Real Life Combat: Man Kills Bear

The 45 year old was out walking his dogs on Saturday in British Columbia, Canada, when, he said, he 


Jim West demonstrates how he swung at the oncoming bear with a stick he grabbed off the ground.


heard a grunt and turned around.

All I saw was eyes full of hatred,’ he said afterwards.

‘I had no option … So I stuck my foot up and tried to kick her in the face.’

“The bear responded by attacking him and knocking him to the ground.

‘I rolled onto my stomach and clasped my hands at the back of my neck,’ Mr West said.

‘She tore into my skull at the back of my head, moved over and bit me on the left side of my body, on my ribs and left arm.’

But Mr West was not about to go down without a fight. Battling to his feet, he managed to grab a stick about as thick as his arm.

‘I said, in effect, bring it on sweetie,’ he said. ‘I took one step forward — smash! I swung the stick and broke it over her head.

‘She kind of stood there and shook it off, like she was stunned. I realised if I didn’t continue the attack she would knock me to the ground again and I would not get up.

‘I swung my piece of wood like a sledgehammer driving spikes and I kept swinging till she was lying flat on the ground and there was blood coming out of her nose.’

The 5ft 9in man eventually crushed the bear’s skull with the stick, killing it. He then walked a mile to a local lodge, where he was transported to hospital.

Even conservation officers were shocked by the terrifying incident, saying they were surprised he had lived.”

To me, this is proof once more that the best bet for survival (outside of a firearm) is a long, relatively heavy stick swung with both hands.

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3 Responses to “Real Life Combat: Man Kills Bear”

  1. Long heavy stick swung repeatedly? But my narrow 3′ cane killed a wasp with just one blow!

    He should have used a zucchini, it was thrown only once and the bear took off.

    Seriously, bear attacks are frighting and they always seem to go for the head. I’ve seen photos of bear attack survivors and the claw marks are deep and wide. Even with guns, people have been either knocked down before they could get the first shot off or still knocked down even after they shot the bear.

    The bigger the animal the more force is needed to kill it. That is why you use a .22 on a rabbit, a .308 on a deer, and something as powerful or more for a bear.

  2. “To me, this is proof once more that the best bet for survival (outside of a firearm) is a long, relatively heavy stick swung with both hands.”

    Historically, the spear was the hand weapon of choice for dangerous game. I’m not saying that a heavy club is a bad choice, but there’s a reason our ancestors went with the spear instead of the club.

    Unfortunately, the spear tends to upset tree-hugger types, so you may have to settle for something that looks less threatening, like a walking stick or staff.

    Personally I prefer something in the .357-.44 range for bear country, but a good solid stick is pretty damned handy too.

    • Josh,

      Good point. If it’s me versus bear, and I don’t have a gun, the spear is the way to go.

      I’ve thought that the ideal weapon would be some sort of blade mounted on the big stick. It should have a blade for cutting and a point suitable for thrusting. The problem is the legality of such a weapon. I’ve though of combining a legally carried knife with a walking stick for an improvised.

      I should say that given legalities, the big stick is the best overall weapon.

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