Skip to comments.Grizzly attacks 7 teens in Talkeetna Mountains (Bear Spray Only, No Gun)
Posted on 07/25/2011 8:28:15 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner
A grizzly bear sow with a cub attacked a group of teenagers on a month-long survival-skills course Saturday night in the Talkeetna Mountains, causing severe injuries to two of the hikers, according to Alaska State Troopers.
The group was on the 24th day of a 30-day backpacking trip, school spokesman Bruce Palmer said by phone from Wyoming. It was the group's first day unaccompanied by adult instructors, Palmer said.
"For the last bit of the course, we would have them travel as a student group without the instructors, utilizing the skills that they've learned over time," Palmer said.
The seven group members were in a line, calling out to make noise as they crossed the creek, Palmer said. The first hiker had apparently made it out of the water and was out of sight of the others when he began screaming, Palmer said.
The grizzly mauled the teen, attacked another group member, then returned to the first victim, Palmer said.
"It sounds like it was moving around within the group," Palmer said. The hikers carried three canisters of bear spray, but there was no initial indication that the hikers used the repellent, Palmer said.
(Excerpt) Read more at adn.com ...
“Armed” them with pepper spray?
They didn’t have the presence of mind to use the bear mace they did have, a gun wouldn’t have saved them either if they were too panicked to use it.
“The instructors sent these teenage boys out into the Alaska wilderness alone without any firearms with which to defend themselves against angry grizzlies.”
Prison time. At the very least.
It should be a law requiring you to carry a large caliber sidearm if you are in the wilderness. Pepper spray is for the dead bear's ass for seasoning while over an open spit.
That’s correct. Many post will follow though lamenting the lack of firearms when in fact one must be well trained, steely nerved and practiced to hit a 12” target on a 300lb bear coming at you at 44ft per second.
Parents fault. Should’ve asked these Birkenstock wearing, pansie assed instructors what they bringing along for self defense. No guns, no go.
I went on a NOLS course in Wyoming back in 1978. One night they had everyone camp out solo instead of being in a group. On the way out, the instructors told us that we were in the area where the Park Service relocated griz that were too ornery for Yellowstone.
No one slept that night.
Didn’t see a bear the entire time, though, although we saw bear scat. Not sure if any of three instructors had a gun, I never saw one the entire time, but the head instructor was the type to have a handgun in his pack and screw the tree-hugger stuff.
Alaska is another story entirely, though - a lot more bears with a lot less fear. And I question the wisdom of having no adult with the group - I was 17 on that trip, and the group was split in three for the four-day hike out, but there were people in their mid-twenties or older in each group. Beyond the lack of a firearm, I have to question the lack of adults in a wilderness group. Don’t know if it would have made a difference, but the fact that the spray wasn’t even used indicates raw teenage panic.
Those youngsters being of military age or near military age, it would have been a good idea to give them all firearms training in using the relatively short barreled S&W .50 cal revolver, and to have issued several of the weapons to the group with clear instructions that none of the weapons was to be discharged except in an emergency.
Sounds like the course was Pass/Fail.
BLASPHEMY! A gun is a magic shield, the mere possession of which can instantly stop all criminals and animals from proceeding with any attack. /s
Of course you are right. I wonder if it will sink in to the keyboard commandos though.
Everybody should get a game camera, boy do they fill ya in on what really is going on. I have a bushnell trophy cam and we were getting 200-300 picts a day. We had over 20 bear coming in, never realized there were so many bear so close to the house.
I have one buddy who has been mauled twice in his life and he hates bear with a passion, like they're rats. He shoots every bear he sees too, ha.
Bear are viewed as dangerous pests in rural Ak, people just shoot them and forget about it and there has never been any kind of shortage of bears around.
Every May-JUne, the grizz come down off the summit to pick off all the moose calves, you'll often catch them walking down the dirt road, looking to cause trouble. School's still going on then and boy you should see how quick bear are shot when they start looking kids over at the school bus stop in the mornings. That is pretty normal all over rural Alaska though. Bear learn pretty quick to stay away from humans. Probably fish in that creek. Kids were probably wondering why all the dead salmon were laying 10 yards from the creek on the game trail through the Alders. Oh My yu Easterners?
So I guess that was the final, huh?
What was the intended lesson to be learned by sending them with no instructor? This event shouldn’t have happened.
I beg to differ. Mace will just make an angry bear focus it's attention on YOU. The Mace is used to discourage a curious bear from approaching - it has never been claimed to fend off an angry bear attack.
A 9mm with a clip full of hollow-points may not stop the bear from killing - but we will both know that eventually the bear will die from the wounds inflicted upon it. A 9mm is much better than a can of spray; and any fool knows this.
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