Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Bear Spray, Gun and Grizzly National Park Incident

I actively look for and monitor defensive uses of firearms.   While some defensive uses of firearms are common, such as driving off intruders from a home, others such as defense against a grizzly bear, are rare.  They tend to stand out when they happen.   I missed this one, even though it did get some coverage in 2013.  The actual defense occurred two years ago in November of 2012.

It is especially interesting because both bear spray and bullets were used.  The only other one that I recall happened this year. The bear was killed by the gunfire, dropping, literally at the shooters' feet.   The shooters showed remarkable restraint, not firing until the bear was only 10 feet from one shooter, eight feet from the other, moving fast.  From
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Federal prosecutors have decided not to file charges against two young elk hunters after investigators concluded they acted in self-defense when they shot and killed a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park last fall, park officials announced Thursday.

The bear charged the two and their father from 42 yards on Thanksgiving Day. First, the father fired bear spray at the animal. The sons opened fire when the bear was 10 feet away.

The two hunters who shot the bear were brothers, 17 and 20 years old, accompanied by their father, who deployed the bear spray.  They were not identified but their Grandfather speaks of what he heard from investigators:
 "They complimented the boys on how well they did because the bear was within eight feet of one of them," Dwayne Trembly told The Associated Press.
The bear was hit with three bullets.  Two were to the head, and the third was to the back.  I suspect that the head shots occurred first, and and the shot to the back happened as the bear dropped and slid toward the hunters.   It seems unlikely that bear spray would have been sufficient to prevent injury in this incident.   I have not seen any description of make, model, or caliber of the firearms used.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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