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Grizzly attacks 7 teens in Talkeetna Mountains (Bear Spray Only, No Gun)
Anchorage Daily News ^ | July 24, 2011 | CASEY GROVE

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.

(snip)

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.

(snip)

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: attack; banglist; bear; grizzly; wilderness
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The instructors sent these teenage boys out into the Alaska wilderness alone without any firearms with which to defend themselves against angry grizzlies.
1 posted on 07/25/2011 8:28:18 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: Virginia Ridgerunner

3 posted on 07/25/2011 8:31:18 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (Perry 2012! A Conservative who can win!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

“Armed” them with pepper spray?

Criminal negilgence.


4 posted on 07/25/2011 8:31:27 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

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.


5 posted on 07/25/2011 8:31:46 AM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

“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.


6 posted on 07/25/2011 8:32:47 AM PDT by Grunthor (Faster than the speed of smell.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
Bear Spray for Grizzly Bears? Ideology trumping survival I see...........

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.

7 posted on 07/25/2011 8:34:32 AM PDT by blackdog (The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop)
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To: eclecticEel

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.


8 posted on 07/25/2011 8:36:37 AM PDT by free me (Sarah Palin 2012 - GAME ON!!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Insanity.


9 posted on 07/25/2011 8:36:40 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: DCBryan1

Parents fault. Should’ve asked these Birkenstock wearing, pansie assed instructors what they bringing along for self defense. No guns, no go.


10 posted on 07/25/2011 8:36:40 AM PDT by albie
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
What no bells, these kids and their dumb-ass instructors were asking for trouble, never walk into tall grass, where there be animals that will eat you. Tall grass in Alaska means it is over your head.
11 posted on 07/25/2011 8:38:17 AM PDT by org.whodat (Speaker West, name sounds good.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

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.


12 posted on 07/25/2011 8:40:02 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: eclecticEel; All
the first one across was in a very dangerous position, no spray, no weapon and by himself; and there was a mama bear and cub ... Timing was a big part of this . It turned out to be a lesson these boys will never forget and I suspect they will be extremely cautious in the future.
13 posted on 07/25/2011 8:40:52 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

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.


14 posted on 07/25/2011 8:42:17 AM PDT by libstripper
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Sounds like the course was Pass/Fail.


15 posted on 07/25/2011 8:42:23 AM PDT by jessduntno (Liberalism is socialism in a party dress. And just as masculine.)
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To: eclecticEel

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.


16 posted on 07/25/2011 8:43:30 AM PDT by freedomwarrior998
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
Neighbors and I got 7 bear out of our stand this Spring, quite a few of the locals eat bear meat and we decided to practice some management after the bear got every last moose around the house.

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?

17 posted on 07/25/2011 8:44:10 AM PDT by Eska
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To: 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

So I guess that was the final, huh?

18 posted on 07/25/2011 8:48:40 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

What was the intended lesson to be learned by sending them with no instructor? This event shouldn’t have happened.


19 posted on 07/25/2011 8:48:46 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: eclecticEel
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.

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.

20 posted on 07/25/2011 8:48:55 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: blackdog

Bear Spray for Grizzly Bears? Ideology trumping survival I see...........”

Learning to skin Grizz...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcsXC2xFis4


21 posted on 07/25/2011 8:49:14 AM PDT by jessduntno (Liberalism is socialism in a party dress. And just as masculine.)
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To: freedomwarrior998
From the end of the article:

Saturday's bear attack is only the second in the school's history, and the only mauling involving a grizzly, Palmer said. In 2003, a black bear wandered into a camp in Utah and bit a student, he said.

Given there have probably been thousands of NOLS courses in the American west, with course lengths lasting from 14 to 90 days, I think their record with bear attacks is probably below average for the number of days spent in the wilderness. Most bear problems come from people not being careful with food, something NOLS training works to prevent. But sometimes bad stuff just happens - such as walking between a sow and her cubs. I am not sure how 50 cal handguns would have made a difference here, as it seems the teens panicked all around. Not that I blame them, I blame NOLS for not having at least one adult with them.

22 posted on 07/25/2011 8:51:17 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: free me
hit a 12” target on a 300lb bear

Thats just the bear CUB.

Adult females range from about 300/350 - 750/800, and adult males can approach 1000lbs.

23 posted on 07/25/2011 8:54:38 AM PDT by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: free me
Well a grizzly of breeding size is no where near 300lbs more like 1,000. That said many bear attacks are stopped simply by the discharge of a firearm - hit or not.

Pissed off momma grizzlies are the most dangerous animal in North America after humans.

24 posted on 07/25/2011 8:55:53 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (De Oppresso libre!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Here we go with another Grizzly Bear discussion.


25 posted on 07/25/2011 8:56:16 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Just once I'd like someone to call me 'Sir' without adding 'You're making a scene.' - Homer Simpson)
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To: free me

26 posted on 07/25/2011 8:56:53 AM PDT by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Going to Alaska in 6 days...

I am so looking forward to the trip.


27 posted on 07/25/2011 8:57:21 AM PDT by Rightly Biased (Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?)
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To: Artemis Webb

LMAO......


28 posted on 07/25/2011 8:58:03 AM PDT by Gator113 (Palin 2012, period.....)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Bears just doing what bears do, protecting their house.


29 posted on 07/25/2011 8:58:03 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dirtboy
Looks like the first kids to hit the opposite bank were the ones that got mauled.

The lesson is about...."Picking your crossing"...These are kids...not SEALS.

30 posted on 07/25/2011 8:58:37 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Artemis Webb
Great sign!

In reality Canada prohibits handguns from entering the country and they ban pepper spray, at least in Ontario. I cruised my sailboat in Canadian waters in the northern reaches of Lake Huron (the North Channel). There had been reports one year of bear attacks, so when I checked in with Customs and Immigration I asked about protection from bears. When I asked about pepper spray, they said it was illegal but suggested “bear spray.”

I asked what was in it, the answer was pepper. Go figure.

31 posted on 07/25/2011 8:58:37 AM PDT by Corky Boyd
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To: Hodar

it has never been claimed to fend off an angry bear attack.
____________________________________________________________

Completely false.

The kids couldn’t bring a can of bear spray into play and you think they would have done better with a handgun?

FR is a great place to go to get misinformed about bears.


32 posted on 07/25/2011 8:59:02 AM PDT by free me (Sarah Palin 2012 - GAME ON!!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Stay out of bear country.


33 posted on 07/25/2011 8:59:38 AM PDT by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Stay out of bear country.


34 posted on 07/25/2011 8:59:57 AM PDT by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
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To: Artemis Webb

LOL!!!....................................


35 posted on 07/25/2011 9:01:32 AM PDT by Red Badger (PEAS in our time? Obama cries PEAS! PEAS! when there is no PEAS!..........................)
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To: Artemis Webb

LOL


36 posted on 07/25/2011 9:02:03 AM PDT by phockthis
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To: Sacajaweau
What was the intended lesson to be learned by sending them with no instructor? This event shouldn’t have happened.

NOLS typically has the students trek out at the end of the course on their own. Back when I took the course, not only did we have to backpack through 50 miles of rough terrain in four days, we also had to do it without food. Ungh.

The idea is to make you apply what you have learned. I believe NOLS has since stopped the policy of not having food the last four days. But I can't agree with their policy of having teenagers in a group in the wilderness without at least one adult with them. They should have had a mixed group by age - I was one of four students under 18 in my group of 14, and there were some college-age students, but there were also adults in their twenties and early thirties so there was never a teen-only group.

37 posted on 07/25/2011 9:04:11 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: mad_as_he$$; mountn man

The size depends on where you are and the time of year. I went with the lower end of the range.

But yes even tougher to do when it’s a 800lb grizzly!


38 posted on 07/25/2011 9:05:22 AM PDT by free me (Sarah Palin 2012 - GAME ON!!)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Those idiots sent kids out in griz country unarmed????????????


39 posted on 07/25/2011 9:06:14 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

My wife and I never hike in CT without “bear spray” which at a minimum is a .357 mag. and the worst we have to worry about is black bear.


40 posted on 07/25/2011 9:06:14 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Somewhere in Kenya, a village is missing an idiot)
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To: SJSAMPLE
The use of Perrey spray as an effective Bear deterrent;......They saw it on Animal Planet and NATGEO. Brown-Bear (Grizzly is the wrong term in the Talkeetna Mtns.) deterrent: Pre 64 Winchester Mod. 70, 375 H&H Belted Magnum. (Accept no substitutes)
41 posted on 07/25/2011 9:07:05 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (Always Remember You're Unique.......(Just Like everyone Else.))
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To: Corky Boyd
... I asked about pepper spray, they said it was illegal but suggested “bear spray.”

Gotta' love the government. Probably the same thing... the factory just uses a different lable to make it acceptable in another country.

42 posted on 07/25/2011 9:07:49 AM PDT by ken in texas (Can't Afford a Tagline... send money.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

Did they have any cowbell?


43 posted on 07/25/2011 9:09:04 AM PDT by WayneS (Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. -- James Madison)
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To: dirtboy
I did an OB course 10 years ago. Instructors were mainly the Sierra Club type, and VERY PC (maybe not the one instructor who was a Sherpa, but he wasn't the head instructor)

Still a great course.

I was 38 at the time, and the oldest on the trip. Excluding me and instructors, the average age was 23.

44 posted on 07/25/2011 9:09:48 AM PDT by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
Regardless of whose “fault” it was, prayers up for the boy that was mauled and the others that were injured. A grizzly mauling is a grievous injury.
45 posted on 07/25/2011 9:10:42 AM PDT by americanophile ("this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives" - Ataturk)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard#Nature

“While protected, anyone outside of settlements is required to carry a rifle to kill polar bears in self defense, as a last resort, should they attack.[99]”

THIS in a Norweigan controlled island heavily populated with polar bears. While polar bears are more carnivorous than grizzlies, the potential danger element from grizziles is as substantial as that from polar bears.

ANYONE traveling in grizzly country should be allowed, if not REQUIRED, to be armed, and have sufficient familiarity with that weapon to employ it effectively.

Its PAST time to take America back from the eco-lunatics who think livestock killing wolves and coyotes, human threatening cougars and black bears, and collision-causing, tick-infested, crop munching deer, are desirable and cute residents in populated areas.


46 posted on 07/25/2011 9:11:04 AM PDT by ZULU (Crapo, Coburn and Chambliss are a herd of renegade RINOs.)
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To: dirtboy

I kinda agree with you but what would the adult have done?

The kids should have been walking in a tight line and waited in a group on the other side of the creek before moving on.

Instead the lead kid went out of sight so the bear saw 1 or 2 people instead of a group of 7 which may have made it think twice about charging.

Other than that I don’t see how an adult would have helped.


47 posted on 07/25/2011 9:12:11 AM PDT by free me (Sarah Palin 2012 - GAME ON!!)
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To: free me
Where do you get your information? I live in bear country, and anyone who goes out camping with some cans of bear spray - and no weapon - is a fool. Apparently, idiots believe what the advertizing says.

UDAP Bear Spray is the most efficient way to dispense large amounts of OC on to a subject in the shortest period of time. The pepper fogger’s enhanced range, broad spray pattern and inhalable particle size make it the most effective aerosol tool available to stop a bear attack. Simply by virtue of its ability to disperse large amounts of OC into the area in a very short time.

Source

It is a deterrent. A lock on your door is a deterrent. Any deterrent is ineffectual in an actual attack. Spray an angry bear with this crap, and see what happens. It really p*sses them off!!

A gun, on the other hand - is MUCH more effective. Each year, we have campers who are killed and attacked by bears in Utah. Very few go into the mountains with some aerosol cans; most go in with a good sized pistol. A 9mm is on the small side; but it's better than a can of spray.

48 posted on 07/25/2011 9:13:10 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: free me
Ursus Arctos Horribilus in the Talkeetnas is refered to as a Brown Bear. (No exceptions)
49 posted on 07/25/2011 9:13:50 AM PDT by PSYCHO-FREEP (Always Remember You're Unique.......(Just Like everyone Else.))
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To: mountn man

There were three instructors in our group. Two of them were probably Sierra-Club types, but the head instructor was more of an old-school mountain man mindset. I have a feeling in reading the alumni newspaper that NOLS has gone full greenie since then.


50 posted on 07/25/2011 9:14:05 AM PDT by dirtboy
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