Pistols & Shotgun Against Wyoming Grizzly, October 19, 2010 FOIA

Brown Bear and Cubs iStock-Milan Krasula 1210806488.jpg
Brown Bear and Cubs iStock-Milan Krasula 1210806488.jpg

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– This is another in a series of self-defense against bear events uncovered in a Freedom of Information Act request done by AmmoLand. It seems they have not been published before.

On October 18, 2010, an elk hunter was successful in collecting a bull elk at the head of the North Crandall Creek drainage in Wyoming. It was late in the day, so they field-dressed the elk, moved the gut pile about 50 yards away, and left the elk to be retrieved the next day, with horses.

On October 19, 2010, three men were on their way to retrieve the elk. Because the identities of the three have been redacted, they will be referred to as Guide, Wrangler, and Hunter. After increasingly difficult travel, they had to leave their horses because of the downed timber and steep terrain. They ate a sandwich and glassed for bears. They continued on, over very steep terrain.

The guide had a holstered .44 magnum. Wrangler had a 12 gauge pump shotgun, loaded with three rounds of 7 1/2 birdshot and a round of low recoil 00 buckshot. The hunter had a holstered .45 semi-auto pistol.

The guide told Wrangler to make sure a round was chambered in the shotgun. He said they needed to go slow.

The three men carefully approached the kill site, looking for bears. At about 200 yards from the kill site, they saw a florescent orange hat one of the hunters had hung in a tree to mark the site. Hunter used binoculars to look for bears. He did not see any. After the three men had traversed about half the distance to the kill site, traveling upslope, a grizzly bear appeared and charged Wrangler. Wrangler had forgotten to put a round in the chamber of the shotgun.

Guide yelled for Wrangler to shoot a warning shot. In the excitement, Wrangler could not chamber a round. Wrangler moved downhill toward Guide. Guide grabbed the shotgun and fired three warning rounds of bird shot behind and over the bear. The bear and a cub moved away and into a gully.

Hunter stated the gut pile had been completely eaten. The three men continued to the elk carcass, and found only one small bite had been taken from one hind quarter. They started processing the elk into quarters and the cape/head. After about an hour, the bears reappeared. The three men threw rocks at the bears and rolled stones downhill toward them. The bears retreated again.

The three men decided to make one trip to retrieve the elk meat, cape, and head, to minimize the exposure to the bears. This left all of them heavily loaded.

Guide and Hunter were carrying packs and dragging hind quarters. Wrangler was carrying a pack, the head and cape, and the shotgun. They took a route on the far side of the drainage to maximize the distance from where they had last seen the bears. Hunter was in the lead, Wrangler in the middle, with Guide bringing up the rear. Guide had a walking stick to help on the steep terrain. Guide was having difficulty keeping up while dragging the hind quarter. Wrangler kept looking back to check on Guide.

They had traveled about 200 yards when Wrangler yelled “Guide!” 

Guide believed it was a warning about the bear, but did not see the bear.

Wrangler yelled, “She is right behind you!” 

The guide said the hair stood up on his neck and he swung the walking stick as hard as he could behind him, looking as he did it. The guide said he just missed the grizzly bear, and the bear retreated a step.

Wrangler said “moving left”, presumably to get a better line of fire at the bear. The hunter drew his .45 but did not have a clear line of fire at the bear.

The bear turned and came at Guide from nine feet away. The guide drew his .44 magnum and fired one shot. Wrangler fired the shotgun with the 00 buckshot round almost simultaneously, but slightly later than Guide’s shot. The bear took a couple of steps, dropped, and rolled downslope.

The three men presumed the bear was dead. They caught their breath, then continued to transport the elk quarters and cape/head to the horses. The guide said he was so shaken up he did not tie his elk quarter on properly and had to stop later and re-tie it.

The guide said that he had no doubt if Wrangler had not been checking on him, he would have been mauled or killed. Guide said:

“The bears are getting more aggressive every year. We use to yell at them and they would head for cover. Now you try to scare them and the come at you.”

The Guide contacted Wyoming Fish & Game on the morning of October 20, 2010. The Wardens made arrangements to meet the participants later that day. They interviewed the participants and took written statements. They traveled to the shooting scene, took pictures and did a field necropsy of the bear.

The physical evidence was consistent with the oral and written statements of the participants.

On February 15, 2011, the Special Agent for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recommended the case be closed as they had received a letter of declination to prosecute from the US Attorney’s office.

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.

Dean Weingarten

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I work in a gun store in Ak and there are a lot more self defense bear stories than the media reports. One guy shot a bear from the hip as it charged him but since he had a tag it was not considered self defense , but it was. I hear many more stories like that . I ask if the news reported the stories and they all say no. They contact the DNR and never hear anything again. Much more common than you think


I worked in the country discussed in the story for over two decades, i.e. Teton and A-B Wilderness. Several more decades in the Bob, Great Bear, Scapegoat, and Mission Wildernesses. The backcountry wisdom goes “you will hunt the bear, or you will hate the bear.”. When the bear becomes a valued species and not a nuisance species it will be valued by the local populace for providing income through several means not unlike how various African species are treated today. My assessment, from being educated as a wildlife biologist, is hunting the bear removes the more aggressive individuals from the… Read more »


I hate bears.. people have an issue with that but whatever. Being afraid of them keeps me on my toes when I’m miles from anything. I’m more afraid of mountain lions and bears than anything else in the backcountry.


Honestly, I think our world would be a much less exciting and beautiful place without lions, tigers, and bears, oh my. Not only do they provide an integral part of our natural environment, but they are beautiful and inspirational to behold. The same is true of the great cats and candids of our world. I personally think some of the reptiles are ‘scary’ as all get out, e.g. crocs, alligators, and boas. However, I will let them command my respect and possibly my ammunition if so be 😉 What and interesting world it would be if some of the relatively… Read more »


I grew up in south louisiana swimming in bayous and areas with large alligator presence.. never had an issue. We would shoot oily birds who competed with the duck population and watch the gators catch them as they fell. Gators never bothered me. To be honest I’ve never had an issue with a bear or lion encounter out here in the west.. I guess we’re all a bit afraid of what we’re not used to so yeah… I just stay prepared. I hear the stories about lions and am nervous and respect them along with bears.


Leaving fallen animals to be eaten with your ammo in them only leads to lead poisoning ‍♀️


OH GOD another world heard from about LEAD POISONING, it has to have a very steady diet of lead to acquire LEAD POISINING!!!!!!!! It has been proven, it lead based paints in houses, that is publishes and is why Lead Based paints are not manufactured today!

gr8H8er keeping Rough & Tumble an option

Fine powdered lead vs a solid lead pill? Wait! I get it! The animals are starving from lead poisoning! (Is that how they really think?) R reminds me of the condescending little snot that sneered at me “I don’t eat beef” standing among my grandfather’s healthy well managed herd. “Really? What do you eat when you go to McDonald’s?”,I asked…. Wait for it… “Hamburger Happy Meal!”


Consider the source of the comment. Wanna bet he/she/it holds a California drivers license?


I am sure the preferred pronoun for R is “they/them”.


this is one more “envirofreak ” myth. Studies in wetlands (wiht shot) show the increase in lead actually leached into the waters is so slight as to be difficult to measure. The hunting rounds are copper jacketed, so very little surface area is lead, thus it cannot leach. anyther bleeding heat question for you: WHO do most states prohibit the taking and USE of game animals when hit and killed by cars? We are told we MUST leave them there to rot. Talk aboit waste.. right there by the road, easy to roll up into the truck (now damaged because… Read more »


Again, the ignorant, urban brainwashed, tree hugger Bambi kisser speaks.


Only if it has eaten a couple of Bars a day, you know, like vitamins.


Not a big fan of Bears or Mountain Lions, I stay clear by any means, was stalked by a Mountain Lion once and I didn’t turn out to be lunch, proper carry from then on, puts meaning of life flashing before your eyes when not armed!!!!!!!!!! Does tend to keep you on your toes!!!!!!!!!!!


big cities too, never go anywhere without it


Around my area 357- wheel gun, when I go back home to Pa, carry PX4 w/15 rounds, but right about Big Cities and MORE AMMO!!!! The Big Cities have a breed of animals totally different from Wildlife in the woods!!!!

Wild Bill

I like a wheel gun in the cities because the wheel gun does not throw around all that embarrassing evidence.


But just as dangerous and they tend to run in packs!


Forgot to put a round in the chamber.. where’s my facepalm emoticon lol

They’d created a bear buffet out there.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rodoeo
gr8H8er keeping Rough & Tumble an option



Couldn’t figure out how to load a round? Think I would get me a new wrangler.


I live in griz country and pack a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Rem mag when I am elk hunting . I have encountered wolves at close range in the timber but never a griz . Thank God !


It is a shame the DLP reports can not be access. I am sure there are hundreds of interesting reports also.

Jimbo if you have details I am sure the Arthur would love to hear about them.


Good thing for them it was Wyoming.


Soon to be CO as well…


We feed starving humans that are worthless but kill starving animals that are defenseless against our cruelty. Absolutely shameful. They could’ve thrown a part of the elk to it to deter it.

gr8H8er keeping Rough & Tumble an option

Really? Where is it my (worthless) Veterans can get nutritional meals? Please consider this, as man has been a part of the food chain since forever, hunter gatherers before farming, man has played a role as both predator and prey. Just as in Yellowstone, when the wolves were removed, there was starvation and deforestation, so with man. In your empathy for animals, why are they starving? Is there not enough food? Is that because there are too many of a certain species disrupting Nature’s balance? Now ask yourself: “Would I rather live a healthy abundant life where in I may… Read more »


your godlessworldview is amusing… and troubling.
There IS NO SUCH THING as a worthless human. Bears? That’s another matter. They are for food. WHY should humans work to feed wild bears who have plenty to eat “out there”? Next you will be on a whinge that the mean old men actually carried GUNNNNNZZZ, of ao horrid things, and USED them when their own lives were in danger.


And, God gave man dominion over fish, fowl, and beast.
Throwing the bear a piece of the elk is like feeding the alligator hoping that you will be the last eaten. Special kind of stupid, you are. Should have fed you to the bear..

Last edited 11 months ago by StLPro2A

Was the animal starving? You appear to have little understanding of wildlife.


Appears the bear ate the entire gut pile. There was your free food. Bear just wanted more than her share. Bad decision.


Ah, the ignorant, urban brainwashed, tree hugger, bambi kisser speaks.


JPM, a minor correction: a Bambi Butt Kisser speaks.