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

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

U.S.A.-( The above picture was taken about 25-30 miles from where a black bear was shot by the homeowner in Galena, Nevada, a bit South of Reno. That is an easy day travel distance for a bear. The bear pictured is not the bear that was shot.

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 Wildlife, 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, California. 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. The counterclaims 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 that are unafraid of humans and which have associated food with humans are dangerous. Feeding bears is bad for both bears and people. The common wisdom has been reduced to an aphorism: “A fed bear is a dead bear”.

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.

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All semi autos should not be regulated, they are not military weapons!



If the lawful citizen used a Honey Badger more likely will be in prison according to the ATF’s decision, even if the bear have inflicted and have caused mortal wounds to the person inside the premises. Defund de ATF!!!


California has insane protections for large predators. Nevada is a bit more sane. California is too close to Nevada for a number of reasons…


Reno is my neck of the woods. My brother lives in Galena. And though that is a very nice area, there is always a threat. We in the city have our bedside weapons to protect from intruders, but ten minutes away you need them to protect from bears! I’m proud of the NDOW for not charging him. Makes me love my state a bit more.


sounds like an interesting story,I`d not mind reading.


Dean keep up the good work publicing the use of semi autos in citizen self defense. The Massachusets appeals court noted in their decision declining to find assault weapons as protected under the 2A relied on the fact that the appellant didn’t provide ANY instance of a black rifle used in self defense. Yes, blame the lawyer, but this should never happen again.


We are about 5 minutes East from where this shooting happen, and didn’t hear about it even after contacting NDOW after a very large black bear tore apart our garbage can behind my fenced in backyard approximately two months ago now. These bears are getting more and more brazen and that is a recipe for disaster.


What happened to the guy in the picture (Cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten) in Lake Tahoe?


Hearts Content,Pa..So long ago,1972,wife&our 2 young girls just finished our picnic&when packing car to leave,saw a big black bear coming to a table piled w/food&3 senior couples seated like statues.W/kids&wife in car,I grabbed my 22 revolver,ran at bear,fired 2 shots in ground,waving other hand&yelling.Bear turned inside out&ran back in brush.Grateful I didnt have to shoot him/her&bear didnt challenge me.Foolish?I expect the bone behind a bears eyes is thin,at least I hoped so&ya, I could have easily placed the shot.


Have you any pictures that have not been Cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten?