Savage 99 .308 and Taurus Tracker .41

Grizzly Bear

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- As part of AmmoLand’s investigative journalism, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed this bear attack which happened in Wyoming, in 2010.

On 14 August 2010, in the Union Pass area, on Forest Service Road 693 near Fish Creek in west-central  Wyoming, a family group was camping. One of the children reported they had seen a dead calf near the creek.

Two members of the group armed themselves to investigate. The creek was about 300 yards from the campsite. They were unsure if the calf were dead or merely sleeping. If the calf were dead, they would need to keep the children, who wanted to go fishing, away from the creek, because of the danger of bears in the area. They approached the creek about 8:15 a.m.

As the two people walked down the road toward the creek, there appeared a slight gap in the trees on their right as they approached the creek. One of them said that “looked like a good place for bears”, just before a grizzly erupted from the woods, coming at them at “90 miles an hour”.

The person in the lead shouldered his Savage 99, chambered in .308, loaded with five rounds of reloads with 150-grain Game King bullets. The bear appeared only 15 feet from them. At 8-10 feet, he fired. The bear stumbled and went down, slightly to his right, at the edge of the road. As the bear started to get up, he fired a second shot and his partner opened up with the .41 magnum. The .41 magnum was loaded with reloads and lead bullets. Both people emptied their firearms at the bear, which managed to crawl a few feet away and collapse next to a pine tree.

FOID image. Red arrow enhanced to show the position of a dead bear. X indicates the positions of shooters. The blue line shows the approximate path of the bear charge.

The shooters did not have any extra ammunition with them. The bear was still moving when they left. They went back to their camp. About 45 minutes later, they returned in a pickup truck to make sure the bear was dead.

The bear appeared dead. They got out of the truck to investigate. They saw a dead calf beyond the dead bear, near the creek. Nearby was a cow, presumably the mother of the calf.

Then more bears appeared, a sow with two cubs. The owner of the Taurus revolver had exchanged it for a camera. The one with the Savage rifle yelled and raised his rifle, and the bears retreated. When the bears appeared, the cow took off running.

The shooters got back into the truck. They traveled to the Forest Service guard station and reported the incident.

When the field necropsy was done on the bear, it was discovered the bear was hit three times with .308 caliber bullets. The bear was a boar, approximately 18 years old, and had an unreadable lip tattoo. Ear tags had been attached, but had been torn out long before the shooting. The history of the bear could not be determined.

The investigation determined the calf had been killed by wolves,  then fed on by grizzly bears. The information was forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Wyoming.

On 6 December 2010, the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming, declined prosecution.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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