The 10mm semi-auto is increasingly popular as a wilderness defense gun in Alaska. Fully loaded, it’s as light — and a bit more powerful than — a loaded, small frame .357 magnum. The GLOCK 20 10mm pistol holds 15 rounds of ammo versus five or six for a .41 or .44 magnum revolver or a 454 Casull wheelgun. In this case near Homer, Alaska, in the Kenai peninsula backcountry, the sidearm did the job as a bear gun.
A Homer man shot and killed a charging sow brown bear at Humpy Creek last Friday. Kim Woodman, 57, shot the bear five times with a GLOCK 10mm Auto semi-automatic handgun before the bear fell about 6 feet from him. While backing away from the sow, Woodman fell and accidentally shot himself in the left foot . . .
Park Ranger Jason Okuly and Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Jason Herreman went to the scene in bear country. In this bear encounter, he found that the charging bear sow died from two gunshot wounds, one below the right eye and one in the chest. Shot placement counts.
Backing away from an attacking animal or person is natural and can be effective. But without eyes in the back of your head, falling down during the bear attack can be a serious danger. To clarify, consider this . . .
You’re backing away as an 800-lb brown bear, black bear, or grizzly bear is charging you at close range. For bear defense, you’re firing a 10mm handgun. You trip, but you stay focused on the threat, firing as you go down. As you press the trigger, your foot flies up into the line of fire as your back goes down to the ground — a case where over-penetration could work to your ultimate advantage.
It’s not uncommon for people in self defense situations, in grizzly country or elsewhere, to inadvertently wound themselves or others. The action is often fast and chaotic. The trick is to keep your eyes on the prize: survival.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Gun Watch
For more on the incident, click the link below.
For more about bear protection in North America, click the links below.
For more on black bears, brown bears, grizzly bears, and how to survive grizzly attacks, click here.
For federal law on managing bear encounters in the wild, including National Parks, click here.
For handgun choices in Alaska for dangerous-animal encounters, including chamberings larger than 44 Magnum, click here.