Oct 16 2009 -
Herald of Calgary
Ken Scown and Jeff Herbert, both from Nelson, British Columbia, were spending their third night camping in a tent as part of an 11-day hunting trip near Canal Flats in the East Kootenays region of BC when a female grizzly bear attacked them during the night.
"I went into survival mode as she batted me around, biting me," Scown stated. "I was kind of waiting for the bite to the head and neck and it would all be over."
Both men struggled to protect themselves from the grizzly as it was "thrashing wildly." The bear found itself on top of Scown while Herbert tried to find his rifle in the darkness to shoot it in order to save his friends life.
Herbert tried to shove the bear off Scown for a clear shot, but when he pulled the trigger Herbert only heard a click. The shell was not properly loaded in the chamber.
"I was screaming so hard and yelling at Jeff to shoot the bear, shoot it," Scown said. "I couldn't hear much else other than my heartbeat pounding through my chest.
The bear tore up the tent while Herbert freed himself from the tangled mess and was able to chase the bear away.
Scown stood guard while Herbert packed up their belongings from the blood-stained snow. Both men walked back nearly three miles to theirs trucks, and observed two sets of bear tracks that indicated the bears had been following them all along.
Herbert also said the attack seemed odd because of an inversion wind that day, which would have sent their scents in the opposite direction of the bears.
"It wasn't like we were rolling around in bacon grease. There were no food odors," he said. "It's very rare to get attacked by a grizzly bear in your tent. It was my worst nightmare come true. From now on I'll be sleeping with the gun loaded in the tent."
Both men were treated at an area hospital for wounds on their forearms. Scown also suffered a bite on his leg.