Polar Bear Attack in Norway Stopped with Revolver

Polar Bear Attack in Norway Stopped with Revolver, iStock-627066956
Polar Bear Attack in Norway Stopped with Revolver, iStock-627066956

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– At 6 a.m., on September 12, 1988, a trapper and his friend were staying at a cabin at Krosspynten, part of the Svalbard archipelago, which is under the jurisdiction of Norway. They were woken by a polar bear boar which had gained entrance to the cabin hallway (probably the air or weather lock to the cabin). The trapper had a .44 magnum revolver. Krosspynten is about a hundred and fifty miles north and eighty miles east of Longyearbyen. Mushamna is about one hundred miles north of Longyearbyen.

The incident report was uncovered with a Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request by AmmoLand. Individual names have been redacted. The report was translated into English, so it has been edited for readability, and a fictitious name has been substituted. From the FOIA account, incident 142:

Oscar and a friend were staying at the cabin at Krosspynten. At 6 AM, a bear entered the cabin hallway and woke them up. The bear had been rummaging in there for a few seconds before they knocked on the wall to drive it away. The bear went outside. A few seconds later, it came around to the front of the cabin and smashed the window of the room where they were. The bear backed up, then accelerated and threw itself at the window. It destroyed the window bar and made the wall of the cabin bulge dangerously inwards. At that moment, Oscar thought the wall would collapse. The bear was halfway inside the cabin; its front paws, head, and a part of the upper body were through the window.

Oscar thought the wall would collapse if he didn’t do anything. He had no choice but to shoot the bear. He had his revolver by the bed and fired one shot into the throat of the bear. The bear tumbled out of the window. Oscar got up and fired one more shot with the revolver.  The bear retreated. Oscar accessed his rifle. The bear managed to get about 100m from the cabin before Oscar was able to kill it with the rifle. The revolver was a .44 caliber magnum.

Oscar skinned the bear and hung the meat up at Krosspynten. He took the skin back to Mushamna, where he called up the Governor of Svalbard and reported what had happened. Oscar is an experienced trapper. His experience with polar bears began before polar bears were a protected species.  Last winter, he had over 140 polar bear visits at his trapping station near Mushamna. The last polar bear he shot was in 1973.  He believes he has significant experience in dealing with polar bears. This bear was skinny. Everything indicates the bear was coming inside to get food no matter what. Oscar did not like to have to kill a protected animal, but the choice, at that point, was the bear or Oscar and his friend.

Opinion:

This was almost certainly a predatory attack. The bear knew there were people in the cabin. It was hungry. It directed its assault on the structure toward a way to get at the humans inside.  This shows the advantage of having a pistol close by. Oscar was able to access the revolver and shoot the bear in the throat without having to fumble with a rifle at close quarters or perhaps to chamber a round. Revolvers are normally kept loaded. The bear was probably mortally wounded by the pistol shots but remained ambulatory until Oscar could access his rifle and kill the bear from a hundred meters away. Oscar was able to avoid killing a polar bear since 1973, the year polar bears became a protected species by international law.

Polar bears and human conflicts have increased since 1973, exactly what would be expected with increasing polar bear populations (recovering from unregulated hunting) and increasing tourism in the area.


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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Matt in Oklahoma

The other other white meat.

Steve

Cut it out Matt…I now must get the Folgers Coffee out of my sinuses..lmao

musicman44mag

I thought what Matt said was funny but you made it better. Thanks for the good morning laugh. LOL

Ope

Lol

JayWPB

After firing a .44 Magnum indoors:
Oscar, “I think I got him.”
Oscar’s friend, “What?”
Oscar, “What?”

Bigfootbob

Thanks for your Bear reports, Dean. I push them out to neighbors and interested friends. I also have an annoying habit of sending articles like this to moronic anthropomorphic neighbors on the neighborhood internet bulletin board. I live in a small beach town on the leftard Pacific Northwest coast where the crazies set up critter feeding stations on their property, against the law and it’s a morally repugnant thing to do. (Our city council just 2 years ago passed an ordinance making feeding wild critters illegal but the pricks didn’t put in any retribution for ignoring the ordinance, all it… Read more »

Oldman

Bfb. My wife and I just returned from a trip to OS over Christmas. We have been going there as a couple the past 22 years pretty steadily as we are die hard kitists. The feeders, as you call them, are so bad there, that right out of our condo sliding glass door a big prong horned buck, which is rare for most blacktail deer, was foraging around on the ice for food. I knocked on the glass door trying to scare him off, which was to no avail, as he acted like he didn’t hear, so I slid open… Read more »

musicman44mag

We had the same problem with a college degree professor where I live. Wanted the bear hauled off for eating her bird seed. LOL>

Oldvet

Has anyone else caught the new Nature Conservancy commercials on TV lately ? Are they broadcasting nation wide ? Typical just $19 a month or .63 a day ! But if you really listen it sounds like the save the land for animals take it away from ANY other use crew !!!

Arny

All scams to feed the CEOs.

Bigfootbob

Sounds like with every other agency that does good in America, it gets infiltrated by filthy liberals.

Oldvet

Arny / Bfb … Sounds to me like a way for another government agency to restrict the use of our land by keeping us off of it . Some of the pictures they show are of logging .

Duane

A handgun at hand beats a long some place else.

JIAZ

“He had his revolver by the bed and fired one shot into the throat of the bear. Oscar got up and fired one more shot with the revolver. The bear retreated. Oscar accessed his rifle.”

“A handgun is for shooting your way to your rifle”
Clint Smith