Black Bear fatally mauls 11-year old boy up AF canyon [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : Black Bear fatally mauls 11-year old boy up AF canyon

06-18-2007, 13:14
Make sure you guys are prepared to deal with black bears if you go up the canyon(s). One of the reports I watched on fox said that they had been told that authorities have shot and killed 3 black bears in this general area in the weeks prior to this because they have been worried about them...,2933,283834,00.html

AMERICAN FORK, Utah Wildlife officers wounded a bear Monday, hours after an 11-year-old boy was snatched from his family's tent and killed, a rare fatal attack in Utah's Wasatch Mountains.

With 26 dogs assisting them in the search, authorities were confident that the bear that was shot was the same one that ripped through the tent shortly before midnight Sunday.

"The dogs are on the scent. ... We're hopeful this bear will be taken shortly," Jim Karpowitz, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said at an 11 a.m. MDT news conference.

The boy, his mother, stepfather and a 6-year-old brother were sleeping in a large tent in a primitive camping area, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

The stepfather heard a scream, and the boy and his sleeping bag were gone. A host from a nearby campground contacted police.

"When we got up there we realized, hey, this looks like a bear. The sleeping bag was pulled out of the tent," said Lt. Dennis Harris of the Utah County sheriff's office.

He said the boy's body was found about 400 yards away, in the direction of another campsite where a bear was seen earlier in the weekend and pursued by dogs without success. Authorities believe it was the same bear that killed the boy.

"When it's hot and dry like this, bears are short of food," Karpowitz said.

The Utah wildlife agency and the U.S. Forest Service were pursuing the wounded bear with the help of a helicopter. It was described as a male, possibly 300 pounds and "jet black."

Karpowitz said it was the first fatal attack by a black bear in Utah.

American Fork Canyon is a popular camping destination and home to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Harris said the family was camping about two miles up a dirt road.

"It's shaken everybody up. We're all distraught," said Scott Root, conservation outreach manager at the Utah wildlife agency. "It could put a lot of fear in the public."

It was not known what provoked the bear, though a bear can smell food for miles.

"They stick their nose in the air. It's like radar," said Hal Black, a biologist at Brigham Young University in Provo.

In July 2006, a black bear bit the arm of a 14-year-old Boy Scout while he slept in a tent, also in Utah County. The female bear returned to the campground and was killed. The boy was not seriously injured.

06-18-2007, 13:22

It is becoming more and more common for black bears to wander into populated areas.

On June 1, the Department of Wildlife Resources had to set a trap for a bear in Summit County, after he started routinely visiting a Jeremy Ranch apartment complex. It was also seen wandering near the outlet mall at Kimball Junction.

A second black bear was sighted in Spanish Fork, on May 25. The animal wandered into the backyard of a home, and the family watched as it made its way up to the house and peered in the windows. Homeowner Bruce Taylor said, "He stood up and his face was just right at the glass, just right next to ours. I don't know if they can't see very well, but he didn't seem to be spooked by us, but were were being quiet, and his claws were on the window. It was impressive." Traps were set for that bear as well.

There are things you can do to avoid or scare off bears all together while out in the wilderness. Authorities say bear sightings are actually very rare and bear attacks are even more uncommon. But in the last two weeks, people have encountered black bears three times.

Authorities aren't sure at this point why the bear chose to attack the tent the family was sleeping in, but they say food is the number one reason bears come into conflict with people.

And so the tips are to keep the campsite clean. Experts also recommend you cook away from the campsite because the smell could attract bears. They also say don't keep food in the tent.

If you do encounter a bear, make yourself appear larger than you actually are, and make a lot of noise. Experts say that will usually scare the bear off.

06-18-2007, 16:18
There have been sightings in Covered Bridge canyon and Woodland Hills - the canyons flanking where I live too. I wish I had another bigger carry gun, like a .45. I wonder if I would look conspicuous carrying a 12 ga.?


06-18-2007, 17:51
I always have my .357 when camping in the wilds of Utah.

Last year there were notices posted at a lot of sites I camped at.

Only been camping on Antelope Island thus far this year, still had it though,
saw lots of coyotes along with the regulars.


Steve Koski
06-18-2007, 18:02
Yikes. We camped at Timpanooke 3 weeks ago, and are going again next week!

06-18-2007, 19:25
:sad: I love that canyon.

I think Parley's canyon had a sighting too a few weeks back if I'm remembering correctly. They were saying the one in Parley's was a small black bear and assumed it was a cub newly out on its own trying to look for food close to the city.

06-18-2007, 20:30
I assisted in putting down a black bear at Huntington Lake, California. The bear had managed to accomplish the following:

Gut 3 vehicles (as in, got into them, thrashed the seats and bent the unibody frame, broke all the windows & the windshield, which isn't easy).
Dive into a 10-foot high utility dumpster and snack there for a week.
Break into an outbuilding composed of 3/4 inch plywood over what we thought were "bear-spec" studs, spaced every eight inches. It tore out 5 feet of wall with an eight-foot ceiling in order to get at the food stored in the outbuilding.
After it tore through several tents that were occupied at the facility I worked at, we got a nuisance permit from the forest service (our land was a forest service lease) to take the bear down.

We waited on top of a C-train whose base had been baited with a lot of really smelly, meaty trash (the bear was a trash bear). We only had to wait two nights and it came. We'd bought ten Winchester Super-X slugs for the occasion. My partner had a Remington 870 Express Magnum and I had a POS New England single-shot.

The bear absorbed 5 rounds from the Remington and 2 rounds from me; when all was said and done, there were 5 hits, 3 of them CoM, before the bear had stopped thrashing. It was a tough and dangerous animal, and even sitting on top of an all-steel C-train, I was only a couple feet above its reach.

Like is mentioned before, you're well-advised to implement all the standard precautions, including:
Tie all your food up in a bear bag and render it inaccessible, a safe distance away from your camp site.
If you have small kids, make sure they don't sneak any snacks and stash them.
Bring your dog along. The barking is a great early-warning system.
Don't brush your teeth; if you do, use odorless toothpaste.
Don't wear deodorant. It contains ethylene glycol, which is a sugar. Bears are drawn to it.
Bears do their foraging near bends in bodies of water. Try to avoid these.
Don't get between a momma bear and its cub. Can be extended to: don't perform random acts of idiocy, like trying to get that great photo of you ten feet away from a bear.
Carry a gun. Make sure everyone knows how to use it in case you get attacked. Have a backup plan, like bear spray.
I personally carry a Glock Model 20 with 200-grain solids when I'm in bear country. Hollowpoints may not expand well enough or penetrate deep enough.

My heart goes out the family who lost this child.

06-18-2007, 21:20
It doesn't sound like a gun would have helped in this case.

06-19-2007, 13:59
This was the email I got from the US Forest Service Patrol Captain whom I know.

I had a chance at it. It was about 20-30 yards in front of me in tall
brush but all I had was arear end and the dogs were running all around so
passed hoping to get a better shaot. The bear then took off so continued
in the pursuit until the State helicopeter dtarted flying over us and we
couldn't hear the dogs anymore. They are positive they got the bear that
killed the boy so things should be safe now, but use caution with food as
bears seem to be acting a little out of character this spring. The bear
was shot with a 243 in the neck. I carried my 223 with tactical rounds in
it and figured on getting as many rounds into him as I could. I hiked up
Little Mill Canyon and back down. Quite a hike and hopefully will never
have to do it again. Used the sling. It was great!!!!!

Steve Koski
06-22-2007, 19:43
Originally posted by Cokeman
It doesn't sound like a gun would have helped in this case. I figure the only way a gun could have impacted the situation would have been by firing a shot in the air. Perhaps the bear would have dropped the boy, who may or may not have been dead by then.

06-24-2007, 11:14
Originally posted by Steve Koski
I figure the only way a gun could have impacted the situation would have been by firing a shot in the air. Perhaps the bear would have dropped the boy, who may or may not have been dead by then.

Seems to be the concensus; the bigger the noise to scare the bear away is the most good you can do.

I've read different opinions on the effectiveness of bear "spray."

06-24-2007, 15:43
sure is sad what happened to that kid.

i bought my glock for the purpose of taking it camping and stuff because my wife is terrified of crazy people in the woods... i'm not worried about the people just animals ha ha.
i know a 9mm (g19) pobably won't do too much to a bear. i need nother glock anyway so hats goin to stop a bear or at least slo it down?

06-24-2007, 16:59
Originally posted by camaro_dave
(snip)so hats goin to stop a bear or at least slo it down?

See this thread:

Consensus seems to be that all but the biggest, baddest handguns that most of us most don't want to deal with the price of ammo and recoil of (at least I don't) are ineffective against bears, not to mention the fact that unless it's an absolute self defense "you or him" situation, killing a bear is a felony.

Steve Koski
06-24-2007, 17:20
We're heading up tonight. I just may toss in the 500 Mag for fun.

06-24-2007, 20:42
Originally posted by Steve Koski
I just may toss in the 500 Mag for fun.

Ahhh ... So you DO have one of those bigassed guns!

Well, you're a bigger stud than me, Steve.

Good on ya!


Steve Koski
06-26-2007, 12:21
Next time you swing by the office, let me know. We'll fire some rounds into engine block of the truck abandoned by the front door.

Steve Koski
06-26-2007, 12:42
I did talk with Scott, one of the camp hosts at Timpanooke. He told us the story of the dad driving into camp, saying someone had kidnapped his son, etc. I guess the boy said "let go of me" or something like that before he was gone. Pretty sad.

06-26-2007, 19:30
that's horrible...
what the bear situation in Lincoln National Forest outside of Cloudcroft, NM?

06-27-2007, 13:15
Originally posted by Steve Koski
We'll fire some rounds into engine block of the truck abandoned by the front door.

Well, that oughtta show 'em. I'm sure the neighbors won't mind.