Canada: Man Killed by Bear in British Columbia

By Dean WeingartenBear Attack BC 2015 Ward and Jami

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Picture from From facebook.com/wardho Ward and Jami

A young Canadian was killed in what appears to be a predatory black bear attack in British Columbia, near Mckenzie, Canada.  From vancouverson.com:

O'Connor slept outdoors Saturday night while his fiancée slept in their motorhome. After O'Connor's fiancée woke up Sunday she exited the motorhome, realized something was wrong and went to get help, said McLintock, in a news release.

When RCMP and conservation officers arrived, they shot and killed one lone wolf and one male black bear that was about 300 pounds in weight.

 

Black Bear in Northern Wisconsin

300 pound black bear in Northern Wisconsin

I did not find any mention of hunting or shooting from the couples facebook pages, so it seems likely that they did not have any firearms with them when the attack occurred. A couple of days before the attack, the young woman posted a video on facebook showing a solitary wolf visiting their campsite.

Bear Attack BC 2015 Wolf Pic

The firepit that the wolf is sniffing around may be where Ward O'connor fell asleep.

The video was taken from the couple's motorhome. A visitor on facebook describes it as a van, so it is probably one of the smaller models. A commenter on the site sent an eerily prescient message.

From facebook/jamiwallace:

Gabrielle Louisa Parker On my, what a scary and exciting experience. you guys have any weapons for protection?

The morning after the attack, Ward's fiancée, Jami Wallace, found evidence. She followed a blood trail from the campsite, found the body, then returned to get help. Ward's father rushed to the campsite, but could not get near the body because the bear was guarding its kill.  From cbc.ca:

Danny O'Connor rushed to the campground and started searching through the bush for his son.

“I wanted to get out there and see if I could save him,” he said.

“When I got there the bear was there,” standing over his son's body, he said. “I couldn't go closer.”

It takes a brave man to rush to the scene of a bear attack, unarmed. With Canadian gun laws, it is likely that he was unable to borrow a gun from a neighbor. We can never know if a firearm could have been used to save Ward. The attack may have been so sudden as to prevent any resistance. Ms. Wallace has not mentioned that she heard any commotion in the night.

If Ward had carried a handgun, virtually impossible under Canadian law, he might have been able to save himself, as happened with an Arizona camper in 2002. From thefiringline.com:

“SENECA LAKE, Ariz. — A man out camping with his brother woke up with one heck of a headache, only to discover that a bear was biting him in the head.

Thanks to his quick reactions — and to the handgun he was carrying — Rodney Black, 51, will be OK

Black and his brother were sleeping at their campsite at Seneca Lake, Ariz., when Black said he felt an intense pain in his head. He said the next thing he knew, he was on the ground, blood was gushing everywhere and he couldn't see a thing.

His said his brother screamed out “Bear!” and he managed to get out his handgun and shoot the animal dead.

“I don't know where I hit him,” Black told the Arizona Republic. “He went down on the first shot and I emptied my revolver into him. I knew that I needed to make that first shot, or I was in more trouble.

After officers arrived at the Canadian site of the bear attack, they shot a lone wolf before they discovered the black bear. It is likely that the wolf was the one in the video. They shot the 300 pound bear a little later. Subsequent investigation showed that the attacking animal was a bear.

Bears are hungry this time of year; and a sleeping human smells a lot like an easy meal.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    John Peer

    I’m not sure what role “Canadian gun laws” played here. We have nearly as many long guns per capita as you do, and the fact that this young couple was in bear (and wolf) country without a 12 gauge loaded with slugs is probably more down to choice than anything else. You’re correct, though, that handguns are only very rarely permitted in the forest..,although a pistol would not be MY first choice for bear defence…at least it would be close at hand, and operated with one hand! Most Canadians had hoped that the current Conservative government would have relaxed the… Read more »