Compare And Contrast Of Two Bear Attacks

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Dean Weingarten.

Cynthia had been dropped off by helicopter.  She was hiking along a narrow path on a ridge a few miles from the Salcha River, about 60 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. A “small black bear” startled her with a crash in the brush. It appeared to her, staring at her, from about 10 feet away. She yelled at it. She pounded a rock with her hammer to make noise. The bear was not intimidated.  Cynthia took a step back, which was also higher on the rock.

The bear moved out of her sight, then struck her from behind and knocked her down. She had been told playing dead was the best strategy, so she did. The bear proceeded to drag her for nearly half an hour. During that time, her right arm was disabled as the bear tore and chewed on it. She was able to get her radio out of her pocket with her left arm and signal for help.

The bear managed to eat and destroy much of both her arms before help arrived. She did not resist the bear.  If she had a firearm, she could easily have shot the bear. At 10 feet, standing still, even a small pistol could have worked.

[ … ]

Marti Miller was working for the Geological Survey as a cook when she met Cynthia, two years before Cynthia was attacked. They had become close friends. Marti visited Cynthia in the hospital and was well aware of the details of the predatory bear attack.

In 1981, Marti joined the Geological Survey full-time, after she finished her college degree. She had her own encounter with a predatory black bear after she became a project leader, sometime before 1995. In January of 1995, she was interviewed by Larry Kaniut, the well-known author of Alaskan bear books.

Marti Miller’s experience was similar to Cynthia’s in many ways. One difference was she was the project leader when her event happened. She was dropped off by helicopter in a very wild area, to work on a geological survey …

[ … ]

Marti decided to climb fast to get above the bear, to a place where she could see it approaching her.  She chambered a round in her rifle.  When she had gained elevation and space, she tried the radio again. Still no contact.  Then she saw the bear again. She moved directly upslope of the bear, and in her best command voice, yelled: “Get outta here!”

The bear was about 100 feet away. It looked at her and purposefully started walking toward her. When it was 70 feet away, she fired, aiming at the bear’s nose. The 180-grain Nosler bullet broke the bear’s neck, killing it instantly.

Dean is the king of bear attack reporting.  I’ve left a number of details out – go visit Dean’s article.  And never go into bear country without a firearm.


Comments

  1. On June 21, 2022 at 11:21 am, Dan Patterson said:

    “Never go into bear country without a firearm”
    Correct.
    And never get out of bed without a firearm. If you carry, carry everywhere.

  2. On June 21, 2022 at 8:53 pm, Fred said:

    This is really good. The rest of the article is also very instructive in many respects.

    “The project chief believed “guns added more danger to an encounter than they would prevent”. Her views became policy on the project.”

    This is why I think women make poor leaders overall and especially in dangerous places or situations. They ARE different than men. They just don’t have the same “protect” nature given by God that men do. Note also that the project chief “believed” guns added more danger. Is this a religious belief because it surely isn’t based upon facts.

    Aggression in a fallen world is a necessity. Regardless of any opinions about that, we sinned and death by the fang is part of the curse we brought upon ourselves. Defense from animal attack is part of the covenant God made with every living thing after the flood.

    There’s also the aspect of the office boss vs the necessary actions of a field person. Good leaders provide all the training and tools needed for their people to be successful. And those needs have nothing to do with a power point or spreadsheet in an office somewhere and feelings don’t matter, facts do.

    Cold hard ugly facts coupled with the ingrained emotional ability to inflict death when needed is the domain of men.

    This snipit of info by Mr. Weingarten is very interesting.

    “A significant amount of defensive bear shootings are recorded as hunting kills.”

    I would love see some data on this. Probably impossible to get accurate numbers. This is the bear equivalent of, shoot, shovel, and shut up. Of course it’s not worth having to deal with the government over a self defense shooting even, and maybe nowadays especially, the shooting of an animal. Just get a tag every year and if you have to defend yourself call in the tag.

    I wonder what The Alaskan knows/thinks about this?

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This article is filed under the category(s) Animals and was published June 20th, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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