SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Ask A Bear Christmas Present

Usually, our bear answers burning ursine questions, but this week he's dropping off a holiday gift.

by: BEAR


 
  It takes a lot to rouse me out of my midwinter slumber, so I hope you appreciate this Christmas gift. Several months ago, pictures began circulating on the Internet about an Alaskan plane that had been ravaged by a grizzly bear that smelled fish on in. The resourceful pilot put the abused Piper back together with duct tape and plastic, and eventually flew it back to civilization.

For months, rumors swirled: Was this a hoax? Could you really fix a plane with duct tape? Thanks to the Alaska Dispatch, we now know the story is real: Bush pilot Luke Miller, 28, actually had his plane torn apart by a hungry grizz somewhere on Sept. 27-28 of this year. 

The pilot won't release photo rights to publications, so we can't show you them here (I get enough legal trouble during hunting season), but they're easy enough to find on the Internets

The pilot's dad, Mark Miller, and family friend and hunting guide Gary LaRose say the plane was parked next to a moose shed that had been raided numerous times by the hungry grizz. Puzzlingly enough, though, they say there was no meat or fish within the plane, except for a vacuum-sealed bag of meat the bear missed when he was busy shredding the tires, interior fabric, and outer covering of the plane. 

Instead, LaRose theorizes the bear was out for revenge:
"He was pissed," LaRose said. "His easy food source had dried up and he was out for revenge."
Now, we bears are not a vengeful sort when humans aren't around, so it's unlikely any rage was directed to the plane on purpose. If anything, I was extra hungry, and I'd already learned that the shed had meat in it. When that turned up empty, I probably just saw the plane as another shed to try. In late September in Alaska, things are already getting tight for me, so I'm willing to go for broke...on your plane, if need be.

After that event, the bear never came back. The pilot made makeshift repairs out of plywood, Plexiglas, and 25 rolls of duct tape. I'm betting he won't park near the meat shed again anytime soon.

(Read more in the Alaska Dispatch.)

—BEAR


Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

TrailSnailNH
Dec 22, 2011

Myth busters went after this story to see if a shredded plane could be put back together successfully:
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-tape-it-up.html http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-run-is-the-plan.html

TrailSnailNH
Dec 22, 2011

Myth busters went after this story to see if a shredded plane could be put back together successfully:
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-tape-it-up.html http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-run-is-the-plan.html

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Darn, very tragic news:
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin
Trailhead Register
Your Yosemite Tips
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions