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#153190 - 07/28/11 09:42 PM Article link for NOLS Bear Attack
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Alaska Dispatch Article

Very interesting, doesn't say anything about the first two backpackers running. I had read the same thing (about the running) as well. From the description of the terrain there wasn't anywhere they could run to, not to mention how difficult it would be to run with a full expedition pack on. It sounds like they are thinking this was the equivalent of two adversaries meeting in a blind alley, with the bear initially thinking it was only encountering a single individual.

MNS
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#153193 - 07/28/11 10:28 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: midnightsun03]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Interestingly, the article says that more people are killed yearly in accidents with firearms in Alaska than by brown bears. I found out about this accident on another forum...nothing was ever mentioned about anybody running, only that a mother griz suddenly appeared with cub and apparently as surprised as the NOLS group. Sounds like at the wrong place at the wrong time to me. Both parties surprised each other.

Thanks for finding this mns.


Edited by skcreidc (07/28/11 10:30 PM)

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#153199 - 07/28/11 11:12 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: skcreidc]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
One of the boys was from my local area. In an interview he mentioned they ran even though they knew they shouldn't. He was not one of the boys who was seriously injured.
_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#153216 - 07/29/11 10:56 AM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: DTape]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Interesting, DTape. I wonder why they are playing it down?

MNS
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#153224 - 07/29/11 12:15 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: midnightsun03]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
It was a very minor mention even here (the running error that is). The focus of the story seemed to be more about post-attack. what they boys did as far as first aid, activating PLB, etc...
_________________________
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#153225 - 07/29/11 12:18 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: DTape]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I'm surely at the back of the line of any folks wishing to criticize them for either where they were or how they responded. From the above article they regrouped well enough to possibly have saved lives. Good for them.

I don't know how you'd "drill" for surprise bear attack and until it happens and "fight or flight" kicks in, how could you really know how you'd react? I guess if I had my spray in hand I might be able to pull it together and use it, otherwise running would seem like a great idea!

For some reason, I thought of this fine military training film, which shows how reluctance can be overcome in the right circumstances.

Snakebite! (Bananas)

A company I once worked for was doing remote fieldwork in Alaska. They hired a fulltime armed guard who patrolled the area for bear and scouted new worksites in advance of team moves. He was doing just that in a brushy area and surprised a bear, which mauled him before he could get off a shot (he was carrying a rifle at the ready with safety off). He was heloed out and survived, but we had to rewrite the protocols afterwards.

If it can happen to a "professional" it can happen to anybody.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By DTape
One of the boys was from my local area. In an interview he mentioned they ran even though they knew they shouldn't. He was not one of the boys who was seriously injured.
_________________________
--Rick

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#153226 - 07/29/11 12:23 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: Rick_D]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 656
Loc: Upstate NY
I did not intend my post to pass judgement. I actually agree with you completely. The fact the boys knew what they should have done and yet reacted differently underscores your point.

_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#153233 - 07/29/11 01:53 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: DTape]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
No worries, I didn't take it that way. I've become overly sensitized by first, blame, then attack the victim comments that propagate newspaper comments every time somebody gets in trouble in the boonies. Either "they got what they deserved" or "I ain't payin' for their rescue, maaaaan."

And with that, I've wandered off topic completely.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By DTape
I did not intend my post to pass judgement. I actually agree with you completely. The fact the boys knew what they should have done and yet reacted differently underscores your point.

_________________________
--Rick

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#153240 - 07/29/11 06:23 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: midnightsun03]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Here's the AP article that was in the Fairbanks Newsminer:
http://www.newsminer.com/view/full_story...-ran-down-hill?


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#153281 - 07/31/11 06:55 PM Re: Article link for NOLS Bear Attack [Re: Rick_D]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I know second-hand that even very experienced outdoors-people can get caught off-guard and follow their instinct to run, even though they know it is the wrong thing to do. It is human nature, especially if you're not really thinking "bear encounter" while you are walking through brush. Quite frankly, IMHO that should be the ONLY thing you are thinking about when you can't see over the terrain in bear country... it is harder to be caught off-guard when you are actively scanning for bear.

I have never encountered a brown bear in the wild, but I have run into black bears on several occasions. All of the encounters have been with bears just minding their own business. I went on my way and they went on theirs. I have been lucky in that I have never met a bear who is feeling defensive, curious or playful, but each time I have stopped dead in my tracks and my pulse has definitely gone up! I am not sure how I would react if I saw a brown bear... I'd like to think that I'd still stop in my tracks and not run.

It's funny, even though I am not in bear country anymore, I still watch out for bear and moose whenever I'm walking through the woods! I have to remind myself to look DOWN for snakes instead.

MNS a/k/a Dixie Moon
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