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The "bear abduction"The "bear abduction"

There was a serious fright today.

But first, Jon Goodwin and Kim arrived to say hi. They got here around 4PM. It was great to see Jon again and to meet Kim. We spent some time talking about what was happening and what we had been doing. We had some dinner and then went for a ride to see the Russian and Kenai Rivers. As we passed the Russian River Campgrounds and Jon spotted 2 bears about 100 yards up the exit. We turned around and tried to find them.

We didn’t see them again and ended up at the campground registration booth. The girl working the booth was a bit rattled and mentioned that there had just been a mauling on Resurrection Pass trail about 1 mile from away. It appeared that a woman had been mountain biking and had gotten mauled by a black bear.

There was nothing about the incident in the paper the next morning and nothing on the internet. When we got to Wildman’s the next morning, we asked Rudy if he was aware of the mauling.

He was a first responder and got the call. The message was that a guy’s wife had been abducted by a bear at Mile .6 on the Resurrection Trail and please bring a gun. He was joined be another responder and a Forest Service guy and went to the trailhead. When they got to .5 on the trail, the husband and wife were walking toward them.

Here’s what actually happened.

The husband was leading the way to the trailhead. The wife encountered a black bear along the trail and had to come to a quick stop. The bear approached her despite arm waving and yelling. She tossed the bike and backpack at the bear and the bear enthusiastically grabbed the backpack. The wife hurried away while the bear was distracted.

The husband, meanwhile, had come to a stop to wait for his wife’s arrival. When she didn’t show up, he went back up the trail and found her abandoned bike, evidence of a bear, but no wife. At that point he called 911, distraught.

When the “dust had cleared”, all was well except that the backpack was gone.

This incident, and others like it, have heightened my interest in having a handgun available when we are hiking in this area. We’re pretty well convinced that it’s almost foolish to wander the trails with bear spray and bells. (We have (in 2017) changed our minds. I wouldn't trust myself with a gun and bear spray is extremely effective.)

As the locals say:
Black bear scat - berries, grass, chipmunks
Brown bear scat: salmon, bear spray, bells