Black Bears Kill Two!

Recently two people were killed and one partially eaten by black bears in Alaska!  Both attacks happened on the same day which is very unusual in it’s self!  Black bears do not have the reputation of brown or grizzly bears, and in most cases are far smaller than their bigger cousins.  That being said there have been black bears shot that have weighed in the 600 pound range, which is a monster for the species!

I have witnessed the raw power of black bears as I have hunted them in the hills of Marquette for over 40 years.  From tree stumps, cabin doors, and even car doors and windows not much will stop a hungry bear who smells a free meal!  The two very unfortunate victims were no match for the 250-300 pound black bears that decided to “cross the line” and take on a human as prey!  One of the young men was a runner in a cross country race and veered off course and got himself turned around in the bush.  He used his cell phone to call a friend and tell him there was a black bear chasing him.  That is the last he was heard from until the rescue party found his remains with the bear standing guard over the body. The bear was shot, but retreated into the bush and as yet has not been found.  A 250 pound black bear has the strength of several “buff” men, and will have his way with you in a one on one situation.  I always carry a sturdy sheath knife with me while in the bear woods, and when appropriate have a sidearm along!

Details about the other attack are sketchy, but again it seemed to be an unprovoked attack with the human not standing much of a chance.  You may get away with punching a juvenile bear in the snout or picking up a sturdy branch to defend yourself, but a mature bear is another story.  I have had some close encounters with sow’s with cubs, and also some very big powerful boars.  In each incident I was very aggressive toward the bear, and to my delight they turned tail and wanted no part of me, at least on that day.  One never knows when he may encounter a bear with an attitude just itching to take “you” on.

It’s always a good idea to have a pre-set plan before venturing into bear country. You don’t want to be the statistic that crosses the path of “old blackie” with a chip on his shoulder!


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