Skip to comments.Father's bow shot kills grizzly attacking his son
Posted on 10/10/2008 10:38:27 AM PDT by Stonewall Jackson
A Cody bowhunter in search of an elk found a grizzly bear instead in a Sept. 12 mauling incident on the South Fork.
And Ron J. Leming, 37, attributes his father's lifetime of bowhunting for saving his life.
There are not many people who could stand their ground like that, especially with a bow and arrow, Leming said Wednesday.
I would have been mauled way worse, if not killed, if Dad hadn't had the nerve to stand his ground and shoot that bear with his bow. There's not many people who could have done that.
Leming said his father's shot with a compound bow severed a major artery in the bear and hit his heart. The bear then moved about 80 yards down hill after being shot before falling dead over a log.
Leming's father, Ron G. Leming, 62, rushed to his son after the grizzly's initial attack, and managed the compound bow shot as both his son and the bear were running down the hill.
Dad had missed two shots at elk earlier in the several-day hunting trip to the family's favorite spot, Leming said.
The night before, Dad said a prayer for God to guide his arrow.
Leming added that while his father had elk, not bears, in mind as he prayed, he's glad the right arrow found divine intervention.
If my Dad hadn't been there, who knows? Leming said. The look the bear had, the way he was doing ... I could have done absolutely nothing.
Leming and his father had taken their gear 15 miles up the trail from the Boulder Basin trailhead for their annual bowhunting outing. Though they had spotted a black bear and her cubs, there had been no sign of grizzlies, which Leming said was unusual.
On Friday morning they headed out from camp, located at about 9,500 feet in elevation, and spotted a good elk.
The elder Leming was standing about 30 yards down the hill when his son heard a noise behind him and turned to see the bear standing there.
He was king of the woods, Leming said. He thought there was an elk in there and he would bring it down.
Leming yelled at the bear, but it charged him.
Trying to pull the trigger release string on his bow, Leming realized there was no time to shoot the bear himself, so he moved behind a tree and began running around it to buy time. Then he ran down hill, figuring he could move faster in that direction.
I passed my dad and I saw an arrow fly right by my leg, about two feet away, Ron said. He realized his father had shot at the bear, but he was unsure if the arrow went home.
I took three or four more steps and I fell, he said, The bear was on top of me.
Leming was kicking at the grizzly and possibly put his hands out defensively.
It's kind of blurry, he said.
The bear grabbed Leming's arm and, I felt like I was in a vice, with the power that thing had, he said.
He managed to rise and head for a forked tree, where the bear again jumped on his back.
It was pretty scary, the long-time hunter said.
The bear attacked again and Leming was hitting him with his bow as well as struggling with the animal, who suddenly moved away.
He took a few steps toward Dad, then he started walking down the hill. I told Dad to kill him, but he (bear) was already starting to check out, Leming said.
The bear soon fell on a log, dead.
I got super cold - I think I was in shock, Leming said.
His father kept asking how badly he was hurt, and he said he felt OK, considering what he'd been through.
Things got blurry and I lay there for about 45 minutes. I thought I was going to pass out.
The two men finally were able to get back to camp - Leming walked because he was unable to mount his horse.
They made sure the camp was clean and Leming stood on the bear box to get on his paint mare, Josie, which his father led over.
They took their other horses and got to the trailhead, then loaded the horses and even stopped by the Leming home to drop them off before going to West Park Hospital.
Leming was admitted overnight. He received stitches for wounds to his hands and arm, and the bites on his back were patched up as well.
Dennie Hammer, information specialist for the Game and Fish Department in Cody, said the men spotted a bull elk and were about to take aim when the elk spooked, probably because he spied the bear.
They were trying to call in the elk when he spooked, Hammer said.
Leming stood up and so did the grizzly, an 11-year-old male that was about 15 feet from the hunters.
The bear charged and bit (Leming) on the right arm, Hammer said.
His father shot the bear with an arrow, Hammer said.
The bear, though mortally wounded, charged the younger Leming again, this time biting his left hand and arm, as Hammer described the 9 a.m. incident.
By the time a game warden could reach the spot where the attack took place, the bear's body was badly decomposed because of high temperatures during the weekend, Hammer said.
For that reason, the bear's carcass was left where it fell. Hammer said it appears the grizzly was known to game officials, though he did not know whether the bear had worn a tag or radio collar.
He was captured in 2003 after he broke into a shed at Brown Thomas Meadows on the upper South Fork, Hammer said, and was relocated to the Jackson area.
The Friday incident remains under investigation, but Hammer said it appears to be a case of self-defense.
In such instances, it's legal to kill a grizzly bear, he added.
He said while grizzlies are no longer considered a threatened species, no hunting season for them has been established. They are under G&F management and eventually a season will be set, Hammer added.
A bloodied Ron J. Leming, 37, bends over the 11-year old grizzly bear (No. 1029) that attacked him twice Friday along Castle Creek on the South Fork while he and his father, Ron G. Leming, 62, were on their annual bowhunt in search of elk. The elder Leming managed a tough shot with an arrow that killed the bear and saved his sons life. (Photo by Ron G. Leming)
How would you like to be out bow hunting and have this brute coming at you?
Has PETA filed a lawsuit yet?
The night before, Dad said a prayer for God to guide his arrow.
What a story....Damn, remind me never to go Elk hunting.
Not yet, but Wyoming passed a new law allowing hunters to carry a handgun when out bow hunting. This was just passed last week, so I would hazard a guess that it is in direct relation to this attack.
i guess the wooden arrow provision in the bailout could be good for something?
At least not without a bazooka for the bears. ;-)
This was in my hometown. Happened a few weeks ago. When you bugle the elk around here you are also bringing in the grizzlies.
when visiting denali state park, a park ranger discouraged my family from camping at the base for this exact reason.
like the boy scout's say, "be prepared."
Wow! Congratulations to a hunter with a cool head and a steady aim that save’s his son’s life.
When a bear is shot with a bow, it can travel several miles before it dies. An arrow kills by hemorrhage not by impact damage.
No one uses wooden arrows any more. Carbon fiber or aluminum are the ones most used. Compound bows kind of make wood obsolete.
OMG,that does top the Grizzly story...he literally beat a black bear to death with a stick....
Good post...Could have turned out much worse for him.
Glad to see the new law allowing handgun carry when bow hunting and very surprised it wasn’t already allowed in grizzly country.
Nah ... definitely murder. Charge them both.
Ron J. for making the bear chase him, and Ron G. for willful, premeditated murder of a minority.
See, this country isn’t made up entirely of men who are a bunch of fa%^&*#tt Obama supporters!
80 yards with an arrow in it's heart...almost a football field. Good grief.
Praise The Lord for heeding the father's prayers, or they would probably both have been eaten!
That’s one helluva guy!
Just another day for self respecting Wyoming men.
And there are laws in some states which prohibit carrying a gun when bow hunting IIRC. Bad idea to obey them, and I’d think the .44 would be OK for a pistol, but .45-70 or .458 would be my preference (with a rifle, that is).
I hope he gets something really nice for father’s day.
Just read an article on what to do when encountering a Grizzly in the current issue of “Eastman”.
The experts who were interviewed said:
1) Never run since you will trigger their chase instinct and they can run 30 miles an hour, which means that if you run as fast as an NFL halfback and have a 30 yard lead the bear will catch you in 6 seconds, gaining 17 feet per second.
2) Don’t climb a tree as grizzlies can quickly climb 30 feet in most trees. They have been seen to climb shear cliffs 40 yards.
3) Make yourself appear loud and big. Yell but do not scream. You don’t want to let on that you are scared. Do not bend down.
4) If the bear charges it will probably abort the charge, because it just wants to test your response.
5) If it doesn’t abort the charge you should stand and wait for the bear. If you can’t stand to watch the bear approach, you should turn around so you can’t see it get closer. After the bear makes contact, and only then, you play dead.
6) If after a minute of playing dead the bear is still attacking, you should fight back.
7) Pepper spray made especially for bears is more effective than gun. You should carry 2 cans worth in case you miss. The sprays have a range of about 20 feet.
8) You should camp in a dense thicket where a bear would not want to walk, but not where berries are.
9) You should use a tarp instead of a tent so you have a better shot with the pepper spray and a chance to spray more than once.
10) You should camp 1/2 mile from food that is in a special smell containment bag. Bears can smell 100 times better than a bloodhound. Their snouts are much longer with correspondingly greater smell receptors and their brains are specially partitioned to give them a better sense of smell.
11) You, your tarp, and your food bag should not be brightly colored.
12) Do not imagine that a bear’s eyesight is bad. It can see as well as you up to 120 yards away, and fix on a brightly colored person 1/2 a mile away. It doesn’t stand on it’s hind legs because its eyesight is bad, but to get a better vantage point.
13) Once you have established that the bear isn’t interested in pro-actively charging you, then slowly walk away at a 45 degree angle. By walking at an angle you are moving away in 2 directions simultaneously, which gives the illusion of greater distance.
14) The grizzly expert at Yellowstone says they have a bear attach 1 time out of 450,000 nights that people camp out.
15) There have been something like only 3 bear deaths in the last 10 years in the US, this include all types of bears.
brass balls ping
I have a ccw, so i can carry while hunting with my bow...and a .44 is what i carry
Or there’s my list:
1) Don’t go into the woods.
A guy who has spent his career studying Grizzlies said that he’s never been hurt by one and has been charged at twice.
When asked what it felt like to be charged by a Grizzly, he said you feel like you’re being approached by overwhelming power.
I guess with the bear market this is an especially timely post.
“How would you like to be out bow hunting and have this brute coming at you?”
It didn’t happen to me but it did happen to my x husb and his father in Alaska. The bear showed at camp and ‘Dad’ was doing his ‘morning duty’. My x was only 16. His dad was yelling ‘get the gun, shoot the ....”. FINALLY, he did. Still has the head hanging on his wall I suppose.
Thing is, if you are bow hunting in bow only season, ya can’t have a firearm of any kind.
So if ya miss you lose.
Not at this time of year. 'twould seem the bears will eat anything to fatten up for hibernation. Even Mr. Treadwell would likely be with us had he not returned to bear country in this season.
I don't have any experience with bears but I killed an 8 point white tail with a bow a few years ago in Pine Mountain Georgia. He ran about 20 yards and fell like a redwood. Stevie Wonder could’ve followed the blood trail.
I was impressed.
By the way, grizzlies tend to charge not black bears because Grizzlies habitat is open land and they don’t have any place to retreat to. It charges as self-defense, and is usually just bluffing to see your reaction.
Because of the habitat, grizzlies will see you much farther off and you therefore will be a lot less likley to happen upon them.
Wow, old lemming kills grizzly... That IS impressive! ;-)
“When asked what it felt like to be charged by a Grizzly, he said you feel like youre being approached by overwhelming power.”
I’ve had a couple girlfriends who could radiate that feeling.
Guess the bear heard the Elk call, smelled the elk and proceeded from there.
Wonder how big the bear was?
Grizzly expert said he saw a grizzly running uphill, over a lot of logs going 30 miles an hour.
In this bear market, I suppose stocking up on arrows (or ammunition of any kind) would be a smart move.
P.S. I’m stocking up.
Pepper spray ?!?
What no bells?
I can't for the life of me remember who or when it was, but I do remember the pic that was posted here -- of the very dead black bear lying in a pool of blood, and the little white PBT standing over the bear with an expression of modest pride . . . .
Two guys are hiking and at the bend in the trail they startle a grizzly. One of them starts running and the other says, “you can’t out run a grizzly.” The other guy says, “I just have to out run you.”
In real life the bear will fixate on the runner and ignore the guy who stands still.
Sign at trailhead of a national forest:
BEWARE OF BEARS
Wear bells, carry pepper spray and know the telltale signs of bear feces:
1) Black bear feces has bits of fur and berries.
2) Grizzly feces has bells and smells of pepper spray.
where did you claw that pun up from?
It occurred to me as I my life savings flashed before my eyes as I was being mauled by this big bear market.