Many people claim that handguns are useless for protection against bears. Numerous examples have shown that this is a false notion. Handguns may not be ideal as defensive weapons for bears, but they can be effective. In a defensive situation, you have to use what is available. In this case, a homeowner in Alaska used a .45 against a brown bear that was trying to get into his house on July 7th of this year. He and his son were in the home. He had scared off the animal with some warning shots just three hours before. adn.com picks up the story . . .
“I couldn’t believe that it came back,” he said.
Landess grabbed his .45 pistol, stepped out onto his upper deck, took aim and fired seven rounds toward the bear’s vitals. He said the bear “got crazy” and ran about 50 feet before it collapsed and died.
Landess said while he has seen bears around his property, living in close proximity to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, he had never experienced one this aggressive. He said he didn’t have any food around his house that could have attracted the bear but did have an empty cooler on his porch that the bear tossed around along with some chairs. He said this was the first big game he’d ever killed.
“I’m not a hunter; I’m a fisherman,” he said. “It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to scare him off.”
A comment by Landess’ son on ADN.com gives us some more details: The pistol was a Hi-Point .45, and while seven shots were fired, only one shot hit the bear.
Yes that was my dad and he shot it with a highpoint 45. Shot at it 7 times but only one shot hit in the directed area. One threw the lung dropped it.
This appears to be another case of a bear that became too acclimated to humans. It associated humans with food, and so it became a serious risk to human life.
Use of firearms as a defensive tool against animals is fairly common in the United States, though it is more common against an aggressive raccoon or a rattlesnake than against bears. No one knows exactly how many times a year guns are used defensively against animals. My personal observation: in rural areas, defensive uses against animals, whether to defend life or property, are more common than defensive uses against people.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch