Armed 11-Year-Old Saves Family from Charging Bear

In this Aug. 31, 2015 file photo, a grizzly bear looks up from foraging in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. There's a basic rule on what to do if you encounter a bear in the wilderness. That says, "If it's brown, you lie down. If it's black, you fight …
AP/Becky Bohrer

An armed 11-year-old walking to a “fishing hole” with his family in Hoonah, Alaska, saved his uncle and cousin by shooting a brown bear that came out of the woods and charged the group.

The boy–Elliot Clark–was walking with “his uncle, Craig Stoltzfus, Stoltzfus’ father, a cousin and three dogs,” at the time of the attack.

According to the Juneau Empire, the bear closed the gap on the group in a hurry. Elliot Clark’s father said, “There was four of them in a line … my son was third. The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front, who was his uncle, the bear was on him so quickly that he didn’t have time to take his rifle off his shoulder.”

Craig Stoltfus and his father were able to dodge the bear by jumping off the pathway. This left 11-year-old Elliot and his cousin standing there as the bear charged. Elliot fired three rounds of birdshot from his shotgun, the first of which “did absolutely nothing.” However, the second round hit the bear right in the nose “and traveled down through the neck.” The third round dropped the bear.

Elliot’s father said the bear had so much momentum that even after hitting the ground, he slid past Elliot’s feet. Elliot’s father said, “As the bear slid past him and came to a stop, he put a kill shot it him.”

Ellliot’s father was grateful his son was holding his shotgun in his hands as he walked. He said, “He was carrying it in his hands rather than on his shoulder. That was the problem with the other ones, when the bear came at his uncle, he had his rifle on his shoulder and the bear was very close, so he couldn’t get it off in time.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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