Bear defense threads never die... Bear mauling victims do... Especially if they carry pepper and air horns.
Anyhow, my son and I met an avid sheep hunter in the Alaska mountain range in Alaska 4 years ago, while we were hunting Dall sheep. This hunter is more my son's age, and my son and this guy have stayed in touch off & on over the past four years. Turns out this hunter was mauled by a sow grizzly bear last September, while hunting sheep. The guy survived the mauling, and was rescued by a USCG medivac helicopter. I watched a video taken by the USCG last September, while they hoisted the mauled hunter up into their chopper. My son just received an abbreviated version of what transpired from the mauling victim. It's fitting to post that brief story in this thread now, based on recent posts by Grizzly60, WildRose, and madcalfe. If you're gonna carry a firearm for protection, it's a compromised weapon with no live round in the tube, depending on the time span between bear charge begins, until bear mauling begins. This sow started its charge from 60yds. The guy had time for only one shot. And the firing pin fell on an empty chamber!
"Oh man. I'm sorry for not getting back. Totally forgot. Congrats on the Kills this year!
I'm all good. Left hand is still not all back to normal but will be soon enough. Need to tell it over a beer or two sometime. By then it may have evolved to me killing it with my bear hands, lol.
I was sheep hunting out in the Wrangells and got between a sow and 2 cubs and had no idea till I saw her stand up about 60 yds away and come straight at me. Went for the rifle and had taken a round off top as we here hiking. Went click as she was about 10 yds away. Basically wore it and fought for my life the whole time. Good lord looked out for me that day. Don't know how I'm still here lol. Was able to crawl back to my pack and get my rifle and get 2 shots off then had to assess my situation and use my inreach to get help. Pretty crazy and a lot more details but that's the down and dirty. Ended a good hunt way too soon, haha, but all in all still a good trip.
I'll be shooting every bear I see from now on. I've got a hatred for griz now lol."
I now know, or have met at least 5 brown/grizzly bear mauling victims in Alaska. Four survived. One dead. I laugh when folks tell me I'm way more apt to die from some other cause than a bear attack, because the odds of a bear attack are one in a million. I tell them it doesn't matter the odds, if I'm the one.
Alaska only has 730,000 total population. And I know 5 that were attacked and mauled by bear. A number of other residents within 35 miles of where I live have also been mauled and/or killed. Of the minimum of 12 folk I can think of that have been mauled and/or killed, takes the odds down to one in 60,000. Since I hunt and hike every year, and supposing there's maybe 8,000 Alaskans that spend as much time afield as I do, I'd personally place my lifetime odds at less than one in 500. I've been stalked from downwind by one boar black bear, and killed it at 20 feet while it was giving me the pre-dog fight stare.
The more time you spend in bear habitat, the greater your odds of bear attack. The one in a million odds is a fairy tale, feel good fantasy. A flat out lie, where I live and hunt.