U.S.A. – Arey Island is a seven-mile-long barrier island within the Southern Beaufort Sea off the coast of the north slope of Alaska. It’s a flat, barren island that’s largely privately owned.
Throughout August of 2014 two United States Fish and Wildlife personnel had been on responsibility on the west finish of Arey Island, recorded as off the mouth of the Hula Hula and Okpilak Rivers, 8.5 miles WSW of Kaktovik. 70 deg 05’23.67″ N, 144 deg. 00’43.12″W. One among them defended themselves towards a polar bear on August 16, at about 9 a.m. The incident was recorded as quantity 549 within the Freedom of knowledge act (FOIA) response AmmoLand obtained.
What occurred is reconstructed from the sparse reporting within the FOIA response.
The Fish and Wildlife personnel didn’t have any canine with them. Their meals was in a bear-resistant container outdoors of the tent. The Fish and Wildlife pair didn’t have bear spray with them. In Kaktovik, the temperature was recorded as 39 degrees F, with a 20 mph wind from the East. Earlier, at 5 am, the wind had been 30 mph. For these of you who haven’t slept in a tent, 20 to 30 mph winds are vital. A tent needs to be robust and nicely anchored to stay in place with a 30 mph wind. If the wind was averaging 20 mph, there have been virtually definitely gusts to 30 mph. When the wind was averaging 30 mph, there have been virtually definitely gusts to 45 mph.
One of many Fish and Wildlife personnel was sleeping in a tent. They’d a .44 magnum. A fats and wholesome boar polar bear arrived on the scene and tried to enter the tent. The sleeper awakened, detected the polar bear, and shot and killed the polar bear with the .44 magnum. The shooter was not injured, besides maybe, for some misplaced listening to potential.
Some individuals would possibly imagine the boar polar bear was simply on the lookout for a little bit interspecies companionship within the bleak panorama. Polar bears are, more often than not, on the prime of the meals chain. They’re opportunistic hunters. They stay by killing and consuming different dwelling issues. It appears unlikely the bear was there to cuddle.
Even on the comparatively heat temperature of 39 levels, shelter is important to survival in a spot similar to Arey Island. With Kaktovik solely 8.5 miles away, a wholesome particular person may most likely discover shelter there. There’s not a lot to make shelter from on a windswept barrier island similar to Arey Island. If a polar bear forces its means into your tent, there might not be a lot tent left over.
Within the reporting recovered within the FOIA, an individual reviewing the incident made this remark:
Fats, curious bear. If had had bear spray, this is able to have been time to make use of it. The person didn’t carry ANY deterrents. Solely a .44.
This reporter suspects the after-the-fact commentator didn’t hassle to contemplate what the climate was when the incident occurred. The climate was not talked about within the abbreviated info given within the data from the FOIA request. As a meteorologist in a earlier profession, this correspondent solely took just a few keystrokes to find out what the climate was on that day and time, from a reporting station in Kaktovik, only some miles away.
Bear spray with a 20 mph wind is useless. Even a slight breeze has main results on bear spray. Bear spray inside a tent is extra prone to debilitate an individual within the tent than a bear outdoors of it. Ready for a bear to enter the tent with you, with the intention to spray it, is just not a clever possibility. How a lot harm the tent sustained within the combat for survival with a wholesome polar bear, was not talked about. The bear was killed.
The incident was recorded as a Protection of Life and Property report (DLP) in Alaska.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a navy officer, was on the College of Wisconsin Pistol Crew for 4 years, and was first licensed to show firearms security in 1973. He taught the Arizona hid carry course for fifteen years till the aim of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has levels in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Division of Protection after a 30 12 months profession in Military Analysis, Improvement, Testing, and Analysis.
Polar Bear Attack Stopped with a .44 Magnum in Alaska is written by Dean Weingarten for www.ammoland.com