Thursday, October 15, 2020

AR15 style Rifle in 6.8 SPC used in Self Defense Against Black Bear, Galena, Nevada

Image screenshot of video from, by Keith Parker 1 September, 2020 Lake Tahoe, CA. Cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten   Large black bear entering convenience store.  Not a picture of the bear which was shot.

The above picture was taken about 25-30 miles from where the black bear was shot by the homeowner in Galena, Nevada, a bit South of Reno. That is an easy days travel distance for a bear.

On June 19, at about 2:30 a.m., a homeowner in Galena, Nevada, just south of Reno, head noises as if someone were attempting to break into his house. He exited the house with an AR15 style rifle chambered in 6.8 SPC

A large black bear challenged him and started coming toward him. He shot the bear once, then as the bear appeared to be suffering, shot it again. After an extended investigation, the Nevada Department of Wildllife, NDOW reported no charges would be filed, as the shooting appeared to be self defense. From

NDOW officers did find a bear print on the man’s garage door and were later able to get him to speak in greater detail about the incident, though their reports note that the man appeared to still be visibly shaken by it. He explained to the officers that he got about 7 yards down the sidewalk leading to his door when he saw the bear, which he said began making huffing and puffing sounds, a “typical bear stress vocalization behavior as a warning for others to back off,” according to NDOW officers. 

When the bear approached the man at a closer distance, he fired one round from his Bushmaster 6.8 SPC AR-15 rifle, striking the bear in the neck. The man said the bear then rolled around on the ground before getting up and heading south toward one of his neighbor’s property. He said he shot it a second time–striking it in the back–in an attempt to stop the animal, which was making “whimpering” noises, from suffering.

The picture shown is not a picture of the bear which was shot in Galena. It is a picture of a human - bear conflict in Lake Tahoe, Callifornia.  It illustrates the area is home to a number of bears, some of which have become accustomed to obtaining food from human structures. There are ongoing problems between people and bears in and around Lake Tahoe.

Most news media is poor at identifying firearms models and calibers. Stories of defensive uses of semi-automatic rifles are important to document. They counter claims such rifles are useless or inappropriate for self defense. 

The opposite is true. The rifles have been designed for ergonomic use by a wide range of people with different body types. Calibers are generally easy to control. Magazine capacity reduces the risk of having to reload in a self defense situation.

Bear populations are on the rise. Because bears have been given significant legal protections, they are more likely to be unafraid of humans. Combined with increasing human populations, this results in increasing bear/human conflicts.

Bears which are unafraid of humans and which have associated food with humans are dangerous. Feeding bears is bad for both the bears and people. The common wisdom has been reduced to an aphroism: "A fed bear is a dead bear".

©2020 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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