Sometimes You Get the Bear…

This week we bring you the stories of two grizzly bears, and the
two men who killed them by making incredible shots of a

Hunter Answers Nature’s Call, Kills Griz

It’s definitely one of those “only in Alaska” stories, but Chris
Yeager swears he was simply in the woods answering nature’s call
when he shot his first grizzly bear.

It was late May when the 43-year-old Alaskan was planning to check
a black bear bait station he had set up in the mountains about 140
miles north of Fairbanks.

Yeager told the Fairbanks News-Miner he stopped at the Hilltop Café
for “one of those big breakfast omelets that are about 18 inches
wide and 4 inches deep.” Later, down the road apiece and feeling
the need to answer nature’s call, Yeager pulled over, grabbed a
roll of toilet paper, his .460-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun
and headed into the woods.

He was searching for “the right spot” to do his business when he
heard a sound from behind him and turned around. There was a big
inland grizzly bearing down on him, literally and

“He was really close,” Yeager said. “I was smelling his

(Are you sure that was his breath, Chris?)

At that point, there was little Yeager could do but react
instinctively. He pulled the pistol and fired three point-blank
shots at the bear, hitting the mark in triplicate. A later
inspection of the hide revealed all three shots had completely
penetrated the grizzly.

Fortunately, the hunter had purchased a grizzly license just two
days before his encounter. As a result, he could keep his 6-foot,
3-inch trophy hide, the 21-inch skull and the 100 pounds of Italian
sausage he had made from the meat.

“It’s not really the way I envisioned getting my first grizzly,”
Yeager admitted.

But he’ll definitely take it.

One Incredible Shot

It was around 4 a.m. on a midsummer Sunday when James Beeman of
Fortine, Montana grabbed the .410-gauge shotgun he keeps near the
door of his home as he headed outside to investigate a commotion in
his chicken coop.

Wearing a headlamp and expecting to discover and shoot an
egg-thieving skunk, Beeman instead became justifiably unnerved when
he saw two bear cubs dash from the damaged coop door, followed
close behind by an adult sow grizzly bear holding a chicken in its

The bear dropped the chicken and immediately charged at Beeman from
15 feet. It was later determined that when Beeman fired, the muzzle
of the gun was roughly three feet from the bear. The bruin
instantly crumpled to ground, dead, literally touching the
shooter’s feet.

A post-mortem investigation determined the light .410 load hit the
bear squarely in the nose, embedding the wad deeply into the nasal
cavity, while sending pellets directly into the brain of the
350-pound female.

“What’s the likelihood of that?” Ed Kelly, Montana Fish, Wildlife
and Parks warden captain in Kalispell announced, in his ruling that
the shooting of the protected species was justifiable. “I know guys
with .357s who couldn’t have made a kill like that. He’s just a
lucky, lucky guy.”

We heartily concur with the warden, and hereby present Mr. Beeman a
pair of clean, fresh underwear, courtesy of the Offbeat
Outdoors Blog.


Categories: J.R. Absher

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