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#3146152 - 05/03/12 04:45 PM Bear attack
Cattrax Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 9130
Loc: Wy
Was wondering if any of you seen this article or happen to know this guy, sounds like him and his son are lucky to be alive.


http://newsminer.com/bookmark/18428324

FAIRBANKS — One minute, Rodd Moretz was high-fiving his 13-year-old son, Caleb, after shooting the biggest brown bear of his life.

The next minute, he was tumbling down the hillside with another giant brown bear, wondering if he was going to die and how things could have gone from so good to so bad so quickly.

The father and son duo from Fairbanks had lucked out and each drawn permits to hunt the world’s largest brown bears on Kodiak Island.

Just five days earlier, Caleb had shot a massive trophy brown bear. Just a few minutes earlier, on the next-to-last day of their hunt, Moretz had shot an even bigger brownie. Things couldn’t have gone much better.

At least until then.

“I remember looking right down at the bear, she was falling down hill away from me, and I was thinking, ‘I’m going to land right on top of her,’” Moretz said.

Caleb, meanwhile, was watching the whole thing play out from above. He, too, was trying to fathom what had just happened.

He and his father had been walking up a trail toward a giant brown bear that Moretz shot and killed near Sulua Bay on the southern end of Kodiak Island Saturday when they approached what looked to be a bear den cut into the bank. They had noticed fresh bear tracks on the trail and figured the tracks and the den belonged to the bear that Moretz had just shot. It had disappeared over a nearby ridge. Moretz, an experienced hunter, knew he had killed the bear.

“We thought the den was his,” Moretz said. “I was so sure I didn’t even take my rifle off my pack.”

He did, however, tell Caleb to get his gun ready “just in case.”

Surprise attack

They had taken only a couple more steps down the trail and were about 10 feet from the den when they heard a bear inside.

“She was woofing and grunting,” Moretz said. “I said, ‘Get ready Caleb, there’s a bear coming out!’”

His adrenaline pumping, Caleb readied his .300-caliber Weatherby. A second later, the bear exploded from the den. Even though they knew it was coming, the sight and speed of the bear startled both father and son, causing them to instinctively step back. Caleb tripped on an alder and fell backward just as his father yelled, “Shoot!”

When no shot came, Moretz turned to see Caleb on the ground next to him. With the bear almost on him, Moretz took a step toward his son, grabbed the rifle from his hands and turned to shoot the bear.

But it was too late for that. The bear was too close. Moretz ducked his head just as the bear was about to hit him.

“She went right over me and bit me right on top of the head,” said Moretz, a 48-year-old civil engineer at the Bureau of Land Management in Fairbanks. “I think she only caught me with one tooth because I’ve only got one big cut from the back of my hair to the front.”

The bear hit him “like a freight train” and flipped him in the air, he said. Both man and beast rolled down the steep hillside. It was at that point Moretz thought he was going to land on top of the bear.

“She must have slammed on the brakes or something,” he said. “I went over her and landed flat on my back.”

He came to a stop in a thick patch of alders and rolled over in time to see the bear above him, heading back up the hill toward where Caleb, who now had no rifle, was standing the hillside.

‘It’s coming back up’

Caleb, an eighth-grader at Randy Smith Middle School, is an experienced hunter in his own right even at the age of 13. He has killed seven bears, including two brown bears.

Still, he didn’t know what to think as he watched his father and the bear tumble about 50 feet down the hillside.

“As soon as I stood up, I saw them rolling down the hill,” he said. “The bear hit first and my dad rolled over it and stopped.”

The bear immediately turned and headed back up the hill toward Caleb, who could hear his father yelling “it’s coming back up.” Making a split-second decision, Caleb took a few steps to his left and jumped down the steep hillside to where his father was crouching.

It was only then that Moretz realized his scalp had been ripped open. His head and face were covered with blood, making the injury look worse than it was.

“It happened so fast I didn’t even know for sure I was bit in the head,” Rod Moretz said. “I didn’t even think I was really wounded until I got to the bottom of the hill.”

Seeing all the blood, Caleb immediately wanted to go back to camp and call for help, but his father calmly convinced him otherwise.

“He said, ‘We’re going to go get my bear, go back to camp and call some people and ask them what to do,’” Caleb said.

Quick skinning job

Doing so, however, required walking back up the hill and past the den where the bear that had just charged him had retreated.

They also had to find Moretz’s rifle, a .378-caliber Weatherby that had been stripped off his backpack as he tumbled down the hillside with the bear. They found the rifle about halfway up the slope and then side-hilled their way around the den to the ravine where the bear he had shot was lying.

With the dead bear only about 100 yards from the den, Caleb nervously stood watch as his father skinned as quickly as possible.

“We had the guns really close,” Caleb said. “I was freaking out.”

What usually is about a three-hour job took Moretz only about 30 minutes. Rather than skin out the feet and head as he normally would, Moretz simply cut them off in the skin and stuffed them all in his pack.

“I did a horrible job,” he said.

After they climbed down the hillside, Moretz skinned out the feet and head of the bear before continuing to their camp, which was about a mile away.

Back in camp, Caleb bandaged his father’s head and they used a satellite phone to call Moretz’s wife, Kristy, in Fairbanks at around 11:30 p.m.

After a few frantic minutes because of a bad connection, Moretz finally was able to convey what happened to Kristy, who then called family friend and veterinarian Scott Flamme for advice on how to treat Moretz’s head wound. She also called the air service in Kodiak that had flown the Moretzes to camp, explained what happened and requested an early pick-up.

Defensive sow?

A plane landed at around noon on Sunday.

When they arrived in Kodiak, Moretz went to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to have the two bear hides sealed before going to the hospital to get stitched up.

On Tuesday, just three days after the attack, there was hardly any sign that Moretz had been bitten by a bear. You couldn’t tell he had 50 stitches in his head.

Doctors didn’t need to shave his head or cut his hair to stitch him up, and he had no bandage covering the wound. You had to look closely at his scalp to even see the stitches.

Moretz believes, and state wildlife biologist Larry Van Daele in Kodiak agrees, that the bear who charged him was probably defending cubs in her den.

Van Daele told the Anchorage Daily News that mating season for bears on Kodiak Island is approaching and the bear that attacked Moretz was most likely was a sow. She may have confused Moretz with a hungry male brown bear that could prey on her cubs.

“The way she exploded out of the den, the way (Moretz) described it, suggests she was feeling very defensive,” Van Daele said.

Moretz said he and Caleb watched the male bear on the hillside for three hours before shooting it, and it wasn’t far from the den. It was the only bear they saw on that hillside in nine days, Moretz said.

“I assume he was there waiting to breed her or eat her cubs when they came out,” Moretz said. “She was definitely on alert. When we got too close, she came out. We just happened to be in the wrong spot.”



Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
_________________________
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
-- Thomas Jefferson





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#3146206 - 05/03/12 05:18 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Top Jimmy Offline
"Assistant Speling Zcar"

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 4555
Loc: Alaska, USA
Yep, know him and his son. Haven't seen him, since it came out.

-TJ
_________________________
Some people are like slinkies - not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.


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#3146225 - 05/03/12 05:43 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Hupurest Offline
"Andy S wannabe"

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 285
Loc: Alaska
No biggie.... heck he only got a scratch....
_________________________
You can't have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic
Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

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#3146259 - 05/03/12 06:04 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
50 stitches.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#3147417 - 05/04/12 02:35 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Nunamiut Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 1
Loc: alaska
Wow! My buddy and I had a sow and 1 cub attack us one time. The sow charged within' 15 ft. it amazing how fast and easily a bear can close in on you. Luckily we didnt get mauled.
_________________________
22-250 is all you need...........for everything

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#3153461 - 05/09/12 08:07 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
scotty Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 155
Loc: Ruby, Ak
Two words.... Side arm....Man, people always ask me, "why you carrying two guns, you look like your going to war!"

This is why! I shot a small blackie, 200lbs, at about 15 yds. I was so excited he was that close that i never thought to do a neck shot, I always have grown up hunting hog/deer and shooting on the run in the heart/lung area, so, I threw up and did a lung shot. Bad move. My shell ejected, hit my scope and bounced back down into my open bolt...JAM! Dang, that bear moved so fast with a 7mm through both lungs that if he would have come at me, I could have never gotten my shell out, much less pulled my pistol! But, at least as I was rolling around in teh dirt, I could have one more chance to pull that pistol!

That bear made it at least 45 sec's on the run adn thrashing, he would have tore me apart!

Lesson learned: that close up, neck shot, and always have a pistol on you when bear hunting, especially on Kodiak!

But, luckily these guys lived to learn...and so did I!
_________________________
Scotty
Yukon river bush teacher
jssbastiat@aol.com
feel free to contact me!

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#3153871 - 05/09/12 11:21 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
That was a pretty accomadating sow. smile Lucky he didn't get completely scalped. Have to wonder what was he doing with his rifle strapped on
his pack. I keep mine in my hands in case I need it, and so I can use it for a walking stick. smile

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#3153932 - 05/10/12 02:42 AM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
yukontrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Galena Alaska USA
Never enough protection when it comes to bears. I've ran into them after baiting my barrels, within 5 minutes of baiting. I tell you they can move fast. But Cor bon 305's saved my hide one time. I've since moved to 320 hard cast loads. Also heavy loads in the 45/70.

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#3153937 - 05/10/12 03:03 AM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
scotty Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 155
Loc: Ruby, Ak
You know, you gotta read your pistol's manual also on what bear rounds you can shoot...I had a 44 Taurus, you know, those ones that look like they could shoot a 400 grain load! Man, it only handled a 240 grain...My smith and wesson 629 handles a 305, and the some of the ruger 44's handle the 340 grains...BUT, you gotta read your manuals and don't trust the guy at the gun counter! I had two guys in two different stores in Fairbanks tell me, "oh yea, the Taurus handles the 340 grains!

But, my smith and wesson 629 had a way better trigger on it than the ruger for sure! Lighter also, so, I took the mid size bear round, lost some weight and gained some accuracy!

But, it goes with me everywhere...taking a leak out side the cabin, going to the out house, panning gold, etc..
_________________________
Scotty
Yukon river bush teacher
jssbastiat@aol.com
feel free to contact me!

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#3154165 - 05/10/12 09:57 AM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
When it comes to bullets, bigger is usually better on rifle loads when talking bear rounds, (such as the 180 gr is better than 150 gr in say a 30-06).
But, bigger is not better in a hand gun. On a rifle, with the bigger
bullet, you are looking for knock down power, more foot lbs of energy, and penetration is a secondary consideration. On a pistol round however, you need to be looking for penetration. The factory loads you can buy for the 44 are good noise makers but they are seriously lacking in penetration. The bullets flatten out on impact and most of the time they will wad up a ball of hair and stuff it in there 4 or 5 inches and never get to anything vital. IMO they are good for target practice but pretty useless for bear protection.

To get some penetration out of the 44 a good 240 gr bullet is preferable to say a 300gr bullet. You can put more powder behind the 240 gr without blowing your gun up and therefore get more speed out of it, which translates to better penetration. So, I think the
dynamic's behind an optimal bear load for a handgun is different
than they are for a rifle, and a lot of people tend to miss that
concept.

Also, I would peddle the taurus quick as I could and get a Smith
or Ruger. JMO.

Edit: Oh, sorry, looks like you already did that!


Edited by Spek Jones (05/10/12 09:58 AM)

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#3154227 - 05/10/12 11:01 AM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
UgashikBob Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 528
Loc: Alaska Bristol Bay
I've read a lot of discussions about what is appropriate weaponry for bears but very little about how to practice for it. Those of you that have done close quarters drills with live bears know how amazingly fast they are and how difficult it really is to react effectively.
A police officer from Anchorage sent me a home video of there training methods and it was very impressive. They mount a life size brown bear target on a trailer and tow it directly at the user with a 4 wheeler. Don't know the approach speed but in the video it looked fast. I've seen some provoked bears that seemed like they could beat a dragster with there hole shot so I think the speed was appropriate. The Officers were trained with auto shotguns with special slugs which I've never been a fan of for bear but this officer claimed he had seen them work. My question to the officer which I think is a good question to ask of any weapon advocate is how many bears have you seen killed with your choice and his answer was 6 black bears. First time I had ever got an answer other than zero from a shotgun/slug user. He also noted that only one qualifier was able to get more than one round in the desired area. They were doing this from a normal port arms carry position which is way faster than the way I normally carry a weapon. Be interesting to see that practice scenario using the different weaponry options. Doesn't matter what you carry if you can't use it effectively during the real deal.

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#3154270 - 05/10/12 11:47 AM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Yeah, a lot of people pack the shotgun with slugs and swear by them,
and that's OK, but personally I much rather have the 375.

Most of the encounters I've had, there was time to place the shot, or at least make a quick effort at placing the shot. But, sometimes there just is not time enough to do that, and those are the one's that are scary. (well all of them are scary but some more so than others).
Every situation is different, but if one is within 50 ft by the time you see him coming you will be lucky to get a shot off and have a very poor chance of getting to place that shot where you want it. A lot depends on your degree of readiness. If you have one in the barrel and your thumb on the safty ( like approaching a kill or something) you may be able to aim and shoot at that range. But if you are just walking along with your gun slung on your shoulder you probably won't get a shot off, or if you do it will be a snap shot
without ever getting the gun to your shoulder. Spooky situation.

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#3154370 - 05/10/12 01:36 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
drasselt Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Alaska
I bought a ruger redhawk 44 after a brownie came up close behind one time. Hogleg. Thing was so big I might as well have been carrying a long gun. So that's what I did, started packing a shotgun. Problem with both was that it was too easy to leave it behind to avoid the hassle of packing it.

After hearing several firsthand accounts of near misses and of guys getting scratched up etc. and seeing firsthand the speed and athleticism of a sows' charge (flying over logs and boulders etc. she's gonna get ya! Luckily I was in a boat and moved far enough away to satisfy her) I pretty much figure that there is most likely no way in heck that I would be able to stop an unexpected charge while on foot.

So I have concluded that for me personally a lightweight snubnose double action revolver in a comfortable shoulder holster is the best choice. Why? Because I am most likely to have it when I might need it due to the small size and ease of carry.

I have made some instinctive snap-shots with pistols that surprised (shocked) the heck out of me so it is possible for hand-eye coordination take over (instinctive shooting)...... BUT I believe I could not rely on myself to pull a handgun and stop a charging bear before it made contact. I probably would not be able to hit, much less stop, a seriously charging bear even with a long gun for that matter. The charge is too fast and sudden at close range.

Besides I don't get in enough practice trying to shoot while crapping down both legs and tripping backwards over roots and rocks.

So then after either missing completely or perhaps making a poor hit, the bear is going to hit so hard the gun is gone. Bye-bye gun, hope you got your knife handy. Everybody that I've ever talked to that got hit by a brown bear with a rifle in their hands lost the gun right now.

So I have pretty much decided that given a worst case scenario I want a handgun in a shoulder holster. I would also like to be wearing a metal frame pack for armor since that has saved a lot of hide while guys have been getting worked on by bears. I would not even plan to draw the revolver if contact seemed imminent. Instead I would do the "hey bear I'm a person/arm waving thing (or most likely not since if you've ever seen a serious charge it sure doesn't seem like it is going to be deterred by a little arm waving, might have the opposite effect even) then either belly tuck or try to dive away/dodge at the last second. Once the bear is on me I would try to unholster the gun and empty it into brown fur point blank so I couldn't miss and hope to make the thing sick enough to leave me alone.

That's my theory, hope I never have to test it, but that's the plan. By the way the most incredible bear story I think I ever heard was the guy that killed the brown bear on Kodiak with a knife and his bare hands and lived to tell about it absolutely amazing story.

One final note is there is no doubt safety in numbers, even just 2 people, first to avert a charge and also to shoot the bear off your buddy or at least call for help. Scary business for sure.

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#3154375 - 05/10/12 01:40 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
akmac Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Kenai Alaska
UB,
I have been trained by F&G using the method you described but we used Remington 807 12ga. Most proficient guys can only get 1 or 2 shots into the target when it starts at about 50 yards. As for the effectiveness of a 12ga on bears, I have killed 4 brown bears and one black bear with my 870. The last encounter stopped a charging sow at less than 10 feet with a Brenneke to the head. It happened so fast I didn't have time to think, thankfully I was carrying a shotgun with ghost ring sights. If it had been a rifle with a scope she would have had me for lunch. Ever since then I have gone to detachable scopes on my rifles. I carry the scope in my pocket while walking through the woods and attach it when I get to my destination.

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#3154383 - 05/10/12 01:47 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
drasselt Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Alaska
wow mac you have definitely seen more than your fair share of action.

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#3154387 - 05/10/12 01:55 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Kusko Offline
"Mr. Mayor"

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 3768
Loc: Bethel, AK
What's the story with the knife killed bear?? I want to hear that!
_________________________
"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin." Linus Van Pelt

www.alaskafinandfur.com

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#3154429 - 05/10/12 02:37 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Drasselt, I think your method is OK, a person should work it out for themselves as you have done. I agree the 44 is a little heavy to pack around. Mine has long ago had all the blueing wore off, I'm use to packing it and don't really notice it that much anymore. I dropped one sow with it at 7 steps back in the eighties, the only serious encounter I've had when just packing the pistol. (Had five other times when I had to use a rifle). I think more times than not you will have the chance to at least get one shot off, and the time to place it. I don't use one but I think the shoulder holster is
a good way to go, may be easier to get to if you were on the ground
being chewed on. But like you say, just having it there when you need it is the main thing.

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#3154453 - 05/10/12 02:49 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Kusko]
Alaskan Offline
"AMY SUE"

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 4967
Loc: Gnome, Alaska
Originally Posted By: Kusko
What's the story with the knife killed bear?? I want to hear that!



I'm not sure it's the same one I heard, but I'll give the general jist of what I heard: Gut had a knife, fought off a Kodiak, and described how he did it. No one believed him. A year or so later one was harvested that had a HUGE scar in the area the guy was talking about sticking his knife in, and some other stuff to show proof the guy wasn't full of crapola.
_________________________
"Goats pee in the water sheep drink."

Life member: NRA, NTA, AkTA, AkFTA, WiTA, MnTA, MoTA, OrTA

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#3154456 - 05/10/12 02:50 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Cattrax]
Nunamiut Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 1
Loc: alaska
My buddy and I were looking for sheep in late September some years back, and we got charged by a sow. We were walking on a river bed that was about 300 yards wide. The sow charged, out of the bushes in a matter of seconds. My buddy panicked and shot from the hip as the sow was charging me, she came within' 15 feet or so by the time I pulled up my rifle, I seen fur through my scope and pulled the trigger. Soon as I shot she turned to the left and I loaded another round in my 22-250 and shot her square in the shoulder, she dropped and my buddy finally got another shot off with his 25-06 to put her down. After I cussed my buddy out for panicking and after my nerves calmed down a little we looked at the sow and seen that my first shot just grazed her rump, which was enough to divert her from plowing me over! I hope I never experience that again. Usually in the fall the bears in our area get brave and bother us while we are at camp making dried caribou strips. My maverick 88 is my go to gun during fall camping just for the quick followup shots.
_________________________
22-250 is all you need...........for everything

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#3154521 - 05/10/12 03:48 PM Re: Bear attack [Re: Kusko]
drasselt Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 9
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Kusko
What's the story with the knife killed bear?? I want to hear that!



Yeah that story was eventually published in Bear Tales for the Ages from Alaska and Beyond,Larry Kaniut The Lords on my side.
I forget the guy's name even though I met him once he was 69 years old when he got in the knife fight, lifelong hunter and concrete worker so no weakling. He had killed a deer and was boning it out with his rifle leaning nearby when charged at close range and went round and round and round with his buck knife then finally knocked the bear down with a fist to the snout like tapping a fox on the nose to stun him, then he got his rifle and emptied it into the bear and crawled out to the beach 2 or 3 miles, figured he was going to die several times but woke up each time and kept crawling, dragging the rifle because he was afraid of getting attacked again. There is a picture or 2 the snow is packed down to dirt in a big fight circle, dead bear. Amazing
I guess my diciest deal was a VERY!! curious 8 footer that wanted to get to the bottom of the skunk stink I had. Tried to retreat when I saw him coming but he air trailed me into a clear bog finally stopped him with serious pointing and HEY STUPID YOU ARE REALLY PUSHING IT AND MIGHT GET YOURSELF SHOT HERE!!! kind of talk. When he finally stopped at about 30 yards to ponder I sprayed him with tundra water with a 250 gr 350 Rem Mag round he was persistent but thought better of it at that point. Several tight spots with the brown ones but have never had to shoot one thankfully!

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