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A Funny one.....for Alaskan Survivalist

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Brooks Range, Alaska. Near the head waters of the Noatak River & the Ambler River. We are on a private six week hunt, just my hunting partner and myself. 1970 or 1971 we had a base camp on a large lake in the main valley. And we would do three or four day trips back different valleys, sometimes together and some times go our separate ways and report back at base in four days. We had shot several wolves, and one Dall Sheep.

We decided to go together back this one interesting valley for three or four days. But we saw no shoot-able game. We did get to watch two huge wolves pull down three sheep. Dejected we are returning to camp, which was out of fresh meat. Having seen nearly nothing for days, about a mile out of base camp is one caribou. I shoot the caribou, and we back most of it into base camp.

It was a very hot and sweaty day, and we had most likely logged 12 to 15 miles, plus packed the caribou in. We get to base camp exhausted, and hot, and stinky, and bloody. So I proclaim I am going to the lake and bathe, my hunting partner wants to clean he's gear and eat.

So I am naked at the lake washing in ice cold water, and I see movement to my right, which just happens to be a good size interior Grizzly Bear. The bear is about 40 yards away, I did not take a rifle, just soap & a Towel. The bear is not charging but is walking quickly toward me, and I do mean Quickly.

I look up toward base camp and see my hunting partner studying the bear for size, and color through his binoculars and spotting scope.

Now the bear has stopped maybe thirty feet away from me. It is watching me, and does not see my hunting partner who is evaluating the bear for harvest. I look up expecting to see my buddy with rifle in hand, but NO he is looking at the bear still studying it. The Bear slowly walks toward me, I am buck naked, head covered in soap, the bear is about 15 feet away. And I am looking back and forth between the bear and my friend. The bear moves closer to about to feet, I look up and my hunting partner now has his rifle, but is not aiming at the bear.

So I said are you going to shoot......? He said, No it is the wrong color. Now mind you while we are talking the Grizzly Bear is just standing there on all four feet watching me ten feet away. It never looked up toward base camp or at Bill.

Bill yelled, "Go on, get out of here". and to my good fortune it did a 180 and left the way it came. We later figured it followed the bloody trail of the blood dripping off the Caribou meat we packed it and hour earlier.

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  1. tipacanoe's Avatar
    What does a naked man think when he is 15 feet from a grizzly bear? I would never drink from that lake again. I was fly fishing in a pond here in Maine, had a cow moose with a yearling (maybe 2nd year, good size), when she passed behind me, I could have patted her on her belly if I could have moved.
  2. maineman's Avatar
    great story. think I might have had something to say to my buddy after I cleaned up a second time. :}