Grizzly Bear Shot and Killed By Hikers In Denali National Park and Preserve

A grizzly bear that emerged from a thicket and charged two backpackers in the backcountry of Denali National Park and Preserve was shot and killed by one of the two who was carrying a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to park officials.

The killing Friday is believed to be the first instance of a hiker killing a grizzly in the park's wilderness. The killing occurred in the original Mount McKinley National Park portion of the Denali, which was expanded by two-thirds in 1980.

Until February, when Congress changed the rules, it was illegal to carry a loaded firearm in that portion of Denali. While the rule change now allows hikers to carry firearms in all areas of Denali, it still is illegal to discharge them, park officials said.

Park officials did not speculate whether the killing was justified. This is believed to be the first instance of a visitor to a national park killing an animal with a firearm since the gun regulations were changed.

According to a release from the park, the two backpackers, a man and woman, were hiking in dense brush along the edge of Tattler Creek, which is at the west end of Igloo Canyon roughly 35 miles from the park headquarters.

"The man, who was in the lead, drew a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol when they heard a noise coming from the brush. When the bear emerged from the thicket and ran toward the other hiker, he fired approximately nine rounds in its general direction. The bear stopped, turned, and walked back into the brush, where it quickly disappeared from view," said the release.

The two then headed roughly 1.5 miles back to a road, where they encountered a park employee, who called in the incident and took the two backpackers to the Toklat Road Camp. A ranger there did a short preliminary interview with them at approximately 10:00 p.m. Because of the concern that a wounded bear was in the area, four backcountry units were immediately closed, and bus drivers were instructed to not drop off day hikers in the Igloo Canyon on Saturday.

"Early Saturday morning rangers and wildlife technicians flew to Toklat via helicopter to conduct a secondary interview with the two backpackers. Afterwards they flew over Tattler Creek and all of side tributaries, very low at times, to determine if there was an active, wounded bear," the park release said. "No bears were seen during the overflight, and late in the afternoon three rangers hiked into the site. The bear was found dead in a willow thicket approximately 100 feet from the pistol casings at approximately 6:00 p.m.

"The bear’s body was transported via helicopter to a landing site on the park road and brought back to headquarters on Sunday, where park wildlife biologists are assisting with the investigation of the bear carcass. The backcountry units have been reopened."

The case is still under investigation, and the names of the backpackers are not being released at this time. Park wildlife biologists and rangers are trying to determine if there was a justification for shooting the animal.

The estimated grizzly bear population in the park north of the Alaska Range north is 300-350 animals.

Comments

BEAR vs HUMAN? If....I as a Human Being, a Mother, were to say....be picking logan berries from my garden in MY HOME to prepare a pie for my family, and suddenly....two 10 FT. Grizzlies appeared...with a gun...What would I do? Would I feign attack to frighten away my 'would be attackers'? Would I run, gather my children and hide...shaking in fear...hoping the intruders to MY HOME would just go away? Most likely....I would just be SHOCKED, as I lie there bleeding to Death, wondering about my children, my 'cubs'....to realize that these gun bearing Intruders....have filled me full of bullets...right there.....in my own backyard.

I could have cared less if they just killed the last Ursus Horriblus on the planet
Stuff it and put it in a natural history museaun. Human life is precious the Bear ain't.

For those ignorant, uninformed, careless outdoor types----stay home. You will be safe.

I haven't been in griz territory for quite some time, though surprisingly I was actually charged (false) by a black bear in Wyoming this past summer! My experience: The day after highschool graduation, at the tender age of 17, I jumped on a plane and flew from my coastal homeland of southern California to the Great White North - Whitehorse, Yuon, then on to norther British Columbia. My purpose for the 3-month journey was employment at a fishing camp, and later in the season, as a fisheries technician. Upon my arrival I was given a very lengthy and intense lecture by my employer (30+ years bear experience) on grizzly bear behavior. My logic, upon first thought, was to start gunnin' when a griz approached within 30 feet. My employer threatened to kill ME if I did so, therefore I decided to listen a bit more attentively. After apologizing (not sincerely) he explained to me in great length the likelihood of "bluff" charges, as well as the waste (bear) and risk (us) of firing my gun (12 ga.) when unnecessary. His simple technique was to withhold from firing until the bear touches the end of your barrel! Of course this sounded absurd at first, but following 3 seasons of bear-country work with numerous encounters, his advice proved absolutely correct. I was only charged 4 times over the course of 3 summers, but in each case I think an inexperienced individual may have pulled the trigger - I would estimate that 3 of the charges came within 30 feet, while one was inside of 10 feet. I was actually sprayed with gravel when that last one put on the brakes! In any case, my employer's lecture proved correct. I can't say if I'd be 100% comfortable with the "end of the gun" approach if I was alone, but with an armed partner I was fine with it (after the fact!). If I were to venture into griz country again, and was only armed with handgun, I'd wait until the bear was on top of me (or a companion) before firing to (1) be sure it was a real charge, (2) to increase the odds I wouldn't miss, (3) to avoid a wounded animal, which could be bad for all involved. Unfortunately, I don't think this rationale and/or technique would be implementable via a 30-minute video presentation. So what would I recommend to the inexperienced? A fire-extinguisher full of bear spray! Well, maybe one of those "mini" extinguishers to minimize weight...

I think this is a joke i lived where bear a all around my home and not once did they atempted to harm me or my family i did not feed them and did not alow others on my property just to look at them man create the problem man have alway created the problem with animal that park is for the animals you are a guest in their home not vise versa when some one strange comes into our home we watch them and we sometmes act in aggression its a two way street animals did not ask people to move in with them

people thinking about going into the woods there are wild animals in there that is their home not yours be respectfull i have enconterd many bears in the woods on many ocasions the young males are always going to want to find out what you are if a bear has ever been harmed by a person it may hurt you that is commin sence if some one hurts your dog it won't fogett it and may bite that person or some strange person the next time they enter it's home bears have to fight their whole lives for space for food and even to mate leave them alone stay out of there bubble people create these problems why should the bear pay for mans stupidity my grand mother tells stories of our people who live in peace with the bears and all animals because of respect if some one disrespects you the ods of you defending yourself are high truth be told animals don't just attact they have a fight or flight reflex if a bear is stuck between you and another bears turff you loose i think the truth is the bear scarred the man as it walked out and he shot it if the bear was already being agressive it would have been so pumped up it wouldnt have just ran it would have defended itself not found 100 feet away it sounds and if it was heading in the womans way it would have kept going that way fast not walking and she would atleast been knocked down and why on earth would they be in thick the cover of brush any way that is asking to get hurt niether you nor the bear can see one another untill its to late i feel if they were atacked some one would be hurt there is something lacking in this storry them and the bear would have been in verry close range of each other and no one was hurt but the bear ?

Drive safely in Yellowstone this summer folks. Your chances of being injured are much greater in an auto accident than having a bear encounter. To the 30 hour of training guy....just bring the bear spray and you will be fine.

I worked in the federal government of this country for nearly 30 years. Alot of that time in national parks.
I can tell you for sure that this is not the first shooting of a bear in Denali.
This is the 47th case that I know about. (Yes I have the list.)
Since the new law passed, and appropriately so, this is however just the first time that any erstewhile bear meal has been legally able to formally report that he shot a bear in self defense.

The bear bear was found 100 feet from the shell casings. The hikers walked/ran to a ranger and told him about it. Why did it take 2 days and several overflights before the rangers, who were better armed than the hiker, simply walked back to where the hikers had just come from? What a waste of resources.

Also the hiker did not shoot into the brush. He waited till the bear was charging him.

And look, if the better armed rangers would rather try over-flights to find the bear, and wait 2 days before going RIGHT BACK to where the hiker had been when he told the ranger, then the rangers were a)scared , and rightly so, of a wounded bear, and b) even if the hiker put the second shot into the already wounded bear's back, then he did the right thing.

Animals have the right to defend themselves. If a bear came onto your property you would be threatened. The bear was only defending its home. Humans need to respect other animals. I don't think that humans realize how much animals respect us.

Bears and animals have the RIGHT to live. Humans are animals.

This forum was awesome. I've read the extreme positions of both sides, and everywhere in between. I have been a hunter for 40 years, and will be in Alaska in month visiting Denali NP and other areas of Alaska probably including heavy bear populations. The question I have been waivering back and forth on, is should I or should I not bring my handgun. These two hickers probably accomplished every mistake in the book to get to their situation. Either way, it occured and I'm sure they are wishing they had never made the trip. One comment in the article, was the bear didn't attack the person with the gun, but rather the other one. And I say attack purposely. Had that be me with the gun, and the bear attacking my wife, I would take every means possible to keep harm from my wife. Wether it were a bluff or going to be an actual attack it would look the same. There is not a person in this forum that would have done anything different. So if I were the judge, I'd say "case closed, get out of my courtroom". With that being said, the amount if usable information in the forum is absolutely wonderful. Learning how to handle bears it of utmost necessity prior to entering this great and wonderful park. Training that my wife and myself will both learn prior to arrival. So I may be letting down the gun owners when I say, I'm not brining mine. But I will be well educated, bring a big can of spray, and one big knife. And if the bear doesn't bluff, nor will I. Am I being ignorant. No. I trust the people who work with these animals every day. If they didn't learn how to interact with the bear, then they'd be a bigger threat to the humans then they are, and the bear would truely be gone. We can't be arrogant in these situations. We must be educated. So you ask, why the knife. Well, I'm not giong to be part of the 1% that went down with out a fight. Keep the forum going. There are a million people out there with a million different thoughts. The argument won't get solved, but people will be educated. Hope you all have a great day!

If the hikers were being charged and eared for their lives that is enough just cause to shoot...or should we wait for the bear to rip off one's head?

Absolutely, I would always pick a dead bear over a dead human. Just think how horrible it would have been for one of them to watch there friend being mauled and eaten, torn to shreds right before their eyes. Definitley, kill the damn bear.

Well, I'm back and thought I'd reply on my trip to Alaska. Yes, I am alive and didn't need the knive or bear spray. My wife and I spent 2 weeks in Alaska, which brought us from Denali National Park to the Kenai Pennensula. We hiked on many trails, took bus tours into Denali NP, two seperate cruises one from Seward and one from Wittier, and took close to a thousand pictures and videos. We saw black and brown bear, moose, caribou, mt. goat, dall sheep, artic fox, humpback whales and orcas, mountains and glaciers. It was great! We hiked in prime moose calving areas which are also prime bear feeding grounds. We saw fresh moose kills, and fresh bear scat, but we had to look very heard to even see a bear. All of which were very far off. I have asked many local people and all have said the same thing. They don't want to be around humans. They even said to be scared of the moose as they are less predictable and just as deadly. They kick in all directions. I guess what I am trying to say is, if you want to see some extremely wild and beautiful country, spend some time in Alaska. Do be scared of it. But do be cautious and well informed. Stay out of areas that are suspicious of bear activity and if you see a caution sign, don't look for trouble. Hike in groups of three or more and have fun! You don't need a gun to spend time there. Bear will tell you when you are in their space just as you let them know when they are in your space. Learn the signs, learn how to handle it. I went to Alaska paranoid of bear and the horror stories you hear of. But I left Alaska with the understanding of co-existance and the mutual respect of the animals that live there. I came home, only wanting to return. Keep the forum going, again, this is all great info.

Just another thought... any and every animal will defend itself when attacked. It doesn't matter if it is a bear or a deer or a bird or a butterfly. Why should we not expect a human to defend themselves?
These animals all have natural abilities that allow a reasonable defense ie. strength/size, speed/antlers, beaks, or poison. Humans have only our minds, we don't have strength, speed, claws, or teeth suited to physical combat. We have to use our minds ie. inventions such as spears, bows and guns to survive the wilderness.
Before you say we can use our minds to exercise proper precaution to avoid problems remember this. Animals are way better at it than us. They can hear, see, and smell better than humans. The only way they survive is by being better than the other animals around them, and yet so many are still eaten by predators.
My conclusion? We should avoid conflict whenever possible, just like the rest of nature, but when in inexcapable danger we can and will use whatever means possible to live. It is not murder, it is nature.

Seems to me, rights of humans must always outweigh that of wild animals or dangerous game as defined by law (as well as similarly dangerous humans). Bears are considered potentially dangerous, and like humans who present imminent threat of great personal injury (pretty given), you are justified from what I can tell. For example, the physical act of charging is justified under law and if you add to that, you perceive it as attacking you and you had no intent to kill first (i.e. not hunting, you tried, were not in a protection zone) then that should be that. You should always try to do your part, such as attempt other things first (if you have time!). It is our Constitutional right which preserves our lives, but our responsibility for our choices will always be challenged in court. Avoid the situation if you can, but if the bear ignores your hiking bell, invades your camp site/trail, acts aggressively, won't be scared off, and charges you or your group, how many feet do you wait as they charge you or your child? If the bear is scared away fine, but if they see you as food or are angered then you are dead. They are stronger, faster, and you have no true defense. There has been many stories lately of people seriously hurt from bear attacks on the news (e.g. Wa guy mauled head, kids mauled by bear, and that bear friendly guy and girlfriend eaten while in their tent, and plenty of wild cat mauling and killings as well). I would be curious what the bear experts say to how close a black bear vs. a grizzly gets to you before it isn't a bluff? I really don't feel like having my family's head crushed in, and hope they live. If you carry, you carry a tremendous responsibility to prove your case as you will be accused of wrong doing. If they want to protect an area that is up to the government which is fine; that is their responsibility. Just my views, I'm not a lawyer.

The poor grizzly bear.. wrong. Human beings are people and the bear is an animal. If a witness says the man shot the bear needlessly, then fine, bust his butt for it. Otherwise, if he's not a known criminal, I would take his (and the lady's) word for it. It's smart to go armed into the wilderness.
Bears charging people get shot, there is one less dangerous bear and the rest re-learn their fear of man, a healthy respect. Other would-be hikers have learned that this park is full of bears and won't be as likely to hike there. Sorry the park lost a bear, they are among the higher animals.

well i have read all the comments and guesses, all i can say is that everyone that talks about this false charge lets see what you do when a big bear runs at you? well? what will you do? run ? stay put? mess your pants, or shoot? i bet you cant say for sure because you haven't been there done that. i call you hypocrite!!!! go hug a tree stop judging until you have done it, been there and then you can say.....

I personaly think that anyone willing to walk off into bear country without any kind of protection is a fool. M uncle lives in Ruidoso New Mexico, last winter he had a black bear break into his house and corner he and his family in their bedrooms, luckily he had his .308 handy in his gun safe. Also, my dad used to hunt, he would never go anywhere without a .44 strapped to his hip. As for myself, I don't care how much training you may have, if a bear wants to get you, you will not scare it off or chase it away by waving your arms around, if a bear runs out, you will shoot it.

Thanks for the link, Rick B. Interesting reading, and food for thought for travels in bear country.

Shocker - "not fool proof" who would of guessed. But then they aren't fool proof against criminals either so I guess we should take guns away from the police.

Shocker - "not fool proof" who would of guessed. But then they aren't fool proof against criminals either so I guess we should take guns away from the police.

And here's where the discussion thread seems to devolve into completely illogical analogies.

And for a lot of us it isn't just a matter of making a conscious bold decision to "go out into bear country". At our house, we don't put the trash out in the outside can until the morning that pick-up is scheduled, because the bears know where all the cans are and routinely run those alleys. Just outside town when I throw a trout line into the stream this spring, I'm competing with the bears for my food. I've been having this same discussion internally with myself all winter long - bear spray only, or carry my .357 as well. Most likely, I won't be carrying the pistol, but in making my decision I'm afraid that the opinions of armchair quarterbacks who don't live in bear country won't really be a factor.

If a bear came charging at me .....Bluff or not, I would try to protect myself. Human life is much more valuable then a bear. Why would the authorities even question this. They may need to have a bear chase their ass and see what they would do.

"I would try to protect myself."
The point is, one can do that without shooting and killing the bear.

"Human life is much more valuable then a bear."

Hmm . . . If I had to choose between Lassie and Stalin, I'd pick Lassie.

Shooting the charging bear was a good idea. In a split second the bear COULD have turned around, and in a split second the bear COULD have killed a MAN. Start to re-evaluate your priorities, when it comes to the value of life. Human/Bear or Bear/Human, should not be a hard choice. They are beautiful apex predators, and we need to respect their position of dominance in their environment. The way I see it, not carrying a gun is the ultimate disrespect of these creatures. These are not butterflies.
On the positive side... Your position was very well expressed. Nice writing, bro!!!

you aren going to just stand there if a gnarly huge grizzley bear is charging at you twenty five feet away, such bears that can hit twenth five to thirty five mph. because the message on your gravestone will say, here lies a man who thought it was just bluff charge,... if a bear is threatening your life, theres no time to think youll get lucky that it might be a bluff charge. also if they were close enough to be hit with a fourty five then theres no way its poaching.

Hello, just a few words:
- Hippies that play game understand the bears and there is no reason to be afraid of them will most likely end up like Timothy Treadwell, you might have only one chance to step over the invisible boundaries and only your skill and firearm can give you second one, unless you are able to outwrestle a bear ....
- Bears are animals rather complex and intelligent but also hungry and if there is free lunch why not take it ? and again if you carry one or less likely you are one, gues what happends ....
I am a novice hunter in our country and also think that understanding should be prior to force but if you dont carry your last resort option you might have a very bad day someday.
To this case i would like to say we really do not know what happened, if hikers just got too scared or bear was really ambushing and also we know that bears do fake attacks, but who is willing to find out ????? I cannot imagine standig passively and waiting to see if a raging bear is tricking on me .....
mm

Grizzly Bears are not the bears that bluff charge. If you consider the beginning of a charge just a bluff, you are on your way to certain death. Fight for your life with your weapon, because that's what's at stake.

Only Black Bears (very different Bear in most respects) bluff. They snort etc. too, usually a warning that you are getting too close. Any closer, and they'll consider it a challenge.

Another big difference; if it's a Grizzly sow with cubs that attacks, playing dead can work. You'll be pretty injured, but can survive.

Play dead in a Black Bear attack and you won't be playing for long. They eat dead things, so any meat not resisting much will be ripped up and eaten in short order. Waiting too long to fight, will result in them killing you to finish their meal. How do you fight one? Grab eyes, punch, kick, and use a knife if you've got one.

You can drive a Black Bear off. Not the case with a Grizzly.

Saltine said:


Grizzly Bears are not the bears that bluff charge. If you consider the beginning of a charge just a bluff, you are on your way to certain death.


I'm sure that our readers would like to know where you got the idea that grizzlies do not bluff charge.

In reading through the comments no one asked the question: Did the shooter first attempt to frighten the bear off with a close warning shot and failing in that then shoot for fatal effect. Anyone who carries a firearm must use common sense. Guns are made to kill and modern firearms are very good for that purpose.

Quite often an animal will flee at the sight of man and even more when the dust kicks up and a bullet whizes by. There are exceptions such as polar bears and man eating big cats but they are rare.

It will be up to the hikers to prove they had justifiable cause and to me right now the evidence may not support it. My best,

The short-sightedness of the pro-force camp is overwhelming. Don't you see, people, where your arguments lead? In 20 years from now, there will be no grizzly bear left in Denali, because of some "adventurous" hikers seeking cheap thrills in bear country. Somebody who is attacked is entitled to defend himself, even using deadly force. But if that same person created, or contributed, to situations justifying the use of such force, his punishment must be so severe, so that nobody else will attempt to repeat doing the same.

The preservation of wild life and wilderness is more important than anything else that endangers it. And this would include these two hikers. Those carrying weapons in areas known to be a grizzly habitat should be strictly liable, both in civil and penal law, for any injury they inflict upon wildlife. And when I say liable, I mean severely. Some people openly acknowledge that they "assume risk" in hiking/campin in such areas. The law cannot sanction the assumption of such risk with the "easy" self-defense argument. We sould be strictly liable.

Honestly if I was walking through the woods with my wife and a bear, no matter what species, cubs or no cubs, license or no license, bluff charge or not, If the bear did not give me an opportunity to scare it away before busting the brush and charging my wife or myself... I would have killed it too. No questions asked. Forget the fine, and possible repossession of my firearm or court sentencing, nothing is worth risking my wife's life because the killing wasn't "justified". At most this person could be charged with illegal discharge of a firearm in a recreational area. Any other charge is ridiculous.

The report states that the man firing the weapon discharged nine shots "in the general area of the bear". If he had been firing for fatal effect, he would have at least tried to aim the gun AT the bear. A bear is a big target, especially a Grizzly at close range. Though as hard as it is to aim at such an animal with the given circumstances, an intentional shot would have been easy enough to do. I would also like to point out that if it were me in this situation, the bear would have surrendered it's "right" to a warning shot the moment it charged my wife or myself. Grizzlies are not the bluff chargers like black bears, If a Griz is coming for you... It isn't stopping unless one of the two of you dies.

Nick Hilbert:
The report states that the man firing the weapon discharged nine shots "in the general area of the bear". If he had been firing for fatal effect, he would have at least tried to aim the gun AT the bear. A bear is a big target, especially a Grizzly at close range. Though as hard as it is to aim at such an animal with the given circumstances, an intentional shot would have been easy enough to do. I would also like to point out that if it were me in this situation, the bear would have surrendered it's "right" to a warning shot the moment it charged my wife or myself. Grizzlies are not the bluff chargers like black bears, If a Griz is coming for you... It isn't stopping unless one of the two of you dies.
Here's a bluff charge by a grizzly bear:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/grizzly-bear-charges-alaskan-tourists-video-010559736.html

And here's a warning shot. The guy making the shot felt that even had he hit the bear, it probably would have been able to finish him off had it really wanted to, even if it did eventually succumb. Bears and other large animals don't go down easy. I remember the case of the escaped tiger at the San Francisco Zoo. It had been hit twice by police using their standard issue .40 S&W sidearms and didn't even get phased. It took a hail of gunfire from four officers to actually kill it.

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2010/06/aint-bluffing-grizzly-bear-charges-filmmaker/

Personally, I would worry about your stance on using a weapon. I've seen a bear that bluff charged someone. It was pretty much harmless. However, it was in a very, very crowded campground (Upper Pines in Yosemite). I'd hate to imagine what would happen if someone felt threatened enough by a bear (and there's never been a case of a black bear killing a person in Yosemite) to start firing gun. There are hundreds of people, and this is possibly the most densely laid out federal campground I've ever been to. Illegal discharge is pretty mild compared to negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter.

There was a guy who started shooting at a black bear in a campground a couple of years ago in California. It was also his fault that the bear was attracted by the cooler he left out inside a tent gazebo he placed over the site's picnic table.

I absolutely love animals, nature, and the "idea" of tenting and hiking but I would never do it in any park or area where there was even a remote chance of a bear (or other) encounter.

To protect everyone and every animal can't the government come up with a fence to keep humans and animals separate? I am shocked that tourists can actually die form a bear attack while on vacation. Just imagine if I took my grandchildren on a trail and one of them was mauled?

Some people do not have any common sense. So, why depend on it. Also, I wouldn't know what my survival skills would be unless the opportunity presented itself, regardless of the bear brochure, I don't want to find out.


To protect everyone and every animal can't the government come up with a fence to keep humans and animals separate?


That would be a zoo. Common sense and appropriate preparation are pretty good "fences" for national parks.

Anonymous:
I absolutely love animals, nature, and the "idea" of tenting and hiking but I would never do it in any park or area where there was even a remote chance of a bear (or other) encounter.

To protect everyone and every animal can't the government come up with a fence to keep humans and animals separate? I am shocked that tourists can actually die form a bear attack while on vacation. Just imagine if I took my grandchildren on a trail and one of them was mauled?

Some people do not have any common sense. So, why depend on it. Also, I wouldn't know what my survival skills would be unless the opportunity presented itself, regardless of the bear brochure, I don't want to find out.

That has got to be the oddest suggestion that I've ever seen here. I'm left wondering if this is just a joke.

We take a risk anywhere we go. Even going to the mall we have a remote chance that maybe someone will start shooting, and it's happened before.

So let me get this straight. You would suggest walling off entire ecosystems just to prevent any possibility of human and animal interaction? A bear mauling is excruciatingly rare. The odds are far higher that your family will be injured in a vehicle accident on the way than be injured by a bear. You might as well avoid all of Alaska, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Lake Tahoe, upstate New York. There are entire states you would need to avoid given there are bears. There are bears in some of the suburbs around Los Angeles. It's just not practical to say that you won't go anywhere with a remote chance of encountering a bear. I've seen many bears and I'm still alive.

I thinks they did the right thing, bears runs very fast and its just ridiculous to stand still and find out bears intentions that weather he is bluffing or serious. The law not to discharge weapons is stupid, if someone trying to protect his/her life, he should discharge it.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me. If a bear is charging at me, I'm going to shoot it. I'm not a "bear biologist," nor should I have to be to hike in the wilderness or national parks that my tax dollars pay for! I should be able to defend myself (with any tool I deem necessary, including a firearm) anywhere I go, I have a right to defend myself, and others do as well.

If a human-being points a gun at you or lunges towards you with a knife, nobody speculates whether the aggressor/attacker was just trying to scare the petentiol victim and do a "bluff charge," when the victim shoots the agressor, nor should they. While your life (or loved one's lives) are on the line, you don't have time to think about that kind of crap, especially if you're not a "bear specialist." I am going to do whatever is necessary to protect myself and my loved one's lives. It's an animal's life that was lost, less important than a human lives. I've read quite a few stories where "standing in groups," and waving one's arms did not scare a bear away and people died, so it all depends on the bear. So all you bleeding heart, anti-gun liberals, that care more about an animal's life than a human-beings, by all means, please feel free to take your chances in front of an aggressive bear. I on the other hand will not!

The woods belong to the animals, we people keep driving them away with to many people and buiding to many houses. What is a bear suppose to do u entered their home and knowingly that there is a strong possibility u will encounter a bear in the woods(doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out) so yes if u decide to take such a risk an encounter a bear and shoot it and kill it u should be charged..

I'm a retired Comercial Pilot who is 82 year sold & have hunted all over north america.

I love animals as well as the next person. Now to the substance of my argument:

1. After many, many attempts we were succusfull in getting congress to leagally allow firearms in National Parks, in other words human life is more precious than animals.

I absolutely REJECT any other approach ! I was once confronted by a boar black bear in Colorado, I was armed, however I didn't have to shoot him--we both ended that confrontation happy.

A conealed weapon is as dangerous as someone makes, but also as safe as someone makes it. Law abiding citizens have the right to carry and use when the need to defend one's life arises; whether it be from a human or an animal. The odds of someone having to use a firearm to defend his/her life is not great at all, however, I don't want to be one of the ones who is helpless should the need ever arise...especially from a grizzly bear. Someone else had a point that if the grizzly was able to be killed by a 45 cal, then it was close enough to be dangerous, not just close enough to have a little sniff...

Yeah, but if you had to choose between your lassie or your wife, child, loved one....who would you choose? Don't make irrational statements, like Lassie or Stallin...come on...if I felt threatened by a bear, I would try to read the situation and then I would defend myself with whatever means necessary if the situation merited it...

Yes, but not all situations end up like the Jungle book. None of these people were there and need to stop trying to share their Dances with Wolves experiences in the wild. I think there need to be some more comments about bear maulings, then people may change their mind sets...