Home Invasion: Colorado Man Emptied a .40 Caliber Pistol Into a 400 lb. Black Bear He Found in His Dining Room

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In this photo provided by Ken Mauldin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers load a roughly 400-pound bear into a truck bed after the animal broke into a home and was shot and killed by the homeowner in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Rachael Gonzalez said the bear flipped a lever handle door and found dog-food inside the home in the ski-resort town. (Ken Mauldin via AP)

By Jesse Bedayn, AP

Ken Mauldin was jolted awake last weekend with his wife screaming incessantly in their split level home in Colorado’s mountain town of Steamboat Springs where their three children were sleeping one floor below. Then she yelled: “There’s a bear in the house!”

Kelly Mauldin had just been awakened by the couple’s barking dogs that didn’t wake her husband before dawn on Saturday. She walked to the door of the couple’s bedroom and found herself staring at a male black bear weighing about 400 pounds — about 10 feet away in the dining room.

In an interview, Ken Mauldin said he grabbed his 40-caliber pistol, took his wife’s place at the door and shot once, aiming for the center of the bear’s body. He thinks the first shot hit the bear and it charged him as Mauldin continued firing.

As he was shooting, the bear got as close as 5 feet from Mauldin and then turned toward the stairs leading to the home’s front door. The bear crashed through a bannister as Mauldin emptied the gun and it slid down the stairs, mortally wounded.

The couple didn’t know it at the time, but officials believe the bear got inside their home by flipping down the lever of their unlocked front door handle and pushing the door.

After it was shot, the bear lay breathing and heaving between Mauldin and his three sons on the home’s lower floor, but he didn’t think the bear would get back up. He called 911 and one of his sons called him on his cellphone and Mauldin told the son to stay put in his room.

“My only thought was protecting my family and putting that bear down,” said Mauldin.

The bear had moved an unopened bag of dog food across the dining room. Police and state wildlife officers arrived a short time later and determined that the bear was dead. They used a winch to pull it into a truck and were impressed by its size, said Justin Pollock, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer for 21-years.

“I deal with bears a lot and I’d say this was a big bear,” he said.

Colorado has about 12,000 bears and break-ins aren’t uncommon in Rocky Mountain towns, but homeowners shooting bears in their homes is rare, said Rachael Gonzales, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. State law allows people to shoot bears if the people feel threatened, she said.

In the days before the bear opened the door to the Maudlin’s home, neighbors had talked about a bear getting into their garages and other homeowners had reported bear break-ins. Mauldin said the family always does a nightly check to close windows and lock doors, but that night the front door had been left unlocked.

Gonzales said there’s no way of knowing if the same bear seeking food at other homes broke into the Mauldin family’s home. Black bears avoid humans but once they realize food is behind a window or stuffed inside a bird feeder, they will return, Pollock said.

“Bears are very smart,” Gonzales said. “Once they learn that it’s easy to access food in a certain area, they are going to keep doing it.”

The bear’s hide and meat will be donated to people who have signed up on a list to receive them and its head will go up for auction, Pollock said.

Mauldin hopes the break-in at his home sparks greater awareness to prompt “something good from something so terrible that happened.”

“We are in a situation now where we have town bears that have lost all of their natural fear of humans,” Mauldin said. “In my mind that’s what we have to address.”

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158 COMMENTS

  1. In my brain, I know the black bear is about as timid as they get an likely was no threat, but in my gut, I’d have dumped 6 .44 mag rounds into the bear as well.

    • I worked part-time from my apartment and earned $30,030. After losing my previous business, I quickly became exhausted. Fortunately, I discovered these jobs online, and as a result, I was able to start earning money from home right away. Anyone can accomplish this elite career and increase their internet income by….

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        • Michael A Crognale,

          While I thoroughly enjoyed your response, please note that computer software almost certainly creates these types of posts and saying, “stop posting,” is a waste of electrons.

        • “…and saying, “stop posting,” is a waste of electrons.”

          Worse, it usually signals that they “have a live one on the hook”.

          Why you should never click on “remove me from your list” in a junk eMail… 🙁

        • which is WHY this site needs a block button for spam. Mark such stuff as what it is, and block the user from the site. I’ve seen this “poster” before on this site. Same biolerplate message.

        • I am the real boyfriend. You other two guys have your Sarah’s mixed up.

  2. I’ve said it before, life ain’t a Disney movie. And that didn’t sound like any Country Bear Jamboree I ever saw.

    • “And that didn’t sound like any Country Bear Jamboree I ever saw.”

      There was only one thing I remember about the Country Bear Jamboree when I was kid back in the early 70s :

    • Ron, you appear to be a special kind of stupid.

      “Law enforcement who arrived after said it was a good shoot.”

      Appeal to authority fallacy. Government officials also said that there were no fraudulent votes in the 2020 election, the covid vaccine is perfectly safe, and quadrupling the IRS’s budget won’t result in more audits.

      Care to take bets that you haven’t posted something disagreeing with these or other government statements on the internet and not afforded them complete deference because of their position?

      Look, “you weren’t there so you can’t have an opinion” is dumb. But if you truly feel that way, at least apply it consistently which means you can’t have an opinion yourself because you weren’t there either.

  3. Ugh- I’m a bear hunter in California. I have a cabin in Tahoe. This is just irresponsible on the homeowner’s part. You need to take precautions seriously in bear country. A fed bear is a dead bear.

    I understand that he felt frightened, but honestly if he had just yelled at the black bear, he would have left and everyone would still have their hearing.

    Black bears are like big dogs. Also- if you do live in bear territory, bear balls work best. Then carry bear spray. Finally, a Glock 29 or a 44 mag as a last resort. (I only carry a gun when I’m around brown or Grizzly bears.)

      • Neither were you, or anyone else commenting here.

        I’ve always found the “you weren’t there so your opinion doesn’t count” argument to be one of the silliest and weakest on the internet. Particularly because the one making it has almost assuredly expressed an opinion of their own that suffers from the same exact shortcomings.

        Asking people who didn’t personally witness something to render a decision about its propriety based on limited facts is only the foundation of our entire jury system.

        If we can throw people in jail for the rest of their lives based on an hour or two of curated evidence, we can certainly express an opinion on a news article in an internet forum with very little information to work with.

        • Blah blah blah blah blah.

          I bunch of uniformed internet asshole peanut gallery.

          You weren’t there, you don’t know. Law enforcement who arrived after said it was a good shoot. You’re just some jack ass on the internet. Wwwoooo.

    • Aren’t bears prohibited from harming humans by law in CA? If not they should be. It’s time to do SOMETHING about bear attacks. Outlaw the attacks and your Glock so everyone can be safe.

      • I have it on the highest authority that they can grant themselves that shooting a bear in California can give you cancer…

    • the ONE TIME they left the front door unlocked… and all the neighbours had had prior visits from this fuzzy thug. So you blame the PEOPLE? Nah. this bear won’t ever bother anyone again. Once he’d lost his fear of people THAT is whaat led to his being removed from the gene pool”Keep yer Cal a FORN ya values where they belong.. in thst sorry state of affairs.
      You think, since the first round did not change his mind, that talking nice would have convinced the guy to leave politely? How naif of you. The man did what had to be done. YOU can worship the local wildlife all you want. Thus guy put his own family above the bear.Rightly so. Bear took a wrong turn, oh darn pore bear.

      I was glad to read how the bear’s demise will benefit so many of the locals. Bear meat is VERY tasty. I’ve had plenty. Most of what I’ve eaten was a black which had taken to killing and eating local sheep. That was in California, so rancher needed to “get permission” from da gummit, which they grudgingly granted after long delays and the loss of many more sheep. Sheepman dropped the bear, skun him out, kept the hide, then gave the carcase to us. We cleaned and butchered, tossed him into the freezer. Oh my I was glad I was THERE every time some of that bear ended up on the diningroom table Mighty tasty that…..

    • Of course it has to be a “Glock” as no other handgun in the world is capable of the nasty, deadly things a GLUNK can do. BULLSHIT on your GLUNK and Bullshit on your big dog analogy. It is a BEAR. NOT A DOG. We live in Colorado and had a similar event. Although I have never had a GLUNK and NEVER will I used a real gun, a Sig Sauer as the bear, standing in our kitchen advanced with an aggressive posture and decided he wanted to take the room temperature challenge. Damn if that Sig didn’t work just fine and the dead bear never asked if he just got shot with a GLUNK. You effing GLUNK-Tards need some re-education about that plastic junk.

      • Although I have never had a GLUNK and NEVER will I used a real gun, a Sig Sauer

        And another EXPERT moron heard from…

        SIG Orders Immediate Recall on Specific Lots of 9mm Elite Ammunition

        Sig Sauer P320 recall, Technically, though, it’s not a recall, as Sig Sauer is voluntarily offering free trigger assembly upgrades to its customers at no cost to them. The P320 handgun has a habit of firing without its trigger being pulled, an occurrence that has been reported again and again.

        (November 25, 2020) – Today Sig Sauer, Inc. is announcing a safety recall for the CROSS Bolt-Action Rifle, and consumers should immediately discontinue use of the rifle.
        ALL firearms manufacturers have glitches from time, your SIG is no better than my Glock, S&W, Ruger, Taurus or any other handgun (ALL of them are very REAL and all can kill a person dead just as quickly and efficiently as your SIG) that I own so just STFU… You make yourself sound like an idiot.

  4. Ugh- I’m a bear hunter in California. I have a cabin in Tahoe. This is just irresponsible on the homeowner’s part. You need to take precautions seriously in bear country. A fed bear is a dead bear.

    I understand that he felt frightened, but honestly if he had just yelled at the black bear, he would have left and everyone would still have their hearing.

    Black bears are like big dogs. Also- if you do live in bear territory, bear balls work best. Then carry bear spray. Finally, a Glock 29 or a 44 mag as a last resort. (I only carry a gun when I’m around brown or Grizzly bears.)

    Carry every day and protect bears for the hunters!

    • This is what happens when people grow up never spending a day outside. Rather than learn to live with the Animals, everything turns into a crisis.

      Anyone who has spent time in the Sierras learns how to deal with bears. This guy risked shooting his kids, ruined everyone’s hearing, and now there a dead bear. I’m glad my taxpayer dollars go to clean up this Baffoons mess.

      • If a bear figured out house=food source it’s already going to need relocation at best and to be put down as a more likely outcome. Sucks it learned to associate human habitation with food but unless the guy was feeding the bear or leaving food unsecured outside the only thing that he did wrong was leave the door unlocked.

        • “If a bear figured out house=food source it’s already going to need relocation at best and to be put down as a more likely outcome.”

          That says it all. Run him off, and he would come back. It basically mentions that in the article.

      • Seems his kds were a lot smarter than you. THEY were behind Dad and his gun. They let the BEAR stand in front of those two. Smart kids. Bet they liked eating some of that bear.

        If I were that Dad, I’d have paid whatever it took to end up with that tanned hide. Bear would now be sleeping BIG sleep on his cabin livingrooom floor. and when the guests come to visit they’ have to endure hearing, ONE MORE TIME, just HOW that BEAR got THERE. Family legend, lying right there like a rug.

    • “if you do live in bear territory, bear balls work best. Then carry bear spray.”

      With my luck, they’ll be able to identify me by the spicy-smelling bear crap they find… 🙂

    • I don’t know. He forgot to lock his front door. If the bear wanted in he was coming in. That looked like a pretty good boar to me. If he was in my house I would not yell, or spray pepper spray. I’ve used both of those on humans with mixed success. Nope. Bear in the house. Bear gets shot. And we’ve got a few around here. Casey got a trail cam pic of a young black bear at the GA farm a couple of days ago. Bears are mostly considered a pest around here. As well as wild hogs. All both do is raid crops, food plots, feeders and bee hives. A pox on them. Well, the pigs anyway. I kinda like the bears. But, I will kill one in my house.

        • My friend got to test several chemicals on people while working in prison.
          He was very dismissive of cans of plain CN and CS liquid but really happy with the expanding foam high strength capsicum pepper spray. He claimed that using CN and Cs he had hit square in the face raging guys high on toilet wine and meth with no detectable slow down.
          But the strong jet of expanding pepper was super good as the raging con would get it into their mouths and inhale it and if mouth closed it would expand up their noses. Even with glasses on it would expand up behind the glass in a wonderful rich foam. So he said even the most mental veins bulging psychos would instantly close their eyes and could not open them and often went down in a choking gasping mess after just a few seconds. I never took the foam but was misted (just fooling around not real training) with the pepper liquid from the can and I was unable to see and very involved in the pain but could still think and move. I can imagine getting 10% foam on my eyeballs and up nose as reaching the limits of discomfort. I found out I’m one of the I think 10% of population resistant to CN gas. Point being that enraged, psychotic, or doped up people will resist pain compliance but you can get past pain and into reflex and incapacitate.
          Fooling around, me and my friend were laughing like idiots after expending a duffel bag of powder, liquid, aerosol riot products.we couldn’t even see each other so we sprayed at the wheezing giggles. We threw dust grenades upwind to have it rain on each other. It was fun. I know it sounds crazy but because we were laughing and so on the pain was tolerable. Your frame of mind changes your perception. So the meth mad cons or giggling idiot me and buddy were somewhat immune. My entire back swelled up about 1/2 inch later. I had to take cool baths and put cortisone cream. But laughed the whole time we were blasting each other. At one point we fired a ferret round into the cabin, broke the window, then both ran inside to see what it was like. Good times. Yup, this stuff is hard to believe.

        • Richard Kudrna,

          I was at an NFL football game several years ago. I sort of noticed that two fans a few seats to my right and maybe one row behind me got a little testy with each other but I was focused on the game. Next thing I know a local cop is there and suddenly sprays one of the fans. Everyone around starts choking, gagging, sputtering, and dispersing. The fan that the cop sprayed: it had zero effect on him. It was almost comical as that fan, with incredibly polite and respectful delivery said, “What did you do that for?” Also of note: that spray had zero effect on me.

      • I’m not an idiot. I’m an experienced bear hunter. I’ve filled bear tags 3 of the last five years on public land. I’ve grown up back packing and going to Boy Scout camp in the Sierras. I know bears.

        Shooting the bear inside the house made it more likely to maul you. Have you ever shot a bear? The smallest caliber I’ve ever shot a bear with was 308. Shooting a bear with a 40 short and weak is not a smart idea. When you shoot a bear, even with a rifle, it starts charging.

        If he just yelled at the bear, it would have left. His kids would have hearing damage. Have you ever shot a gun inside without hearing protection? Not a single human has been killed by a black bear in California in the last 50 years.

        Shooting a bear with a handgun is not the opitimal way to deal with a bear intrusion. In bear territory you need to lock your doors.

        I don’t know what to tell you. Go to Lake Tahoe. The locals all know this. Most have electric fences outside. Leaving your door unlocked in bear territory is as irresponsible as carrying a 1911 cocked and locked without a holster.

        But if you want to feel like a big man- having never seen a bear or hiked a mile or hunter one bear in you life, yah, go support your local hearing aid maker by telling people to mag dump a handgun CRIPS style into a bear that was a victim of your own irresponsibility.

        • Hmmmm, 40SW worked though. Not everyone is an “experienced bear hunter.” When faced with what appears to be mortal danger, one responds with the tools one has in-hand.

        • Here’s another “experienced bear hunter” who treated a grizzly like a house out and paid the price. Fortunately for him, none of his family was hurt.

          A New Mexico Bear Attack Finally Stopped With a GLOCK 10mm Pistol – search TTAG

          Grizzlies have been killed with everything down to 22lr. Was 40 S&W the best choice? No, but it worked. I would add that I wouldn’t have stopped shooting until the bear was deader than dead. And not everyone experiences hearing loss when firing a weapon without ear pro. Although that is likely the case. But, in an emergency, I’ll sacrifice some or all of my hearing to save my family. Additionally, wild bears don’t always act like we think they should. That’s the definition of wild.

        • “Grizzlies have been killed with everything down to 22lr. Was 40 S&W the best choice?“

          It was not a grizzly, it was a common black bear.

        • How bad of a hunter are you that bears charge after you shoot them?

          Find another hobby, tough-guy.

        • Off topic, I have always considered a safety on cocked with round in chamber 1911 a safe gun due to the grip safety.
          I’m out of touch is this now considered unsafe?

        • In reply to MinorIQ, you completely missed the point once again. If a Grizzly can be dispatched with a 22LR then a black bear can be as well. Or any other handgun round. There’s research regarding Bears killed with handgun rounds. And multiple stories on this blog. If I live somewhere where there were black bears or grizzly bears or cougars or any other apex predator you can be darn tooting I’ll be carrying a gun all the time. And if one somehow made it into my home I would shoot it until I ran out of ammo and then I’d get more ammo.

    • “I understand that he felt frightened, but honestly if he had just yelled at the black bear, he would have left and everyone would still have their hearing.”

      Pretty much, but being in your house is different from encountering them in the wild. I have plenty of experience encountering them in the wild. They don’t scare me. We coexist out there. We don’t coexist in my house. Also, if I see a big cat stalking me in the wild, then he’s getting shot. I’m not going to wait around for him to come back when I’m not looking.

      • I understand that- and whatever, I’m glad the guy and his family are safe (except for the permanent and irreversible hearing damage.)

        I just want people to think before holding this up as a great example of a defensive gun use. This wasn’t like Travon bashing your head in and breaking your nose or Kenosha Kyle shooting a man POINTING A GUN AT HIM lol 🙂

        • Oh experienced, wise hunter….why do your bears always charge you after you shoot them with a rifle?

        • What a bunch of nonsense. Just because you’ve killed three bears at some distance doesn’t make you any kind of expert in any way. They/she were yelling at the bear and it didn’t leave. It was in their house and they are in no way obliged to be its “steward” at that point. There was food present. They had children in the house. The .40 was what he had. And as everyone has pointed out: you weren’t there, mighty hunter that you are. I’ve had literally dozens of ‘interactions’ with bears over the last three plus decades, including a couple of grizzly, one right in my shop with me, and I can say this: some ran, some walked, some stood there and stared and some came at me. When they are in your house and the spousal units screaming hasn’t scared them off then down they go, much as I might not wish to. You may very well be saving some other persons or child’s life at that point because that’s exactly what happened here one year: a medium black bear, known locally for its lack of fear, took, killed and partly consumed a child playing in the backyard. In fact a neighbor realized what must have happened, grabbed a rifle and a mag and ran out the door before realizing he had, by law, a trigger lock on the rifle and had to run back in to find the damn key. Ain’t gun control grand? There comes a point when you stop playing games.

    • @Idiot homeowner is poor steward of wildlife

      “I understand that he felt frightened, but honestly if he had just yelled at the black bear, he would have left and everyone would still have their hearing.”

      That assumes the bear would not have attacked had they just done that.

      That’s a great thing to think, until it isn’t …

      Woman injured by black bear in unusual encounter on Anchorage’s popular Coastal Trail > https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wildlife/2022/08/15/woman-injured-by-black-bear-in-rare-encounter-on-anchorages-popular-coastal-trail/

      Black bear killed after attacking jogger in Whatcom County > https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/newsus/black-bear-killed-after-attacking-jogger-in-whatcom-county/ar-AA10jcwH

      DNR Says Black Bear Attacks On Humans Rare, But They Do Happen > https://www.wfmd.com/2020/09/25/dnr-says-black-bear-attacks-on-humans-rare-but-they-do-happen/#:~:text=Another%20way%20black%20bears%20can%20attack%20humans%20is,It%E2%80%99s%20get%20startled%2C%20swats%20and%20runs%2C%E2%80%9D%20says%20Spiker.

      Here’s the thing about black bear attacks… its is true that FATAL black bear attacks on humans are rare …. its is true that aggressive black bear attacks on humans are rare …. it is not true that black bears will always not attack or not try to attack.

      Not defending the guy for shooting the bear, just saying its not a sure thing like you seem to portray that “yelled at the black bear, he would have left”.

  5. That encounter would make me want at a minimum, a .44 mag lever gun.

    EDIT – And, Buffalo Bore hard-cast, P …

    • 45-70 is a bit overkill for most of anything here in NY. Still have it because it was cheaper and more available than 44 mag levers at the time and is fun. Also bb hardcast is great even with the light bruise later on.

    • Geoff PR,

      A frequent commenter on this site listed this story in an earlier post today. I mentioned that I have often wondered if my everyday carry handgun–a semi-auto .40 S&W loaded with 180 grain bonded hollowpoints–would be “good enough” to promptly stop a smaller black bear (under 250 pounds). This 400 pound bruiser is a different story and I would be scared out of my wits facing off against it with nothing more than my everyday carry handgun.

      When I am camping, hiking, and hunting, I carry my large .44 Magnum revolver loaded with 240 grain softpoint bullets for “woods defense”. I feel much more confident with that platform if I ever have to stop a large four-legged rampaging animal.

      Of course this happened in the home, though, and I don’t keep my .44 Magnum revolver at the ready in my home. Rather, I have a pump-action 20 gauge shotgun (loaded with slugs) at the ready on my first and second floors. While I acquired those for self-defense against human home invaders, they would obviously work pretty well for rampaging animals as well.

      And now that I think about it, it is entirely possible that I may have to use them for rampaging animals–there are three farms less than one mile away from me with horses, cattle, and hogs which would require a large firearm platform if any of those very large animals ever went on a rampage.

    • Why not both? Just need to adjust a bit for reloading and you largely use the same equipment. But 9mm would probably work as well I would just prefer to grab the shotgun in this situation.

  6. Why would you put a lever type door handle on a home in bear country? Round knob no bear entry (NO THUMBS)… Evidently common sense is a lost art in Colorado. I understand the need for those types of door handlesets for elderly or handicapped people but if you can shoot a .40 cal. handgun you can turn a doorknob. Carelessness and lack of forethought killed that bear just for doing what a bear does.

      • That bear was looking for food and found food (because dumbass who built HIS home over the bears natural habitat could not LOCK a fuckin door) and was killed because said dumbass didn’t know shit about the animal whose home HE had invaded.

        • All of our homes are built over land that was the domain of animals. Human beings also live here and there. We did not invade, we settled. It would not matter if the bear invaded a Tipi, a cave or a frontier cabin.

          People have a right to defend themselves in their own homes.

        • It would not matter if the bear invaded a Tipi, a cave or a frontier cabin.

          You are beginning to sound like dacian. The dumbass FAILED to secure HIS Tipi, cave, cabin or WHATEVER. The bear would not have harmed them (which YOU should know) if they had closed the bedroom door and called authorities. The bear would have been sedated and relocated end of problem. By attempting to stop that animal with a .40 was really irresponsible and they are both damn lucky to be alive after initially wounding the bear with a questionably adequate firearm.

        • His kids were in separate rooms. And how the hell do you know what that bear would have done? Talk about sounding like dacian.

          Coulda, woulda, shoulda is bullshit when your family is inside the dwelling with a large predator.

          Animal life has no value against human life.

        • I wouldn’t say you are incorrect but consider this: the exact same situation not only could have but absolutely has happened in the middle of the day. Do you lock your doors everytime you step outside? Do you not keep food in your house? Do your children walk around inside with a can of Bear Away in each hand while you are washing your truck in the driveway? In the words of your great leader: “C’mon man!”.

        • with a can of Bear Away in each hand while you are washing your truck

          Don’t have any kids at home, always “strapped” up with a 10mm G29 when I walk outside, don’t wash my truck I take it to a professional who does a great job, I do keep food in my house and unless I plan to reenter my house in less than a minute or will be leaving the sight line of the front of my house I DO lock the door (black BEARS are not the only potential home invaders in my area).

    • “Evidently common sense is a lost art in Colorado.”

      I almost suggested where he may have come from, likely being a transplant, but decided against it in deference to the few Californians posting here who seem to be decent folks that haven’t drunk the koolaid.

      • I’m sure that my Winchester lever action doorknobs are the only way I’ve managed to get back in the damn house on some few Saturday nights…

    • Agree. You don’t just forget once you adopt a routine to the point of rote. Suspect they left doors unsecured as a matter of course, and it nearly bit them in the ass this time.

      Literally. XD

  7. Poor bear, it was just hungry.

    Round knobs not levers.

    Better be glad it wasn’t just a 9, it woulda just pissed it off.

  8. Well…. the bears didn’t do that to that little porridge stealing tramp Goldilocks…

    Sounds like a double standard to me.

  9. All the armchair warriors. The bear was a dangerous armed intruder, who got the same treatment as some 2 legged one carrying a screwdriver, knife or firearm. Good job defending your family Ken Mauldin. Feel bad a animal died, but something as large and dangerous as a full grown bear is not something you ask politely to please leave. Anyone who would react differently than Ken Mauldin did risks being mauled, killed or entire family attacked.

  10. All these IDIOTS up here that think bear spray & such stupid chemicals will keep you safe. Are nothing but
    Environmentalists full of pipe dreams.
    I live with these animals & can tell you for a FACT, bear sprays are a gamble at best.
    You want to take a chance, go for it. BEAR FODDER.

    • NORDNEG,

      … bear sprays are a gamble at best.

      I believe I remember seeing some pretty compelling data that bear sprays will drive-off 99.99% of CURIOUS bears–and will FAIL 99.99% of the time to stop a seriously hostile charging bear.

      The real core problem: how can you possibly know if a bear is merely curious and will go away, is merely curious and was planning to go away only to then decided to eat you, is only bluff charging, or is hostile and charging to eat you?

      My standard is simple. Any bear which fails to immediately retreat upon learning of my proximity is a dangerous bear. If said dangerous bear so much as steps toward me I will not hesitate to immediately start shooting.

      • My understanding is bear will almost always false charge.
        Unlike a dog, who are encouraged by their opponents running, bears see it as end of challenge. Example mother bear with cub, or a bear protecting food.
        I’m hoping if you have some distance between you and the bear you might pause and signal withdrawal before killing it. Killing a mother bear is a slow death of the cubs.
        Kodiac I am told are quite different and see standing up as a challenge and cannot help themselves but attack. I met a man who worked logging and he was sickened by the pathetic attacks the bears made on the tree machines. They had zero chance but cannot withdraw. In one day he saw three large browns killed.

        • While bears may very well almost always bluff charge, you have no way of knowing for certain.

          I am not willing to risk my life (or my family’s life) on the likelihood that a bear’s charge is a bluff charge. The very fact that a bear did not immediately vacate the area upon learning that I was close at-hand indicates a dangerous bear. If a bear is charging at me, I am going to start shooting once it gets within 40 yards (120 feet) of me.

          Note that a charging bear can easily cover 40 yards (120 feet) in less than three seconds. I would be hard pressed to even get off two accurate shots with a .44 Magnum revolver in that scenario before the bear was literally on top of me–assuming that I even knew the bear was there and already had my revolver in hand at the “low ready” position. If I do not know that a bear is nearby until it starts charging and I have to draw from my holster, I will be lucky to get off a single shot.

    • I’ve had it work well about four or five times and had it fail utterly about the same. Loud noises as well; unless they can associate that noise with you and see both as a threat then even a bear banger going off immediately above them often has zero effect, along with gunshots, air horns, etc. Go all anthropological on their ass with a couple of frying pans though and they get the idea pretty quick. Ask me how I know…

  11. Where’s Life Flight when you need them? They probably could have saved the bear. I suspect the bear wasn’t current on his membership dues, so no helicopter would come for medevac.

    • Same guy logging had journalists on site and an earthmover crushed a black bears den. It ran out with a broken leg screaming and whimpering on a broken leg and ran back into its den.
      Tbe logging company flew in a veterinary surgeon team by helicopter and they put in titanium repair.
      Optics
      Off camera they were killing huge brown bears.

  12. Just how often does this occur. Once or twice a Century ? Certainly nnot enough to,justify arming half of America that’s for sure. Why come up withn such ridicuollous justifications?? I’d also bet that far more people are killed by DONKEYS and COWS than BEARS in the USA each and every year Not enough to justify arming America that’s for sure . Why didn the idiot not just bloody well RUN.
    So,if I come onto your property carrying an elfin screwdriver you think that justifies you trying to killing me? Next time I’ll be carrying my 12 Gauge Repeater -see how you like them bananas. And I am not joking because that’s exactly what happens as violence escalates.

  13. Ken and his family are very lucky the bear slowly succumbed to multiple rounds of 40 S&W. Was leaving the front door unlocked an accident? Do they have a routine checking & double checking to make sure dead bolt lock is set, especially when the family is asleep? Where was the 12ga with slugs anyone living in bear country should have quick access to? Was it by the unlocked front door?

  14. Let me get flamed – I feel sorry for the bear.
    He was used to human smell so lost his trepidation.
    He was a rare bear at 400 lbs
    Hard to get enough food.
    Just trying to survive.
    Black bear I’ve gotten near were terrified of me. One actually whelped when he smelled me and ran.

    • I feel bad for it too. I also completely understand the actions of the father. I wouldn’t have known all I had to do was yell at it. I always forget what bear do you stand up to and look big and what one do you fall to the ground and play dead for. Guess wrong and you’re dead. Better the bear than me or family.

  15. I expect this will turn up soon in Dean W’s collection of bear encounters, scored in the “W” column for firearm vs. bear spray. (spoiler: He says handguns overall are 98% effective.) There’s a sub-genre of People using the 10mm but I don’t know whether 10mm Kurz gets its own break-out category.

    To those faulting the defender for using .40 S&W (probably JHP) instead of something spicier designed more specifically for furry fangy quadrupeds: Remember the usual home invader presents a much squishier target, and that’s what the defender had (responsibly and reasonably) prepared to encounter. Yes, it’s unfortunate that the bear suffered prior to expiration, and we take them ethically when we can, and part of that is careful caliber and projectile selection. But when you’re defending your family, you do your best with the tools at hand.

  16. “The bear’s hide and meat will be donated to people who have signed up on a list to receive them and its head will go up for auction, Pollock said.”

    Whassup wiffat? The homeowner bagged the bruin, on his own property, no less. What ever happened to, “To the victor belong the spoils”?

    Collectivism much, Colorado?

    • my guess is that it was shot outside of hunting season so the laws probably dictate the donation. That said, since it was in a personal dwelling vs natural environment and wasn’t a hunting situation there should be something other than insurance that would give the homeowner some compensation.

  17. For all those sympathizing with the bear – there is no shortage of black bears, the homeowner only has one family – when your back is against the wall your family’s safety trumps everything else.

  18. Uncommon_sense
    That’s hysterical!
    Cop sprays fan – fan politely asks why!
    If that was the gas / agent where 10% of everyone is immune, it’s statistically reasonable that both you and the fan fell into the lucky band.
    My friend told me how he watched and laughed at the cons who put hot sauce in their eyes every day to build resistance to the pepper spray. The OC foam was thousands of times more potent than the little bottles of cafeteria hot sauce.

    • Richard,

      It was quite a while ago and I am almost certain it was either CN or CS liquid. I don’t think police widely used OC (oleoresin capsicum, e.g. “pepper”) spray back then.

      • Even now I wonder if they carry OC?
        Why not? Is it that it stains cloths?
        My friend told me that there have been deaths with CN/CS but nearly zero with OC and it has no fatal dose level. It just turns on pain receptors without being toxic. I’d rather be peppered than tasered. Falling onto your skull is a thing with taser.
        Both are better than hot lead.

  19. @Richard Kudrna
    “Did anyone already do, “white man shoots unarmed black bear”?”

    Thinking a disarmed bear would have trouble surviving in the wild. Bears are not known for walking upright for long periods of time.

  20. “Given time the answer will be laid bear for all to see.”

    Type the answer slowly; drank so many martinis, I can bearly read the screen.

      • “Come on man this is getting embearrassing.”

        I don’t see how. The article was informative, and convinced me to bearacade my house.

        • Don’t forget to reinforce the concrete with iron rebear.

          Yeah gonna have to put a paws on this one as I am having difficulty clawing out further puns.

  21. @SAFEupstateFML
    “Yeah gonna have to put a paws on this one as I am having difficulty clawing out further puns.”

    Fun while it lasted

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