Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- The video was filmed by Leon Lorenz on 14 June, 2010. Lorenz originally filmed grizzlys without carrying a pistol. His mother insisted that he start carrying a .44 magnum a decade earlier.
The video has not seen much play in the United States.
Mr. Lorenz has filmed grizzlies for the past 19 years and knew well how to prepare for an encounter with a bear. He’d washed with unscented soap and was sure to walk without making any noise. He knew he could likely talk his way out of a grizzly attack by calmly reassuring the beasts. After all, he’d done it before.
Most importantly, he’d packed his .44 magnum stainless steel handgun, a safe companion he’d toted on many of his excursions since his mother asked him to get one 10 years ago.
The video got my adrenaline flowing. It shows all bear attacks are unique. Sometimes, bears approach slowly. Sometimes they charge head-on. Sometimes they go away and come back. Sometimes gunshots draw them in, where they learn to associate gunshots with food. This is a real problem in Montana during elk season.
Sometimes gunshots scare them off. In this one, the bears run zig-zag toward the cameraman. They are likely following his scent in the nearly still air. The bears run in and out of the visual field of the video camera.
The cause and the effect of the .44 shot is obvious in the video. It dispels the notion that pistols are useless as a defense against bears. There are over a dozen cases where handguns have been used to stop bear attacks. I have been unable to document one case where the pistol failed to stop the attack or drive off the bear.
The cub follows its mother very closely. A two-year-old cub is a danger in itself. Sows with cubs make up a significant percentage of grizzly bear attacks. Lorenz estimated the bear weighed between 400 and 500 pounds. The cub appears to be less than half the sow’s size. It is still a significant and active predator that can do enormous damage. From the nationalpost.com quoting the Vancouver Sun:
“She was a blur, going by me, she was so fast. Even if I had hit her, her momentum would have carried her forward. She was running on so much adrenalin, she would have made sure I was dead before she died, and her cub probably would have attacked, too.”
Lorenz has grown closer to his God after the experience:
Mr. Lorenz said he always prays with his wife and two sons before heading out on his filmmaking missions, but is doing it a little more fervently now.
This incident was covered by The Globe and Mail, the CBC, the National Post, and The Free Press, and the Vancouver Sun in Canada. It has strong visual values. It touches our primordial instincts and fears.
The video is dramatic. It doesn’t seem to have been considered news by any American establishment media.
If you find a case where there was a failure of a pistol defense against a bear, please share it with us. I am not interested in 40-year-old rumors or second and third-hand stories. Stories of bears found with .38 bullets under the skin do not make the grade.
With an increasing number of successful defenses against bears, using pistols, there should eventually be a failure. It should make the news.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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.