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Stuart (courtesy

If you’re a bear hunter, you need a permit. That’s just as true in Alaska as it is in California. But what if the bear chases you? A recent close encounter of the ursine kind in Paradise [sic] reveals the “quirks” of legal bear killing within the The Golden State’s borders.

Stuart was in his home Saturday night watching the Olympics when around 10:30 p.m. he heard a big bang in his garage.

He said he went into his garage and saw a piece of the door being ripped off. He knew immediately that it was a bear.

“I actually yelled while I was in the garage and that didn’t phase him,” Stuart explained.

When his hazing efforts and even his three large dogs in his backyard didn’t deter the animal, he grabbed a shotgun and came out on his porch.

At this point, he said he thinks he was about 15 feet from the bear.

He said he sent one round from his gun into the air. The bear did nothing. He was not trying to kill the animal, he explained. Just scare him off.

“He was not afraid,” Stuart remembered. “He just gingerly walked along. I had to shoot another round and he finally just walked down the street.”

Although he didn’t shoot through his garage door, it seems Stuart had been listening to Vice President Joe Biden’s advice about using a shotgun to warn away dangerous predators. Noting, perhaps, that the Veep’s advice was illegal.

Anyway, one would hope that Stuart could kill a bear in self-defense. And face a proctological examination thereafter, no doubt. We now learn that it’s OK to shoot a bear threatening your property in California.

After Saturday’s incident, Stuart decided to go to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and apply for a “permit to kill”.

Stuart said he thinks the bear will be back and he wants to be prepared.

“Be aware that there are bears up here in Paradise and that you need to protect your property and that you have the right to kill the bear if he continues to come back,” Stuart said as advice to his neighbors.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife said the permit to kill is specifically for protecting your property and can be attained from your nearest office.

And there you were thinking that bears had equal rights. That said, the California bear killing permitting process means that you can only kill a trespassing bear if you know it’s going to trespass in advance.

One thing’s for sure: The Department of Fish and Wildlife understands that informing homeowners of their right to terminate a trespassing bear is not PC.

Fish and Wildlife urges that if you feel a threat to your life, call 9-1-1 immediately.

When bears invade, the police are only minutes away! Armed for bear? One certainly hopes so. Otherwise, it’s paradise lost.

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  1. Several years ago a man in CT went to take out his garbage to the curb. On the walk back to the garage, he saw bear run into his garage. His garage has a door to downstairs living space. The man ran to his front door and yelled to his wife to make sure the kids were all upstairs. Once he made into the house, he went to get his rifle. He huddled his family upstairs and called the DEEP who handles wildlife matters in CT. The DEEP was many minutes away. After the incident, it was noted they took 30min away even with the Bear in the house. Despite their effort, the bear did not go away. The bear finally came upstairs. The man trying to protect his family fired several times and killed the bear in the house.

    That man is in jail and there has been a multi-year effort to get him out. The Judge in the case basically said that the life the Bear was > than the man and his family. That the family should have left the home and let the bear do whatever bears do.

    Seems like CA has the same laws. Bear life is more important than human life and if you want to shoot a Bear you need permission to protect yourself first.

    Love how government thinks.

    Silly me who believes man or beast if they are uninvited guests, they equally deserve to be shot and killed within my home.

    • In many jurisdictions it is easier to walk away from shooting a human than a protected species.

    • I mean the jail time seems wrong and way too harsh for killing a problem bear. But from the way you wrote up the story, it sounds like the family was in the house with the bear for 30 mins? Why would you not just leave?

      Also, the way I interpret the California law is to kill a problem bear not threatening your life, you must have a permit. If they attempt to attack you sounds like you can indeed legally shoot them.

      • You’re right, they might’ve been able to leave, but we don’t know the layout of the home, do we? With the bear on 1st floor and family on the 2nd, how many points of ingress/egress did they have? Probably 1 staircase? We could speculate about windows, but we don’t know other factors: health of the family, house layout, etc. IDK. Bears are quick and strong, and during that 30 minutes there might not have been a good opportunity for the whole family to escape.

        • Adding to the possibility that home layout may not have lent to speedy egress, Your question “why didn’t they just leave” sounds a lot like Tuesday morning quarterbacking. Will YOU think of all alternatives in the heat of a life threatening moment? Don’t forget a simple and expedient solution was immediately at hand.

    • I live in CT and keep up on the news. Never heard of this incident. What town did this happen in? This sounds like an Olympics in Rio story….

  2. That’s horrible…you have to be in danger to know you’re In danger, then get permission? A bear like that sounds to used to people and the guy is lucky the bear wasn’t having a bad day or felt like trying out kids, pets, or him for taste.

    Here in Oregon the revised statute says we can kill an animal to protect life and property. I would not hesitate at all seeing a bear not scared of people tearing my stuff up looking for a meal. Another case of be a good government slave, dial 911, and hope you don’t become a victim.

    When I go camping, I always have an ak on hand or at least the Yugo sks.

    • Any wild animal that loses it fear of humans becomes a threat. The animal may not be looking for a meal but it may object to presence and come after you. It should be common sense that such animals cannot be left alone. Even if relocated they still have no fear of humans.

  3. The inadvisability of firing a shotgun into the air has more to do with context than anything else. Thousands of bird hunters fire shotguns into the air every year. If this guy’s home is remote enough that he has wandering bears, I doubt there was any danger from his firing a warning shot to try and scare off an animal. A wild animal is not a human, trying to scare it off might be a logical option under the circumstances.

    • Of course is wouldn’t surprise me in the least if some jackhole hopliphobic city attorney would charge you with “discharging a firearm within the city limits” for firing off a warning shot.

  4. I saw nothing in this post that says you can’t kill a threatening animal without the permit first. And i’m not aware of any state in the union that wouldn’t have at least a cursory investigation of a wild animal being killed for being a danger to people.

    But what is truly amazing to me(I’ve known these people) are the folks that live in a wilderness or semi wilderness area and don’t own a gun at all.

  5. One has to wonder that when the bureaucrats are this useless, perhaps we should just revert to the old S-S-S solution for nuisance bears (or gators):

    Shut up.

  6. I took this article as getting a permit to eliminate a nuisance animal. The owner “should” have been able to shoot in self defense. When bears start rummaging through homes, bad things happen.

    I live directly behind a multipurpose trail that has coyotes. Those ‘yotes tore my neighbor’s cats to pieces. If one got in my yard and endangered my dogs or my son, it’d likely eat hot lead.

    Of course CA and other liberal enclaves are infested with idiots who value animal life over human life. I’m sure a headline like “Racist, Bigotted White Man Shoots Unarmed Black Bear – NRA to Blame” or similar could easily be written by a college educated hipster swilling a soy latte at Berkeley.

    If people are dumb enough to vilify park officials defending a toddler in a gorilla enclosure, who knows where their “reason” might take them next.

    • You are correct. They are called depredation permits. and are often obtained when someone has a big cat or other animal harassing domestic stock or family pets. They are easy to obtain. Bears usually are not a problem, though, and the local sheriff is usually pretty good about handling these problems when they arise in the urban areas. If they can, they will dart a bear and relocate it, but if it is a problem bear, it will be killed. These kinds of incidents are pretty common in the mountain areas, even populated ones like Lake Tahoe. The bears, unlike the extinct California Grizzlies, can be but are rarely aggressive towards humans.

  7. Some genius responded to the freedom post for TTAG’s Booktotheface page. He said he won’t move because California’s gun laws were so good. After reading this, it just reinforces how bad the laws are there. Permits to breathe are probably coming next.

  8. You cannot ‘legally’ shoot a bear in CA (at least not in the Natl Forest where I live) even if it is on your property eating your dog, your chickens, etc without a “deprivation permit”
    Caveat! If your community loves da bears as much as mine does, you may find yourself in a real social pickle after defending your life and property, even legally.

    Bears are creatures of habit. Where they find food is where they expect to find food for the rest of their lives, so if one gets in your house, chances are he will continue to come back until either he finds a better food source or you make it extremely uninviting with spike mats and electric fences or possibly high-speed lead implants.

    Bears wander past my house all the time, but they don’t bug me because I don’t leave trash outside, pet food outside, etc. I remove my garbage when I go into town each day. Once ‘adjusted’ to humans they quickly learn what a refrigerator compressor sounds like and will tear the door off a garage to get at one. One the other day ripped a fellow’s window air-conditioner out of his home, likely because it sounds like a fridge. (there aren’t many window a/c units around town).

      • LOL yeah I was typing too fast. I was kind of happy to see the story about the Grizzly taken down by a 9mm, makes me feel not quite as undergunned with my .38 w/ Underwood +P hardcast, though I’d grab a rifle if I had time..

    • If you have problem local bears, and problem local liberals that love bears more than people, perhaps you should introduce the one to the other. You might even describe that as a honey of a problem, no picnic basket required, Yogi!


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