Polar Bear Attack

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by AfricaHunting.com, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Polar Bear Attack

    This polar bear attack story dates back to 2003...


    Sept. 4th, 2003 IQALUIT, Nunavut - A misunderstanding about firearms legislation may have contributed to the severity of a polar bear attack near Kimmirut on Tuesday.

    The Inuit guide who was the victim of the brutal bear attack did not have a gun to defend himself.

    Kootoo Shaw says as far as he knew, he wasn't allowed to have a gun while he's working as a guide.

    "We Inuit are not supposed to have any guns when we guide people from down south, that's why we didn't have a gun," he says.

    However, that's not what the law says. While Nunavut's Wildlife Act says Inuit cannot use guns to hunt while they're guiding, they can carry guns for protection against bears.

    Shaw says that isn't how he understood the rules.

    The U.S. hunters also seemed to have misinterpreted national rules.

    John Clark, one of three hunters with Shaw, says his group was told they could carry guns but that the bullets had to be removed when the gun was idle.

    "The reason we left is because we knew there are more bears out there, they've been seen and there's no way of protecting yourself," he says. "Unless you can sleep with a loaded weapon, and even that is a little chancy."

    The Canadian Firearms Act governs how firearms are stored, and stipulates when
    guns should be unloaded.

    Hal Major, the district manager of the Canada Firearms Centre in Winnipeg, says hunting trips are one of several exceptions to the rule.

    "The firearm does not have to be unloaded, it does not have to be rendered inoperable," he says.

    Major says that if confusion exists about Canadian gun laws, it's possible that more public education about the rules and regulations is required.


    Polar Bear Attack Story from CBC North

    A 46-year-old man is lucky to be alive after a vicious polar bear attack outside of Kimmirut Tuesday morning.

    Kootoo Shaw suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries while protecting a group of American sport hunters.

    The hunters say Shaw is a hero.

    "I thought I was going to die, I thought I was going to be gone," says Shaw from his Iqaluit hospital bed.

    Shaw was helping guide a group of hunters from Wisconsin when the attack occurred. They were three days into a week-long caribou hunt when the bear crashed into their camp at about four in the morning.

    First the bear went for the Americans' tent, gave it a swat, but then headed for the guide's tent, where Shaw was attacked.

    "He had his claws under my neck for a while, I could hear his breathing, then he let his claws off and he was still jumping on top me, up and down four times," he says.

    Shaw was transported to Kimmirut by boat, and then flown to Iqaluit where he received 300 stitches to reattach his scalp. He also suffered multiple bites and slashes to his back, arms and feet.

    The bear has been shot and killed.

    John Clark is one of the three American hunters who witnessed the attack.

    "He's a hero because he took the full weight of this attack, and he survived it," he says. "There aren't many men with that strength that could do that, he's been chewed on big time."

    The Mayukalik Hunters and Trappers Organization is telling hunters to bring dogs with them when camping in the area for extra protection.


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  2. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    SHAW is a Hero !!! no doubt ... hunter with Herculean strength to have taken a stiff beating by a beast so ferocious & powerful. Must have had been a very dreadful experience ............

    Monish
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    You are just another item on the food chain with polar bears. Barren ground grizzlies have a similar attitude.
  4. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    It wouldn't have mattered if he was carrying a gun, the Inuit's only carry .22's. One Inuit said, " small gun too weak for white man, just right for Indian".
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Someone has been reading too many books. While there is some truth to this..........lots of Inuit pack some sort of .22 centrefire for caribou hunting, many of them have moved up to things a little bigger. I have spent a fair amount of time in the Arctic and I can assure you that the Inuit who guide polar bear hunts are not packing .22's. LOL When I guided caribou in the Arctic the local guides mostly carried .30-30's, the odd .303 British and a lot of cheap bolt-actions in .30-06 or other easily obtainable standard cartridge.

    You would be surprised at the number of younger Inuit hunters who have developed an interest in firearms, ballistics and even reloading.
  6. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Interesting, but still enough carry .22's. People love to use "The Inuit's use .22's, so why can't I use the ______ for _____ (fill in the blanks)"

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