anything else that usually attracts wildlife found around or inside the Rispolis’ tent, officials said,…”
    I’m certain what they meant was, no food other than the family of four sleeping unawares and unarmed in the flimsy tent. But what do I know, they are the Officials after all. I’m forced to wonder, them being from New Jersey, if they vote for gun control? They probably do and will continue to. Americans have become so distanced by digitization and comfort from a natural innate sense that they are ready for the slaughter. They won’t make the connection, count on it.

  3. On August 15, 2019 at 6:46 pm, Donk said:

    Captain, first, I sincerely love my neighbors as Jesus commands. The naive yet gentle ones are the easiest and stir a mama bear response. That said, I do believe in microevolution – nest pas, thinning the gene pool (only slightly kidding) One goes into the bush w/nothing more than a hiking pole for defense? At that point my only sympathy is for the kids.

    We have a serious Coyote issue where I live in SC. I have killed two in the ravine behind where I live. I have NV, thermal and suppression so no one knows. I have heard packs ripping something to shreds at oh dark thirty no less than 6 times in two years where I live. My neighbor was stalked by a pack of coyotes broad daylight on a run on the local trails. Yet, these mooks go into the deep woods with Off? Mercy.

  4. On August 15, 2019 at 10:02 pm, BRVTVS said:

    A little more than a week ago, I saw a young black bear ahead on a trail. I didn’t see the mother around, but, since I had no desire to provoke her as I’m sure she was around, I turned back. I alerted other hikers on the way back and met the most airheaded attitudes, like they were going to a petting zoo. I’m glad I saw the bear (it’s not something I get to see often), but I also know to respect the bear and keep my distance.

  5. On August 17, 2019 at 8:16 pm, Steve Miller said:

    Posted on ammoland today some information about a canadian border experience I had not long after 2006 when they changed their dictums about bringing freedom i.e. weapons into their country. I did my research ahead of time and went disarmed – this was for a family reunion up in Ainsworth BC – yet was asked to pull over so they could search my vehicle, my luggage, my pockets, my socks despite my telling them about my research. One of the mounties said “we feel differently about guns up here than you Americans do” with of course not defining what he meant by “we”. This same mounty told me my G27 (my carry weapon at the time) was 9mm, not .40 S&W. I politely said “so I’ve shot the wrong ammo through it about 3,000 times?” And he told me “up here I could own one of those but you couldn’t” so yep Canada lost me as a visitor a long time ago. Oh and I had forgotten at the time that WA DOL shares the state’s CPL database with a foreign country (Canada) so they knew I was a CPL holder as soon as they saw my front license plate.

  6. On August 18, 2019 at 12:59 am, TheAlaskan said:

    Canooks…unarm yourselves and then be eaten by wolves and bears.

    Geez…maybe Alaskans and Canadians aren’t that similar. We kill bears and wolves that walk into OUR space…always.

  7. On August 20, 2019 at 11:51 am, Mike said:

    I posted this on another forum after reading about an unarmed camper being attacked by a mountain lion:

    “After all these centuries of progress and dominance, any law that disarms a man and leaves him at the mercy of wild animals is nonsense. Carry a modern weapon and to hell with the law.”

  8. On August 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm, rev_dave said:

    “Carry a modern weapon and to hell with the law.” Amen that.

  9. On August 23, 2019 at 3:10 am, maDDtraPPer said:

    “Carry a modern weapon and to hell with the law.”
    Ya been there done that got caught and felt the very heavy hammer of the law both financially and lifestyle repercussions.
    Anyways extremely rare for a wolf attack, is almost never happens. Bears on the other hand are best served up with a 1 oz slug or some 7.62 before they ever get that close.

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You are currently reading "Fists And Pocket Knives Against Wolves And Bears", entry #21724 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Animals and was published August 14th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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