Duck Hunters Attacked by Brown Bear

Next time you're duck hunting and come up empty, just remind yourself that life could be worse—at least you weren't attacked by a brown bear. This post to Stripers Online documents one of the wildest encounters between hunter and bear that I've read in a long time. Here's an excerpt along with a few of the accompanying photos:

My friend Steve and I were duck hunting on Saturday (10/08/11) in Portage Valley (Alaska) and we were attacked by a brown bear. We are both OK but we killed the brown bear within 10 feet of our duck boat blind. This is one of those stories where you are just glad to be alive to tell it. I have lived and worked in Alaska for over 25 years and been around bears but never thought I would encounter one in my blind while duck hunting. ...

We had a small bull moose run about 10 feet behind our duck boat blind. About 30 seconds later, we heard some grass rustling and thought it was another moose, but then we see a brown bear following the trail of the moose. When the bear gets about 20 feet from our blind he looks up and sees us and heads right toward the front of the blind where I am sitting. I fired 3 rounds (3" No. 4 steel shot) into the bear at point blank range. My friend says I fired my last round when the bear was 2 feet away. He goes on to say that my head and the bear's head were 2 feet apart at one point. After firing my third round, I dove away from the bear and out of the blind and my friend Steve fires 3 rounds (3.5" No. 4 steel shot) into his head that sends the bear to the front of the boat on the ground about 10 feet away. Steve reloads as the bear is doing the death spin. He puts 3 more rounds into the bear. I get up, reload, and fire 3 more rounds into the bear. The bear isn't moving at this point in time.

Neither of us was hurt (not a scratch). We were just scared [expletive]. We had 2 dogs with us. The older dog (Mynx) was out of the blind with hackles up about 20 feet away from the bear. The young (5 months) dog (Lulu) was hidden under one of the chairs in the boat, She was shaking and wouldn't come out for awhile. On a side note, we got one duck (a gadwall).

I have attached a few photos. You will see our boat blind is destroyed. That was from me diving out one side of the blind and the bear coming in the other. There is also a picture of blood on the blind to show how close the bear was when he got shot. We think the bear was a 7+ foot brown bear.

As a department employee, I thought I should send this to some select staff and the staff I work with. I did complete a defense of life and property report and turned in the completed report and the skinned bear to ADF&G staff here in Anchorage.



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3 Responses to Duck Hunters Attacked by Brown Bear

nunya wrote:
October 17, 2011

I guess Steel Shot penetrates pretty good at 2 feet!

jjm wrote:
October 17, 2011

I would be in need of a new pair of waders after a hunt like that!

Zack wrote:
October 14, 2011

I guess Steel Shot penetrates pretty good at 2 feet!