I'd guess he's thinking of ending his suffering with it
The vast marjority of the bears on kodiak do hibernate in the winter. There is the occaisional bear that will stay out later than the rest or not hibernate at all, but it is this way in all the coastal areas of alaska. I saw tracks in the snow on 1/1/09 of a good sized bear on the kenai peninsula and have see their tracks here every month of the year. The bears on kodiak and on the alaska peninsula are very comparable in size and I believe it has to do with the favorable habitat. Lot's of salmon streams and generally warmer weather than other parts of the state. There are some really big bear in other areas as well, but kodiak and the ak peninsula has more open country and is generally easier to hunt.