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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Ask A Bear: Charging Bear Caught on Film

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Our beloved bear is out pursuing a particularly fruitful huckleberry harvest somewhere in the Western United States. In his absence, he asked us to share this video with his bear-enthusiastic public. —BACKPACKER EDITORS


Hey all: Everyone who's presumably concerned about bear safety knows how fast we can run—up to 40 miles an hour in short distances, which is plenty fast to catch any sluggish human (Usain Bolt included).

But it's still difficult to picture me actually moving that fast, especially since I'm usually a lumbering, fuzzy bucket of blubber (assuming it's been a good berry/salmon year). It's all smoke and mirrors: When I want to motor, I can freaking motor. 

Any doubters need only watch the following video for proof. Leon Lorenz, a Canadian photographer, captured a charging mama bear and cub in British Columbia's Robson Valley:



Lorenz fired a warning shot only moments before the Mama bear took him down. He estimates that even if he'd gotten a fatal shot off, she still would've had enough energy to get revenge.

Keep in mind: This type of behavior is quite rare, and as long as you keep your distance, I'm extremely likely to keep mine and continue ambling along slowly. Although I can't imagine anyone wanting to get close to me or my cub after seeing this video.

—BEAR

Got a question for the bear? Send it to askabear@backpacker.com.

via Adventure Life

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bearable
Jul 08, 2010

I really don't even know what to think of the profession of wilderness filmaker. On one hand people want and need to see footage of creatures in the wild. But on the otherhand these things, like sharks haha, are forces of nature that shouldn't be f'ed with! Shows something about the mentality of these camera men that every year brave fools wander into the woods or dive deep with bait hanging all around and get that footage. Glad to see he learned something from "Grizzlyman".

Forge Survival Supply
Jul 07, 2010

"Books by the dozen have been written about bears and some of them go on to tell you that the grizzly bears are absolutely harmless, but in doing so they only succeed in exposing their own ignorance. If any of you prefer to believe the author of these books that's your business, but if you ever discover that you are in grizzly bear country I would like to advise you to discard the book and carry a powerful rifle and lots of shells." - Knut Peterson, ALL ABOUT BEARS, Page 20 - 1949 Alaska Grizzly Bear Attack Survivor - 70 days in the hospital - 418 stiches

Bear Expert
Jul 02, 2010

With over 8 years in the woods with grizzlies - this guy is a sure IDIOT! Firing off a shot is not going to save your life. It antagonizes the bear and can still live if shot. This person has no business doing this! MORON

Steve C
Jul 01, 2010

It is easy to be critical, but you have to admit the whole event was quick. I counted 12 seconds from when the bear turned around and the gun firing. The bear first appeared to run away to the left, but reappeared from behind a tree. If the person let down his guard, the outcome could have been painful. Backing away may be the best option, but kudos to the guy for keeping his cool.

Tdjjr
Jul 01, 2010

It is people like that who will either get killed or a bear will end up getting killed. I suggest to all that anyone encountering a bear to slowly and quietly leave. It is good that the bear ran away after the gun fired and the photographer was lucky. One day he may not be so lucky if he encounter another bear and started filming.

Tdjjr
Jul 01, 2010

It is people like that who will either get killed or a bear will end up getting killed. I suggest to all that anyone encountering a bear to slowly and quietly leave. It is good that the bear ran away after the gun fired and the photographer was lucky. One day he may not be so lucky if he encounter another bear and started filming.

Steve
Jul 01, 2010

I think I wet myself...

Another Mike
Jul 01, 2010

"If he had a cow bell around his neck he wouldn't have been able to capture wildlife on his camera."

That's awful logic. BUT I agree with your general assertion: a firearm can be a useful tool to have, as demonstrated in the video above.

For waiting that long to fire a warning shot, I find the photographer simultaneously admirable and foolish. I appreciate his desire to not harm the bear, but his restrain very nearly got him mauled. At that distance and closing speed, my shot would not have been aimed skywards.

Regardless of your stance on firearms, the best course of action would have been to avoid this situation altogether by backing away upon first sight of the bear. The photographer put himself in a risky spot and very nearly paid for it with his life.

CC
Jul 01, 2010

Thank God for that gun. Beautiful footage, though. These animals are incredible!

carl
Jul 01, 2010

still pack a gun your chances are way better

John
Jul 01, 2010

Attention gun critics:

If he had been carrying bear spray and the wind was against him he would not only be blind he would be than flavored hot and spicy.

If he had been carrying a fog horn instead he would be depriving himself of an important survival tool in the event he would be lost in the bush.

If he had a cow bell around his neck he wouldn't have been able to capture wildlife on his camera.

The firearm does not make people king of the wild, it does not make them smarter. Its an tool that has its strenghts and weaknesses in each situation. Its up to people to prepare themselves and make assesments of risk when they decide to go out.

Mike
Jun 30, 2010

Attention gun advocates:

"He estimates that even if he'd gotten a fatal shot off, she still would've had enough energy to get revenge."

That's a pretty important quote.

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