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Thread: Backpacker kills bear in Denali National Park

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    Regular Member glockfan's Avatar
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    "ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.
    A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said in a statement.
    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.
    On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.
    Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.
    Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park."


    Lot's of interesting things here; 45 ACP versus grizzly (9 shots), legal to carry illegal to discharge, 1st killing of a bear with the new law allowing carry in national parks.

    I was talking to a park ranger at the entrance to the Skyline Drive recently and she told me they had a bet going amongst the rangers as to how long it would be before someone shot a bear on a bluff charge.

    Anyway...I feel safe with 40 s&w.


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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    glockfan wrote:
    "ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.
    A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said in a statement.
    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.
    On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.
    Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.
    Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park."


    Lot's of interesting things here; 45 ACP versus grizzly (9 shots), legal to carry illegal to discharge, 1st killing of a bear with the new law allowing carry in national parks.

    I was talking to a park ranger at the entrance to the Skyline Drive recently and she told me they had a bet going amongst the rangers as to how long it would be before someone shot a bear on a bluff charge.

    Anyway...I feel safe with 40 s&w.
    I wouldn't feel safe with a 40...or a 45 for that matter....against a Grizzly. It might do the trick but you'd have to make every single round count. If bears were my concern I'd want something of a much larger caliber. At least for a larger breed of bear.

  3. #3
    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Bears (not Grizzlies) are becoming more and more common in Virginia. My mom lives in Cumberland and she's come home several times lately to see a big brown bear watching her from the backyard. Apparently it wants the trash can (as is evident from the constant litter on the ground in the mornings). I keep telling her she needs to learn how to shoot but she thinks that because there are guns in the house that she is safe. She thinks that if she needs them she will be able to figure out how to use them in time to save her. But she is such a girl she would have NO IDEA. I've got to get her out to the range....

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    glockfan wrote:
    I was talking to a park ranger at the entrance to the Skyline Drive recently and she told me they had a bet going amongst the rangers as to how long it would be before someone shot a bear on a bluff charge.

    Anyway...I feel safe with 40 s&w.
    Pray tell, who but the bear would know whether or not it was a "bluff charge?"

    Only other way to determine this would seem to be to wait and see if the bear began to eat you. :shock:

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    glockfan wrote:
    I was talking to a park ranger at the entrance to the Skyline Drive recently and she told me they had a bet going amongst the rangers as to how long it would be before someone shot a bear on a bluff charge.

    Anyway...I feel safe with 40 s&w.
    Pray tell, who but the bear would know whether or not it was a "bluff charge?"

    Only other way to determine this would seem to be to wait and see if the bear began to eat you. :shock:

    Yata hey

    I think this is the angle that the antis have already manufactured to promote an existence of needless violence on the poor cuddly teddy bears. Its very similar to not being allowed to shoot someone who aggressively breaks into your home until you feel that he may shoot you first.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Interested to know if they were FMJ or JHP or what
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    Interested to know if they were FMJ or JHP or what
    $10 says they weren't Wolf.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    What was I thinking? He obviously used brown bear.


    (Yes, I know it only comes in 9mm. I shoot brown and silver bear at the range almost exclusively)
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    I think this is one of those situations that an AK pistol or PLR-16 would do very well.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    glockfan wrote:
    <snip>
    Lot's of interesting things here; 45 ACP versus grizzly (9 shots), legal to carry illegal to discharge, 1st killing of a bear with the new law allowing carry in national parks.
    If I'm not mistaken, some National Parks in Alaska already allowed the carrying of firearms prior to the "new law." Denali may have been one of them. I'm trying to find a copy of the old rules now.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    What was I thinking? He obviously used brown bear.


    (Yes, I know it only comes in 9mm. I shoot brown and silver bear at the range almost exclusively)
    Why would you think that?

    http://www.dkgtrading.com/bearammo/milspec.html

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemL...aspx?catid=375

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    t33j wrote:
    What was I thinking? He obviously used brown bear.


    (Yes, I know it only comes in 9mm. I shoot brown and silver bear at the range almost exclusively)
    Why would you think that?

    Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â*Â* Yata hey
    That's what's listed in the table on the site??? I've never actually tried to get it in anything other than 9 though. I'm talking pistol calibers here...
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    glockfan wrote:
    <snip>
    Lot's of interesting things here; 45 ACP versus grizzly (9 shots), legal to carry illegal to discharge, 1st killing of a bear with the new law allowing carry in national parks.
    If I'm not mistaken, some National Parks in Alaska already allowed the carrying of firearms prior to the "new law." Denali may have been one of them. I'm trying to find a copy of the old rules now.
    Here are the rules as they were in 2008. They also appear to be the same for 2006 and other prior years. I believe it to be true that firearms were allowed to be carried in Denali National Park prior to this year's change in Federal law:

    36 CFR Sec. 2.4 Weapons, traps and nets.
    <snip>
    Code:
    (a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and parts 7 
    (special regulations) and 13 (Alaska regulations), the following are 
    prohibited:
    (i) Possessing a weapon, trap or net
    <snip>


    36 CFR Sec. 13.30 Weapons, traps and nets.
    <snip>
    Code:
    (b) Paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section apply to all park 
    areas in Alaska except Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, 
    Sitka National Historical Park and the former Mt. McKinley National 
    Park, Glacier Bay National Monument and Katmai National Monument.
    (c) Except as provided in this section and Sec. 2.4 of this 
    chapter, the following are prohibited--
    (1) Possessing a weapon, trap, or net;
    (2) Carrying a weapon, trap, or net;
    (3) Using a weapon, trap, or net.
    (d) Firearms may be carried, possessed, and used within park areas 
    in accordance with applicable State and Federal laws, except where such 
    carrying, possession, or use is prohibited or otherwise restricted under 
    Sec. 13.50.
    <snip>


    36 CFR Sec. 13.50 Closure procedures.
    <snip>
    Code:
    (a) Authority. The Superintendent may close an area or restrict an 
    activity on an emergency, temporary, or permanent basis.
    <snip>



    The NPS web page for Denali National Park is incorrect in its statement "[a]s of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal and Alaska state law, to legally possess firearms within Denali National Park and Preserve."



    If you hear anyone blame the new Federal law for the allegedly unjustified death of this bear, make sure you let them know that the carrying of firearms was already allowed in Denali National Park prior to the new Federal law.

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    It's nearly impossible to tell if the guy was in serious threat, or just looking to test out his rounds against a bear. The bear is dead, and wouldn't be able to talk even if he were alive.

    Same crap for poachers. How do they know they're not full of crap when they make the "oh but I was about to be attacked!!" line?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    It's nearly impossible to tell if the guy was in serious threat, or just looking to test out his rounds against a bear. The bear is dead, and wouldn't be able to talk even if he were alive.

    Same crap for poachers. How do they know they're not full of crap when they make the "oh but I was about to be attacked!!" line?
    Don't know many poachers that would go after a grizzly with .45 ACP and then report it.

    Really have to ask - what is the ratio of bear sightings or encounters to defensive shootings of same? Suspect that it is extremely low - just majorly publicized. :?

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    It's nearly impossible to tell if the guy was in serious threat, or just looking to test out his rounds against a bear. The bear is dead, and wouldn't be able to talk even if he were alive.

    Same crap for poachers. How do they know they're not full of crap when they make the "oh but I was about to be attacked!!" line?

    First, one better know his shots are counting before taking aim on a bear. As you can see 9 shots with a .45 and it still walked 100 feet. A bear is not the best target to test your hand gun. IMO

    Second, if a person was going to poach they would not report it. I would think they would SSS (shoot, shovel, shut-up)

    Third, a person who was out just trying his/her firearm would be shooting everything or shooting at everything they see.

    Yes, I know there are some folk who are afraid of their own shadow when it comes to being out in the bush but I don't think the intent was poaching.

    These are just my personal reasons based on the limited life experiences I've had.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    There is no such thing as a "bluff charge" when it comes to Grizzly Bears. Bears (of almost ALL types), in general, will totally ignore humans, unless the bear has cubs nearby, or until the humans enter the bear's "personal space" which is pretty close...

    The term "bluff charge" was adopted by the Sierra Club and other environmental/animal rights groups as a way to demonize people who shoot grizzleys in self-defense, and has no basis whatsoever in actual grizzly behavior studies with regards to their interaction with humans. When a Grizzly starts running at you, history has shown that there are only two outcomes--you will be mauled and probably killed, or you injure the bear badly enough to make them change their mind.

    The idea that a grizzly would run at a human, then stop 5 feet away and just growl to scare a human is absurd, delusional, and has gotten a LOT of touchy-feely PETA-loving hikers viciously ripped apart and turned into Bear Lunch...

    Grizzlys DO "bluff charge" each other, as part of mating rituals, and in the group dynamics of establishing a hierarchy among dominant males and females. But they DO NOT "bluff charge" when they encounter an outside threat that they perceive is real, like humans.

    The defensive behaviors of grizzlys are complex, and many people report "charges without attacks" because they are jacked up on adrelaline and don't remember the situation correctly. Grizzlys will stomp, snort, rear up, and slam the ground with their front paws as defensive signs. But generally, if a grizzly starts running toward a human, it intends to make contact, and that contact tends to be vicious and often deadly.

    Black bears, however, have been documented to "bluff charge" humans occasionally. But then again, black bears tend to be even more skittish around humans than grizzlys. Black bears have been known to break to the side and run right beside humans rather than attack them. But Grizzlys just don't act that way...

    Bears in general are pretty skittish when it comes to humans, and will avoid human contact if they can. But if a bear is running toward you, you can be damn sure it's not because it wants to lick your face and give you a tender hug to welcome you to it's forest. It's because it intends to rip you limb from limb because it thinks you have invaded it's home and are a threat to it's family. (just like any prudent human would do if someone strange entered their home!)

    But unless a person has a proven track record as a "bear whisperer", the historical record shows that there is not much chance of surviving unscathed once a grizzly starts running at you...

    http://davidasmith.wordpress.com/200...charge-people/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G7AF...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2qYf...eature=channel


    This link is from the Denali Park website, and it makes an interesting point:

    http://www.nps.gov/dena/frequently-a...ding-bears.htm

    "Any shooting of an animal by non-subsistence users of the park must be immediately reported to park rangers who will conduct a thorough criminal investigation. The State of Alaska’s Defense of Life and Property (DLP) regulation does not apply within Denali National Park and there is no DLP regulation in federal law."

    Now, there is a law that needs to be changed, for sure. I was thinking there was a "defense of life" exception for use of a firearm in National Parks but apparently not. We should get that changed RIGHT NOW...

    There are currently 30 states (including Alaska) that have some form of Castle Doctrine, or do not have "duty to retreat" if you're being attacked by a human. Most states have explicit exceptions for their prohibitions against discharging handguns that apply if used in defense against ANY attacker--animal or human.

    The idea that our Federal government doesn't have a similar law is appalling...

    Someone at NRA-ILA, or VCDL or one of the other law-savvy groups needs to draft up some legislation to include a "self-defense exception" for the prohibition against discharging a firearm on Federal Parkland, and get it over to the Hill ASAP...

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    glockfan wrote:
    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    So since the stoc capacity of a 1911 Government model is 7 rounds, and some models have 8-round mags (Kimber, Para, Dan Brown, Wilson), how did this guy get off 9 rounds?

    Either he did a REALLY fast reload, or he was carrying a double-stack 1911 (Para, STI, Caspian) or he was carrying some .45acp other than a 1911, like a Glock, Sig, or an XD...

    I'm really curious to find the details on this one. Is there any way that a FOIA could be filed to get the particulars--firearm, ammo, etc?

    Actually, if this guy ends up being cleared of any charges (which he should) this story will probably make the "shooting press" and appear in some magazines this summer. Hopefully they will have all this info...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    glockfan wrote:
    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    So since the stoc capacity of a 1911 Government model is 7 rounds, and some models have 8-round mags (Kimber, Para, Dan Brown, Wilson), how did this guy get off 9 rounds?

    Either he did a REALLY fast reload, or he was carrying a double-stack 1911 (Para, STI, Caspian) or he was carrying some .45acp other than a 1911, like a Glock, Sig, or an XD...

    I'm really curious to find the details on this one. Is there any way that a FOIA could be filed to get the particulars--firearm, ammo, etc?

    Actually, if this guy ends up being cleared of any charges (which he should) this story will probably make the "shooting press" and appear in some magazines this summer. Hopefully they will have all this info...
    Well let's see. My 8 rd mags hold 8 rds + 1 in the tube = 9 w/o reloading, but that's just mine. :P

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  20. #20
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Another reason to carry a spare mag or two?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  21. #21
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah... duh--I've never been good at math... :P
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Dreamer wrote:
    glockfan wrote:
    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    So since the stoc capacity of a 1911 Government model is 7 rounds, and some models have 8-round mags (Kimber, Para, Dan Brown, Wilson), how did this guy get off 9 rounds?

    Either he did a REALLY fast reload, or he was carrying a double-stack 1911 (Para, STI, Caspian) or he was carrying some .45acp other than a 1911, like a Glock, Sig, or an XD...

    I'm really curious to find the details on this one. Is there any way that a FOIA could be filed to get the particulars--firearm, ammo, etc?

    Actually, if this guy ends up being cleared of any charges (which he should) this story will probably make the "shooting press" and appear in some magazines this summer. Hopefully they will have all this info...
    My EDC is a "Baby Eagle" Jericho clone, which carries 10+1 in .45ACP. Plenty of non-1911 handguns in .45ACP

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    t33j wrote:
    Another reason to carry a spare mag or two?
    Reason? Don't need no steekin reason.

    Even with 2 spare/back-ups = 25 total, I'm carrying half or less than local LEOs.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  24. #24
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    ?
    I'm saying if you shoot 9 and have no spare, you're all out. What if the bear didn't go down? What if you're in the middle of nowhere? Now you've got miles and miles to hike unarmed.
    Just add this to the list of reasons (just below, "because I feel like it") why someone might carry extra mags.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  25. #25
    Regular Member glockfan's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Pray tell, who but the bear would know whether or not it was a "bluff charge?"

    Only other way to determine this would seem to be to wait and see if the bear began to eat you. :shock:

    Yata hey
    Referring specifically to black bears in Shenandoah National Park apparently there is no record of one ever having attacked a human there.

    Some of the bears I've seen in Shenandoah had 30 people around them taking pictures at the side of the road ... attacking was about the last thing on their mind.

    I don't think anything's gonna change in that park I figure people always had guns anyway.








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