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The First Time I was Charged by a Bear

A Brown Bear was Charging Me

 

We parked on an amazing sand bar beneath a massive waterfall on the Bradfield River, south of Ketchikan Alaska.  The pilot, myself and two crew members  just finished lunch and started wandering around the noisy rapids watching salmon on their way up river to the thundering falls.  My shotgun, loaded with slugs, was propped up on the helicopter’s pop-out floats.

 

“Bear!”

 

It came from upstream. I stepped to my shotgun, brought it to my right shoulder and lined up on the bead.  I thought about what I had taught my five year old to say in these situations.  The future founder of Alaska Seafood Guys recited in his little boy voice. “Yo brother bear, I was here first.” Then he knows to walk to the nearest house and go in. (It will be undoubtedly unlocked.)

 

The three guys behind me were saying that and so but more. But the bear could not hear them.  It was a yearling brown bear, scrawny, long-legged, fur blond on the tips, head down following a salmon down the rapids. It was “accidentally” charging 4 guys in orange flight suits and a helicopter. At ten yards out, above the roar of the falls, the clatter of the rapids and the splash of its prey, he finally heard the crew shouting at him.

 

He looked up.  He was so shocked it was hilarious!  He did a fast footed u-turn and beat it back to the woods.

 

That’s the first time I was charged by a bear!

 

Author - William Moulton