Black Bear Kills Unarmed Woman in Unprovoked Attack; Bear Spray Fails, Gun Works

Photo by Hubert Esquirol, Stephanie's father. from cbc.ca, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On 21 August, 2020, at McKie Lack, Saskatchewan, Canada, a 44-year-old mother of two was attacked and killed by a large black bear as she talked on a satellite phone with her father.

The father said he was talking to her when he heard a gurgling noise, and was no longer able to communicate with her. Nine minutes later, his son-in-law, Stephanie's husband, Curtis Blais, called him and told him of the attack. Curtis had tried bear spray, but it did not work, so he got a gun and shot and killed the bear. From cbc.ca:

After waiting two minutes, Esquirol disconnected and called back. No one answered. Seven minutes later, he got a call from his daughter's husband, Curtis Blais, who had been in the cabin's kitchen about 30 metres away.

“Curtis called advising me that a bear attacked her, that he sprayed the bear with pepper spray, and the bear got more angry.”

Esquirol said his son-in-law told him he got a gun and shot the bear twice before it went down.

“So by that time, Stephanie had no pulse. He gave her mouth to mouth, but she was injured beyond the point of recovery.”

Given Canadian gun control laws, one has to wonder how long it took him to retrieve the firearm and load it. Under Canadian law, every gun must be locked up and unloaded, unless actually in use.

The ammunition must be locked up in a separate container. There are exceptions for use during predator control and storage of a non-restricted firearm in a remote wilderness area. Even with those exceptions, the firearm must be kept unloaded.

Storage of Non-Restricted Firearms

5 (1) An individual may store a non-restricted firearm only if

(a) it is unloaded;

(b) it is

(i) rendered inoperable by means of a secure locking device,

(ii) rendered inoperable by the removal of the bolt or bolt-carrier, or

(iii) stored in a container, receptacle or room that is kept securely locked and that is constructed so that it cannot readily be broken open or into; and

(c) it is not readily accessible to ammunition, unless the ammunition is stored, together with or separately from the firearm, in a container or receptacle that is kept securely locked and that is constructed so that it cannot readily be broken open or into.

(2) Paragraph (1)(b) does not apply to any individual who stores a non-restricted firearm temporarily if the individual reasonably requires it for the control of predators or other animals in a place where it may be discharged in accordance with all applicable Acts of Parliament and of the legislature of a province, regulations made under such Acts, and municipal by-laws.

(3) Paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) do not apply to an individual who stores a non-restricted firearm in a location that is in a remote wilderness area that is not subject to any visible or otherwise reasonably ascertainable use incompatible with hunting.

The bear was reported to be between 250 and 300 pounds.

The bear was not starving. Its stomach was full of blueberries. From foxnews.com:

He said a conservation officer told him the bear was unprovoked in the attack and that the bear wasn’t hungry. It had a stomach full of blueberries.

Given that Stephanie was attacked without warning, it is impossible to know if she could have been saved if the firearm had been available and used first instead of the bear spray.

We do not know how much time was consumed by complying with the Canadian government laws on firearms and ammunition storage.

We do not know how much time was wasted attempting to use the bear spray.

We know, with severe trauma, the first few minutes and seconds are extremely important. Any delay of the delivery of first aid can be fatal.



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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Subscribe
Notify of
48 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
FORD Will
FORD Will
29 days ago

Your laws get you killed.

Rock
Rock
29 days ago
Reply to  FORD Will

Their laws GOT her killed

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
30 days ago

To be unarmed in the present time we live in is foolhardy at best. This woman might be alive today had she been armed. Liberal politicians know didly squat and care even less about the people and the constitution they are supposed to serve. Our RIGHTS come from the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY and, in this country, they are further written into law as the bill of rights, constitution and the amendments. There’s also the unwritten common law of man that is so obvious that only a politician could or would get all the above screwed up. Everyone has the right… Read more »

BigMikeU
BigMikeU
1 month ago

That is so sad! I know one thing i would never submit to unconstitutional laws! I would have kept a loaded gun within easy reach at all times in bear country!With conservation at an all time high these days there are even bear problems in my bluest state of southern New Jersey.If one is ever spotted in our area i will be keeping a loaded shotgun with slugs in it by the door some where!I already keep a loaded gun in the night stand next to our bed.The politicians dont care who dies as long as its not a criminal/Antifa… Read more »

Ram
Ram
1 month ago

People are being tricked into believing that we are so civilized
(all evidence to the contrary), that we are no longer on the menu.

Random71
Random71
1 month ago
Reply to  Ram

With proper tools we are the tier 1 predator.

With out said tools, well I guess its human, served blood rare.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

It’s a Fword shame. I look at the picture of the family and just below is another article with a young girl that is a shooting champion or is trying to become one, haven’t read the article yet, and she looks so young like she isn’t even 15 yet and she knows how to protect herself and has the right to when in the forests in America but not in Canada. So sad for them but hurray for us.
Let’s keep it hurray for us forever.
VOTE MAGAA 2020

ColdeadHands75
ColdeadHands75
1 month ago

This is what happens when liberals run your country!!

Dragonfly
Dragonfly
1 month ago

My first job after getting my BS-Forestry was on the Spotted Bear RD on the Flathead NF, MT in June 1963. At the time, it was the most isolated RD in the lower 48 states and probably still is. Over half of the district was within the Bob Marshal Wilderness Area. Grizzlies were common, black bears were more common. An old grizzle was shot the winter before I got to the district trying to get into the kitchen of the ranger station. While putting in timber sales, I saw fresh bear sign nearly every day in the woods. I had… Read more »

Living Free in Texas
Living Free in Texas
1 month ago

For 3 years in the 60s I was a Bush Pilot in Alaska . I have been confronted by a Polar a Gris as well as several black bears. Never had to fire a shot.

I often flew in Canada and always had at least two guns, one a long gun and a hand gun. Today, Canada has gone off the deep end of anti gun insanity.

Thank GOD for the 2nd Amendment and the NRA.

You do the walk around.gif
ColdeadHands75
ColdeadHands75
1 month ago

And many other Pro 2A organizations like GOA that have actually used money to support members(Kyle H. Rittenhouse} instead of paying millions to board members!

FORD Will
FORD Will
29 days ago
Reply to  ColdeadHands75

G.O.A. is one of the BEST GUN RIGHTS organizations…..PERIOD!

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago

Da Gummit up there in Canada may THINK they have a handle on firearms in private hands. I have it on good authoirty that in more remote areas, or even just a ways outside of the smaller towns, most everyone has a : Little Sidekick” that is readily accessible. Friend of mine was visiting in such an area, they were in the kitchen preparing a meal when his host asked him to fetch up a knife from a kitchen drawer. He opened “the wrong one”, and saw a full sized Glock lying there on its side, at the ready. He… Read more »

Hubcap
Hubcap
1 month ago

Canada, KISS MY ASS.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Hubcap

Another example of a government run by liberals, CANADIAN CITIZENS ARISE !!!!

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

You’re expecting men that wear Nickers to “arise”?

uncle dudley
uncle dudley
1 month ago

Living in an area that has bears means you should be aware of your surroundings and you should be packing a firearm, the laws in Canada sounds really stupid and if it were me I would have ignored the law in bear country, it’s a shame this woman is no longer alive because of her following the law made by some city dwelling liberals.

TStheDeplorable
TStheDeplorable
1 month ago

The Bear Spray Cult has taken hold within the National Park Service and the National Forest Service to the point where they claim bear spray is more effective than firearms. And, real life examples such as in this story notwithstanding, they will tell you with a straight face that “black bears are timid and do not attack unless threatened.” I’m sure that is a great comfort to the family of this unfortunate young woman.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago

You should look up Dean’s articles on the effective use of firearms of every calibre in defense against bears of all kinds. As I recall he documented upwards of a hundred incidents, detailing what worked well what barely worked, and what did not work. I hold that this body of research is definitive and near exhaustive.

Finnky
Finnky
1 month ago

Hate to repeat myself but! She really needed a dog. Even a yorky can sometimes annoy a bear into departing – but dogs job is not to fight a bear, just to warn you and possibly buy you time if you extra to employ your chosen defense. They had to fly in to their home, so I probably too expensive to bring a pair of Tibetan mastiffs, but even a hardy micro dog would probably have saved her life.

Random71
Random71
1 month ago
Reply to  Finnky

Bang on.
When I was a boy and went to the mountains where my relatives lived at the time, they had a fluffy little micro dog, the breed escapes me. But little Mitsy would follow anyone who left the house. Walking with me she scared off that I know of, atleast 2 seperate bobcats, many animals unknown and alerted me to countless snakes, even brought a few dead ones out of the brush. I miss that little bitch, she helped me kill my first rattlesnake.

YourTruth
YourTruth
1 month ago
Reply to  Random71

Lol… how long have you’ve been waiting to use that word in it’s proper context

Random71
Random71
1 month ago
Reply to  YourTruth

No where near as long as you would think, lol. About a week or so when my buddy got a pair of fresh weened pit bull pups.

willyd
willyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Random71

That is what they are called in the AKC, also after owning many dogs, I would prefer to clean up a kill from a male dog, instead of a kill by a Bitch, they tend to rip and tear their prey!!! Buried many cats, males crush, the bitch kill was almost always a bloody mess!!!

Random71
Random71
1 month ago
Reply to  willyd

Totally. 1 or 2 pieces vs 20. If I had to guess why, it likely comes from instinct of prepping the kill for pups.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  Finnky

don’t laugh, but the infernally obnoxious Chihuahua was bred in Bexoco expressely for the purpose of hunting bear. Release a swarm of the pesky little buggers, they’ll sniff out the bear in no time, attack him relentless,ly nipping at his feet, barking incessanly, charing, dodging, the bear would try and take a swpie at one, miss that one, and find four more in for the attack as his focus was on the one. If one of the little ptests DID get splattered, oh well. there are forty more to drive the bear to drink. As the bear is utterly distracted… Read more »

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago

Black bears, like humans, are omnivores and just because they have a “belly full of blueberries” doesn’t mean they are going to pass on some meat if it is served up to them.

It looks to me that her upbringing and lifestyle might have contributed to her getting killed.

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/fatal-sask-bear-attack-victim-was-on-phone-with-father-when-she-was-killed-1.5077145

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  RoyD

Interesting info. I feel badly for her family and their loss. Employee or former employee of UN? I know it is wrong but cannot help but wonder if Canadian black bears might not like globalists also.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

You might be onto something because I am often within 5′ to 10′ of Bear outside in the yard at night and never have a problem but I can’t say the same about globalists even if they are at greater distance.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago

Ha! I upvoted you and now it’s disappeared but showing “you have already voted on this comment”. Weird! Yes, there is a guy on YouTube, Patrick Conley, who has an extended family of black bears that come to visit him on his front porch almost daily. They have been visiting him for years. He speaks to each one as they come on the porch. They walk down to the other end of the porch, sniff around, then usually leave. If one comes too close, he usually says “whup, too close” in a calm voice and they move on. They know… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Grigori
PMinFl
PMinFl
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

That’s a “heartwarming” story, but I wouldn’t count on the bears understanding his meaning.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

Agree, horrible tragedy but does look like she was a dyed in the wool screaming libtard.

WI Patriot
WI Patriot
1 month ago

Bear spray is the first line of defense against people, everything else requires a gun…

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

Before all this Antifa-BLM garbage, I saw the writing on the wall. I have several cans of bear spray in my home even though bear, and then only black bears, are rarely seen in my area. I figure if I am roadblocked by a bunch of these cruds, perhaps the bear spray will give me a non-lethal option to make them move.

Baldwin
Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

Did you read (and comprehend) the part where the bear spray failed and by the time a firearm was deployed it was too late?

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago
Reply to  Baldwin

Did YOU read and comprehend what Grigori was writing about? Apparently not.

Baldwin
Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  RoyD

Bear sprays only reliable use is as a condiment for hungary bears. Expecting bear spray to be an effective deterrent against humans (“peaceful” demonstrators) is foolish. Bear spray does not provide any level of effective deterrence. I have personally observed too many people just shrug off OC spray and keep on taking care of the business at hand. I have done as much myself. I’m saying that the expectation of bear spray is a non-lethal deterrent is weak.

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago
Reply to  Baldwin

Nice try, but your comment still stands and we all know what you were saying. You could of just been a stand up guy and admitted you were wrong but no you had to punk out. Too bad really.

Baldwin
Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  RoyD

Ok. As I read it intends to use bear spray as a people deterrent in a mob scenario.

I am a retired LEO who has seen sprays fail to stop in training and in mobs. In my experience it is an unreliable people stopper. Please point out where what I said was erroneous and/or false.

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago
Reply to  Baldwin

Whatever else you are or might have been you are a bullshit artist. I will give you that. I look forward to commenting on your future posts. LOL!

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Baldwin

I have never deployed bear spray. It appears to have “crowd pleaser” capabilities based on what I have seen in videos and read. I have used OC a few times on humans with mixed results. Some times it worked great, others not so much. The first time I ever used it was on a drunk and drugged female who damn near handed my *ss to me. She was on some “good stuff”. It took about two minutes to take effect and I am not too proud to tell you, it seemed like eternity. Once, when I finally got it in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Grigori
Baldwin
Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

Thanks . Take care of yourself.

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Baldwin

You too, Sir!

Knute
Knute
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

It’s a toolbox. Use whatever you have available. If pepper spray is IT, then so be it. But I would hope the plan has more levels to it than that. Having read your posts before, I’m guessing your plans have many levels. A toolbox with only a hammer in it is a poor one indeed. Only suitable for those too ignorant to know that there are a whole lot more tools to choose from in the world. Different situations, different skill sets… call for different tools. OFC,there are always going to be those who think that their one tool option… Read more »

Grigori
Grigori
30 days ago
Reply to  Knute

Hi Knute and thank you for your comments! Agree fully on the tool box. If you have not already done so, look down below a couple of comments to see where I reference my EDC loadout.

Have a great week!

Finnky
Finnky
30 days ago
Reply to  Grigori

@Grigori – Bear spray is much stronger than what sold for use on people. So much so that it is labeled “not for use on humans” or something like that. In many states it is illegal to use on humans, so you are ever forced to use it in a self defense situation it is better not have a history of internet posts demonstrating intent to do so. You could need to show that you we’re forced by circumstance and just happened to have the sprayer for it’s intended purpose. I myself don’t trust the spray at all. Had a… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  Grigori

don’t bet your life on it. Most of them have been sprayed by the stuff, and know its not fatal. A bloody nuisance, yes, tbut not fatal, not even debilitating if you make up your mind its not. With a large enough mob of them, they could conceiveably press on through the dabs of bear perfume and stil tip your car over and fire it, you inside. I prefer a different sort of spray.. a far more coarse stream, one “droplet” at a time, at very high speed. Just as we saw in Kenosha, when the REAL deterrent is brought… Read more »

Grigori
Grigori
1 month ago
Reply to  Tionico

Oh well, if the less than lethal option doesn’t work, assuming I had time to make use of that option, I always have a Glock, three spare mags, a small Ruger and one spare mag, and a couple of decent size knives on me.