Alaska Fishing Guide Kills Grizzly Bear with 9mm as It Charges Couple

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

An Alaska fishing guide shot and killed a grizzly bear as it charged a female client and her husband, both of whom planned to fish a stream where grizzlies are not common.

The incident occurred within the past few weeks and just now makes its way to news outlets via the NRA’s American Hunter.

Writing in American Hunter, guide Phil Shoemaker said he was taking two clients—”Larry and his wife”—”to a small stream…which had numerous large male brown bears.” Shoemaker said he “decided to take [his] Smith & Wesson 3953 DAO 9mm, rather than the S&W 629 .44 Magnum… [because] the larger boars are usually less of a problem than sows with cubs.”

So Shoemaker and his two clients approach the stream and they hear “a growl and [the] deep ‘woof’ of a bear approximately 6 feet” away. The sound came from the right and Shoemaker turned toward the growl and quickly noticed the bear moving around them in the brush. Seconds later it charged from the other side and Larry and his wife fell down while trying to back-pedal away from the beast. Larry’s wife said that in that second “the bear’s face was close enough to hers that it could have bitten her.”

Shoemaker fired his first shot, hitting the bear in the neck. He described what happened next:

[The bear] began growling and spinning toward the impact [of the bullet]. I wanted to hit the head but the bear was moving so fast I simply began shooting each time I could hit a vital area. I hit it six times before it turned to run off, and my seventh shot was into its pelvis area as it ran. [The bear] dropped within 6 feet of the last shot.

Shoemaker then checked his pistol and realized he had only one round left, so he waited by his clients instead of walking up to be sure the bear was dead.

In short order he realized the bear was in fact dead and his clients were safe, saved by a 9mm semiautomatic handgun in the wilds of Alaska.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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