Man Shoots Bear who Pursued Him up Tree in Washington

Man Shoots Bear who Pursued Him up Tree in Washington
Man Shoots Bear who Pursued Him up Tree in Washington

U.S.A.-( On 25 June 2019, a black bear charged a man, chased his dog, then pursued him up a tree until he shot and killed it with a pistol. The attack occurred in Pend Oreille County, Washington State, near Petit lake. The defender fired a shot in an attempt to scare the bear away, but that did not work.  From

According to Sgt. Tony Leonetti, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the man was walking his dog when he spotted a black bear about 20 feet ahead of him. The man told authorities the bear charged at him and his dog.

He says he fired a warning shot, but the bear continued to charge at him. Authorities say the man climbed a tree to escape and the bear followed. The man shot and killed the bear from the tree.

“He tried to make himself known – raising his arms, shouting at the bear – the bear stood up, it charged him. He immediately climbed a tree to get out of the path of the bear,” Leonetti said. “The bear was going in the direction of the dog, he fired a round to discourage or distract the bear from going after his dog. The bear came back towards his direction, and attempted to climb the tree that he had climbed. At that point the gentleman euthanized the bear in self-defense.”

I contacted Sgt. Tony Leonetti of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The sow was a cinnamon color phase black bear, about 150 lbs. The defender had climbed about 12 feet into the tree when the sow came back and came at him. The defender climbed further up the tree and was about 20 feet up the tree when the sow had reached 12 feet above the ground, in the same tree. Sgt. Leonetti said the claw marks on the tree were clearly visible. At that point, the defender fired three shots from his Glock model 21, chambered in .45 ACP. All of the shots hit the bear in the chest, killing it.

Sgt. Leonetti, who investigated the incident, said: “There was no doubt in my mind it was legitimate self-defense.” Sgt. Leonetti did not know if the bear killed near Petit lake could have been the same bear that attacked a woman two years earlier.

On 4 July 2017 a bear attacked a woman with two dogs at Priest Lake, about 10 miles away.  From

“The bear came from behind, bit one dog, then attacked her, then attacked the other dog and then turned on her again after she’d gone down on the ground and tried to play dead.”

Most of the damage was done in the initial strike when she was still standing and the bear went for her head, he said. “The second time around she had her hands up on her head and the bear bit her on the back and side.”

That woman required 97 stitches. It wasn’t until the woman’s brother and his daughter arrived that the bear eventually left. If any of the three of them had a firearm, they could easily have killed the bear. The authorities said the bear had a cub with it. It appears that because of the cub, they did not pursue or kill the bear. Two years would be enough time for the sow to have another cub or cubs.

Also in 2017, a black bear injured a man in the same area. From

A black bear charged a man jogging along Priest Lake on Monday, inflicting minor injuries to his leg before running off, Idaho Fish and Game Department officials say.

In the second case, which occurred on 1 August 2017, if the man had been armed, there is a good chance he could have killed the offending bear. In that case, authorities would have killed the bear but were unable to locate it.

We will never know if the sow that was killed in 2019, as it pursued a man up a tree, was one of the bears that attacked people two years earlier, in the same area.

Black bears who attack people are rare. Most black bears, when they encounter people, run away.

One of the advantages of defending against bear attack with firearms is the bear is usually killed. Authorities do not have to track down and kill the bear. The bear is no longer a threat to other humans it may encounter.

Black bears are thriving. Their populations are increasing. Killing the few bears that aggressively approach people is not a threat to bear populations. It selects out aggressive bears that are unafraid of people.

About Dean Weingarten: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.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Reminds me of an OLD joke. How do you tell what kind of bear is chasing you? Climb a tree, if it follows you up it’s a black bear, if it knocks the tree over it’s a grizzly bear.



Ej harbet

Aint too old! I never heard it.thanks for the lol


With animal rights groups pushing for and getting more protections for predators, it won’t be long before it will be a nightmare to go for a walk with your dog or family. How long will it be before the left declares the great outdoors a “No Gun Zone?” They are already trying hard to make self defense against the law.


This is why every time I see a report about an attack in California, by either a cougar or a bear, I want to cheer the bear or the cat! People get exactly what they vote for! Californians voted for no more bear baiting, no more cat hunting, no more bear hunting, and the result or more bear attacks! Same thing for Washington state. No more baiting, no more dogs, which means a free-for-all for Bears and last time I checked Washington state had around 30,000 of the black bears, and now have a viable population of Griz in the… Read more »


These people are doing everything they can to lower themselves on the food chain, just like the scripture says they will.


Long? It already is a nightmare. I use to walk the woods freely back when I was 10, now I have to go locked and loaded, because wild dogs, bears, coyotes, and coy wolves, and wolves do as they please. Then add in the big rat problem or deer, and it’s even worse. In the mentally retarded land of long island, they decided the way to handle it was used millions, tranq Male deer and cut thier balls off, and I shit you not.


And the shooter we won’t be charged! Fish and game should be running border security.


I know shot placement is crucial.
But knowing this firearm is exactly what I purchased for bear country.
My dad lives in Montana just north of Yellowstone near Livingston.
I load my 21 with Underwood +p 255 cast or 200 xtreme

Pastor Roy

When we lived in the mountains of Northern California’s Coast Range, we had a black bear that was marauding in our area. Many residents complained of the damage it had done and pets that had been killed. At the instruction of the local Fish & Game warden, I baited the bear and stayed up all one night waiting for it, to no avail. Finally, an hour before dawn I fell asleep on the couch only to be awakened by my wife, “Roy! The bear is here!” I thought she was imagining things, but when I looked out the window, there… Read more »


I carry everywhere I go these days, because I am old and crippled up, and couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper mache bag these days! Whether two-legged or four-legged opponents, without a firearm I am utterly defenseless. I couldn’t climb a tree even if my life were at stake, I simply do not have the physical ability at this point in my life. It’s Time people realized that human life is superior to animal life, and no that does not mean shooting anything you like, anywhere you like, anytime you like, it simply means that a human… Read more »


.45ACP, because big, fat, bullets make big, fat, holes.


But are quite poor at penetration . . . .155gr. or 165gr. .40 S&W or 124gr. 9mm would actually do much better at getting through the heavy skull of a bear.


That’s your opinion, which you are entitled to express. Obviously, in this case and many others, the .45 ACP was more than adequate. At reasonable ranges (minute of bear) the .45 ACP with BALL ammo penetrates well enough to do the job needed. Why criticize and make recommendations for something else when what was used was perfectly adequate? Was the man capable of drawing and firing the gun he had with him? Yes. Did it stop the bear? Not only stopped her, but killed her dead. Why in the world would you “dis” the caliber and the shooter when they… Read more »


I dono what hes talking about, if you are a good shot you can kill a bear with a .22 pellet gun. Yeah if your bad, you might need a fully auto pistol to take one down. One shot to the eye is all that’s needed. I suppose if your aims so bad you need to put a hole through its entire body to kill it, then yeah you would need a 50 cal.


That’s because you are regulated to only having goverment approved ammo.


I live in the Blue Mountains outside of Walla Walla, Wa. My wife and I go for a walk everyday and we encountered a Bear a couple of weeks ago. The Bear I would estimate to be 200 to 250 lbs. came out of the woods about 100 feet in front of us. The Bear stopped in the road, looked at us as we stood and watched then went on it’s way. We had no where to go to get away if we had to. I am happy I did not have to shoot it. Most encounters we have had… Read more »


Why you standing there like a scared deer? You’re suppose to be putting the fear of humans into it. You seem squeamish and forgot why animals dont attack people much, because our ancestors shot them on sight. So at the very least you should of shot in the air and scared the hell out of it. I cant believe I have to say this, but shooting a gun in the air is not dangerous falling bullets dont kill people.

Deplorable Bill

Pretty light weight bear. I have seen them over 400# up at Holley Lake. I am glad the guy was armed, it could have turned out far worse. Arm up, carry on.


Except on the Indian Reservation.



Ej harbet

Cause they have issues with white folks packing,lol
Seriously in certain reservations you can get into trouble where at the minimum they take your weapon and sometimes your car.reservations are like a different country


Our ancestors killed bears with spears, we have guns and this guys running up a tree like a scared little chipmunk, o how the mighty have fallen to such cowardice.

Wild Bill

@Maka, True, but I wonder how many ancestors brought lots of help with them, after seeing an other ancestor get munched by a bear.


No no no, you gotta use the bear spray not a evil gun hahahahahaha.

Dr. Smith

Great article, Dean! Here is an excellent source for tracking bear attacks: