U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- A flurry of six bear attacks has happened in North America in less than a week from 27 September to 2 October 2021. The attacks ranged from three by grizzly bears in Canada, two by grizzly bears in the Western United States, and one by a black bear in Ashville, North Carolina. The attacks continue a trend to make this a banner year for bear-human conflicts. Here are the six attacks:
1 & 2. Two separate bear maulings on 27 September 2021 in Alberta, Canada:
Two men are in hospital after being mauled in separate grizzly bear attacks, roughly 70 kilometres apart in southern Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
At 12:47 p.m. Sunday, Kananaskis Emergency Services was notified of an attack on Storelk Mountain, south of Highwood Pass in Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park.
About seven hours later, at 8 p.m., Blairmore RCMP received a call about a hunter who had been attacked by a bear.
Two hunters were searching for grouse in an area about 10 kilometres west of Highway 40, near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary and south of Gould Dome mountain, when they came across a grizzly sow and her cubs. The bear attacked one of the hunters, while the other shot the bear, scaring her off, officials said.
3. Another bear mauling on 29 September, 2021 in British Columbia, Canada:
The BC Conservation Officer Service says a man is in hospital after a grizzly bear attack in the central Interior region.
In a post on Twitter, the service says the attack happened on Wednesday morning near Granisle, which is northwest of Burns Lake, and about 325 kilometres northwest of Prince George.
4. A grizzly attack on 29 September, 2021, near Cody Wyoming. This correspondent has interviewed one of those involved. A full report is in the works.
Two elk hunters and the guide were charged by the bear without any warning or provocation on their part. They responded with handgun fire and bear spray. The charge was finally stopped a few feet from the defenders.
5. A predatory black bear attack on a peaceful couple and their dog in Asheville, NC, on 29 September, 2021. The man heroically defended the woman and dog, but was severely injured in the process. From the National Park Service on Facebook:
It is not at all uncommon for a bear to bluff charge, pop their jaws, huff, stomp their feet etc. when they encounter a dog, on or off leash. However, this attack was unusual in that the bear was uncharacteristically aggressive and continued to pursue the human subjects involved after the dog was removed and continued to attack the couple’s vehicle after they were all inside of it and the threat (the couple and their dog) was effectively removed. This is not typical or characteristic defensive bear behavior and indicates a more predatory response. This presents an intolerable level of risk in a high-use, public area.
6. 2 October, 2021, Wyoming Archery (correction, they were on a firearm hunt, not archery) hunters shot bear, after or while getting mauled. From nptelegraph .com:
A hunter who was attacked by a grizzly this weekend west of Cody shot and killed the bear, wildlife officials said. Her two cubs were later euthanized by authorities.
The attack occurred Saturday morning as the man was elk hunting. He and his hunting partner had a “sudden encounter” with the bears, according to a statement from state and federal wildlife agencies. The female grizzly had not been handled by officials in the past and was unmarked.
The Canadians are generally not allowed to have handguns for their defense against bears. Fortunately, the hunter had a shotgun, which served him well. The Americans out west carried guns and defended themselves against the aggressive animals. The Asheville man acted gallantly but would have benefited from having a handgun available. Any gun would probably have worked. .22 rimfires have worked against black bears, even grizzly bears.
Bear attacks tend to ramp up in fall when bears have strong urges to eat as much as possible in preparation for hibernation.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.