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Old August 19, 2002, 07:34 AM   #1
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9mm versus Grizzly bear: Who wins?

I saw this story in another forum. Thought I'd share it here..

http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/1618619p-1736211c.html

Fisherman shoots, kills grizzly

BEAR! BEAR! Man plugs lunging bruin with 9 mm pistol on Russian River.


By Zaz Hollander
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: August 18, 2002)
A fisherman shot and killed a sow grizzly as she charged him in the early morning darkness Saturday on the banks of the Russian River.

The bear surprised Garen Brenner and two friends about 2:30 a.m. as they packed up their gear at one of the Kenai Peninsula's most popular fishing spots, said Larry Lewis, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife technician on the peninsula.

Brenner heard his friend yell "Bear! Bear!" and looked downriver to see the sow a few yards down the bank eyeing the friend. The bear lost interest in Brenner's friend after he backed into the water and threw his shotgun at her.

But then she turned, looked up at Brenner and lunged, said Lewis, who interviewed the three men Saturday.

Brenner fired at the center of the hulking shape closing to four or five feet away. He fired

twice. The sow, estimated at 400 to 450 pounds, went down. Then Brenner fired three more shots into her head.

He shot the bear with a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol. Lewis said such a low-caliber gun ordinarily doesn't pack enough punch to kill a bear. But Brenner loaded the pistol with full-metal-jacket bullets that penetrated to the bear's vital organs, he said.

"I think that's what saved his bacon," Lewis said.

The bear most likely was protecting her yearling cub, which waited well behind her above the steep bank, wildlife officials said.

After the shooting, the cub ran up and down the bank near its mother's body, bawling in distress. "It would stop and smell the bear, the sow, and then it would go into the water a ways, then it would come back," said Bill Shuster, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service.

Local fishing guide Brandon Maes ran into the cub as he fished the Upper Kenai River near its confluence with the Russian. The cub charged, and Maes waded across the swift, chest-deep river to an island. The bear backed off but not before charging the guide's buddies in a boat nearby.

Soon after, Lewis tranquilized the cub, tagged and collared her and moved her to the south side of Skilak Lake.

The encounter was the latest of several close calls between people and bears along Southcentral rivers and streams. The Russian is thick with spawned-out sockeye that draw bears.

Authorities are looking into whether the dead bear is the same sow that attacked a Soldotna mother and son hiking Resurrection Pass Trail on Friday afternoon about three miles from Cooper Landing.

That bear, also accompanied by a cub, raked the mother's face with her claws and bit the son.

Nonetheless, people going into Gwin's store expressed dismay Saturday that Brenner killed the brown bear, said Linda Krack, a Washington state resident working there on Saturday.

"I'm not from here, but locals were pretty angry," Krack said. "Rumor had it, it wasn't necessary, but I sure don't know. I wasn't there. I didn't have it charging after me."

Lewis, who interviewed the fishermen on Saturday, dismissed such criticism. "That's absolute nonsense," he said. "He got a hearty handshake and a 'job well done' for saving himself and his buddies."
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Old August 19, 2002, 07:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
A fisherman shot and killed a sow grizzly
vs.
Quote:
people going into Gwin's store expressed dismay Saturday that Brenner killed the brown bear
So was it a brown bear or a grizzly?

Also:
Quote:
The bear lost interest in Brenner's friend after he backed into the water and threw his shotgun at her.
He threw it at her?????? Anybody know the ballistic coefficient of a thrown shotgun?
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Old August 19, 2002, 09:14 AM   #3
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A short blurb appeared in Police magazine told the tale of an off duty African cop who was on vacation. He was on the golf course when an elephant came storming through. Like everyone else, he skedaddled but fell. Rolling on his back, he pulled out his .38 and fired. Jumbo fell dead.

Wanted to get verification of this story but haven't been able to.
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Old August 19, 2002, 09:45 AM   #4
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Did I read that correctly?

".... The bear lost interest in Brenner's friend after he backed into the water and threw his SHOTGUN at her. "

Shesh ... Sticks, maybe; rocks, sure; but throwing a shotgun ... ??? .. Yikes!!!
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
The bear lost interest in Brenner's friend after he backed into the water and threw his shotgun at her
Yup!! Shotguns are truly effective. This is a prime example of a....


A one-throw stop!!
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:11 AM   #6
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Ahh... FMJs. Nice. Bummer for the bear, luck for the shooter.

Quote:
Brenner fired at the center of the hulking shape closing to four or five feet away. He fired
Very very lucky he wasn't run over... 4 to 5 feet away is er... pretty close!
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:18 AM   #7
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Gotta buy myself some more of those 9mm FMJ's. I might run into an urbanized SE Asian bear sooner or later...
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:36 AM   #8
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I always knew those mossberg shotguns were good for something!

Now I know what...

seriously, though, "Guns are meant to be shot, not thrown, Harley"
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:49 AM   #9
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"So was it a brown bear or a grizzly?"

Both. They're the same, technically/scientifically speaking, along with Alaskan interior and coastal browns, and Kodiacs too.

The difference is in what they eat, and how large they grow because of it.
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Old August 19, 2002, 10:56 AM   #10
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Yes...

I saw that Discovery channel episode about bears. IIRC, even the polar bear is a brown bear derivative. Changed coat to white due to the environment, and grew larger because of its food, very fat arctic seals.
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Old August 19, 2002, 11:00 AM   #11
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Okey, yeah...I didn't know they were the same. Both Ursus arctos. Learn something new every day. I love TFL.
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Old August 19, 2002, 11:02 AM   #12
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You're missing the obvious....

Perhaps the bear just wanted a new shotgun. He could use it for much more efficient foraging.
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Old August 19, 2002, 11:40 AM   #13
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ugghhhhh ..... Since the bear had the friend's shotgun -- doesn't that make the shooting self-defence?

Another grizzly law enforcement question .. no ???


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Old August 19, 2002, 02:29 PM   #14
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How come 9mm is a "high powered pistol round" when it is being used against people (at least as reported by most press) and "low powered" when used against bears?

Guess fur and feather guys have a better grasp on reality then most police spokesmen.
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Old August 19, 2002, 02:32 PM   #15
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So now we have a dillema. Conventional wisdom says to carry a good hollow point round. But, would this story have turned out differently if the guy had HP and not FMJ ammo?

If you are in bear country do you use FMJ or HP ammo?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old August 19, 2002, 02:40 PM   #16
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jhisaac, fmj or hp? I say 12 ga. rifle slug. And I ain't going to throw them at the bear either!
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Old August 19, 2002, 02:46 PM   #17
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Handguns? FMJ or hard cast lead (depending on caliber and gun).

Browns (and blackies for that matter) aren't particularly "tough" skinned but the vitals are deep and the bone is thick. You want penetration to reach brain or organs and punch through layers of muscle and fat. With a bigger round you may also break down the shoulders which will usually break a charge and turn the bear.

A charging bear is a big overall target with a very small effective target area. For even a small black bear visualize a 12 inch circle superimposed on one of the old NRA "tombstone" targets, about 5 inches from the top. That's about your proportion of head to body. A miss high goes into the hump and is useless, a miss to either side may hit shoulder bone, a miss low may hit lungs but is also essentially wasted. Now draw a 5 inch circle on the 12 inch circle, that's your eyes/nose aiming point for the brain.

Put it on a target carrier say 10-15 yds. away and start it moving toward you. Now, draw and fire and get effective hits in that 5" circle before it stops right in front of you. That's nowhere NEAR how fast they move and doesn't include the stress and fear and it is still a tough job. For brush, drop the range to 5 yds.

Makes a slung rifle or shotgun seem like a waste of time.

Enjoy.
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Old August 19, 2002, 02:50 PM   #18
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If the shotgun was loaded with shot, the smart money would have probably been to shoot at the eyes, but tossing the gun would have never occurred to me! Of course, if the gun were unloaded, that may not have been so stupid.

I have to believe the 4-5 feet was not real, because the inertia of the bear would have buried the guy in that case! I suppose if a 500 LB bear was charging me, I'd have trouble estimating distance too.
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Old August 19, 2002, 02:53 PM   #19
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Wanted to add, from the charges I've seen, both bluff so far, the head is down and there isn't much "vital" target area available that isn't covered.

If the F&G guy says it was a righteous shoot I'm not gonna argue but a lot of visitors/newcomers up here get a little trigger happy on bears. That's why the locals might be skeptical. Cub involved is a dicey situation though, but if they transplanted it, it is probably a yearling not a new baby.
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:32 PM   #20
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2:30 AM? Is this the "always daylight season" there?
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:42 PM   #21
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Suns down by then, but it's still EENT, or BMNT, or both, it kinda blurs. (at night)
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:44 PM   #22
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EENT or BMNT ?
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:46 PM   #23
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End of Evening Nautical Twilight

Beginning Morning Nautical Twilight
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:56 PM   #24
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whenever i go hiking, i carry my .40s&w with fmj, save for one magazine of hp, just in case there is a 2 legged varmint that needs to be 'persuaded' away from me and my nephews/nieces. although, i now have renewed confidence in the 9mm.
according to the dept of parks info, the black bears in the anchorage bowl area reach 200 lbs, and about 5 feet from nose to rump. doesnt sound like much, and at first one may think 'i can tackle a 200 lb man, so a bear wouldnt be much more difficult'. wrong thinking.
now a 450 lb brown bear should make anyone fill their drawers if confronted.
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Old August 19, 2002, 03:57 PM   #25
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After sunset, but when there's still light to see and before sunrise when it starts to get light again.

The classic "attack at dawn" time.
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