Nature In The Raw

I’m always amused by stories such as this one:

A musician who was collecting nature sounds while camping at a remote spot in Canada was mauled to death by a bear that dragged him away as he slept.
Julian Gauthier, 44 – who was born in Canada but has lived in France since he was 19 – was on a trip by the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories when he was dragged off by the beast on Thursday, July 15, according to biologist, Camille Toscani, who was traveling with him.
Gauthier was collecting nature sounds for his work and planned to canoe 930 miles down the river from Fort Providence to Inuvik.
But he was attacked by the animal in the middle of the night in the Tulita area, only one week after he posted about four bears being the only other living souls they’d seen on their trip.

It never ceases to amaze me that people head out into nature utterly unprepared for what might befall them once they’re there.  In the above case, I’m sure that had the guy been offered a gun to take with him, he probably would have declined because Eeeevil Guns.  But I’m also bewildered that he wasn’t offered some measures that might either repel grizzlies or at least keep one alerted to their presence (IR motion sensors, klaxon sirens, bear spray etc.);  but without any of that stuff, he ended up being grizzly din-dins.

One would think that as he’d spent his first nineteen years in Canada, he’d be at least a little  aware of what he was getting into;  on the other hand, though, if he grew up in some non-Canadian milieu such as Toronto he’d probably be as blissfully unaware of the peril as a Manhattanite.

Please, people:  as far as that old bitch Mother Nature is concerned, we humans are like marshmallows:  soft, slow, tasty and harmless.  It’s only when we take on accoutrements (such as the above) that put us at the top of the food chain that we stand a chance of survival.

Anyway, at least the deceased got a few “nature sounds” on tape, although I’m guessing that “chomping bear jaws” probably wasn’t what he was looking for.

Here would be my suggestion for an anti-bear device:

That’s a Mossberg 500 Mariner 12ga, and I’d load the mag tube with a mixture of 00 buckshot and slugs.  (If such things are allowed in Canuckistan, that is.)


  1. My first rule of survival is “Be worthy of it.” Part of that is situational awareness. Similar to these wilderness encounters are the stories of clueless civilians who wander around in war zones.

  2. Excellent suggestion and I agree. That Mossberg is similar to my Remington 870 Marine Magnum except mine has the extended tube allowing 2 more rounds, a Magpul stock and fore end, side saddle with top rail, and a reflex site. Me? I’d also pack a stout hand gun, say, a 1911, .44 mag, or better.

  3. “If such things are allowed in Canuckistan, that is”

    I don’t know what the current laws there are, but back in the late 80’s/early 90’s the in-laws drove the ALCAN highway in an RV. They bought and took along a Mossberg 500 on the advice of a buddy of mine stationed at Ft. Richardson. Canadian customs asked about weapons, and just nodded when they told them what they had in the back and waved them through.

  4. In 2008, I took my Mossberg up the AlCan. Had to declare it at the border and pay a fee but no real problem. Handguns are so difficult as to be effectively impossible. No idea whether laws have changed but there are good online sources.

    Slugs only for me in griz country.

  5. Slightly off topic, perhaps… a group of French adventure tourists were traversing the Canadian far north a couple of years ago, and being French, they had some bear tartare. They all came down with trichinosis. Go figure.

    As for shotguns, mine is a 12 ga Winchester 1300 Defender. It works for me.

  6. Buddy of mine was up in Alaska fly fishing for trout and before the guide would place him out on the river he had to be checked out with a pump shotgun shooting slugs, big nasty ones he told me. The guide told him and his group, whatever you do don’t you dare shoot a bear because there is a lot of paperwork but if it is going to eat you, shoot it a lot and kill it.

    How in the hell people think that if their intentions are good and they mean no harm to wildlife then wildlife will understand and appreciate them and be nice. People who keep bears and large cats for pets and talk about what wonderful pets they make until they maul and eat the neighbor kid and then they piss and moan about needing to put it down.

    1. “How in the hell people think that if their intentions are good and they mean no harm to wildlife then wildlife will understand and appreciate them and be nice.”

      Disney Movies.

        1. Yeah, but I blame Disney for popularizing this absurd notion that nature is peaceful and harmonious.

          1. Whitaker Chambers did more damage in his day job than he ever did as a communist agent. He was the translator of Bambi.

  7. We do indeed have that Mossberg, slugs and 00 shot shells here in Canada. Since I have both long and hand gun permits I can head to the local Cabela’s and buy one, no waiting period, no more checks, no nothing

    CAD729.00 is about USD561.00. How does that compare with what you’d pay in the US?

    We need no license to buy the ammo.

    We can even buy long guns over the internet so long as they get delivered to us at my address on the license.

    I carry a BPS 12 around at my BC cabin, because we had a bear join us for a BBQ and a snooze in the yard many years ago. Being I’m old, cowardly and likely to be shaking like a leaf I load 5 of the 00.

    The custom around here is to shoot if necessary, but never, ever report it. Drag the carcass onto a truck or trailer and dump it way up some old logging road. Because paperwork, interviews with young yuppie urban raised wardens suggesting you didn’t really have to shoot it, you should have tried to reason with it or maybe give it a cuddle.

    1. So, drop the middle “S” of “SSS”?

      Given the size of the hole needed to bury a grizz, I can understand.

      Unless you can “SBS”; “Shoot, Backhole, Shut up”

      1. SDS, shoot, dump, shut up.

        One of my neighbors shot a big black bear up in his apple tree because the bear was breaking major branches. He only dumped it about 3 miles away. I was quite surprised by how quickly the local scavengers cleaned it up. After 3 weeks it was tattered skin, tufts of fur and bones with a few bits of dry meat and tendons hanging on.

  8. Recently read of a Yellowstone visitor who said her family had a great experience but were disappointed not to see any bears. She suggested that the ‘staff’ train their bears so tourists would have more opportunities to see them. Story came complete with a screenshot of her helpful feedback note.
    Contrast to my sister-in-law, an outdoorsy Idaho gal, who says there are parts of Yellowstone her family won’t go to, because ‘there’s grizz there’.

  9. Personally I would prefer a Marlin 1895 or Henry All Weather in 45/70 but the Mossberg would work too. It is also about 2/3 the price which a plus. I am pretty sure a 45/70 lever action is allowed in Canada

  10. Wow – I’m surprised that we made it this far into the day without the obligatory

    Send more tourists. The last ones were delicious!

  11. Julian’s dad always told him, “Son, you’ll never amount to shit.”

    Julian was bound and determined to prove his father wrong.

    1. I’d always heard that was what Timothy Treadwell’s dad told him.

      Before his Disney-induced mental illness progressed to that level, he lived in Malibu California. When he worked there, my brother the flaming Leftist knew who he was. Is there something in the water there?

  12. A shotgun’s no good if you’re asleep. I’m a great fan of layered defences. In this case claymores on tripwires. Even if the claymore doesn’t kill the bear it will wake you so you can use the shotgun.

    Even better, of course, is travelling in sufficient company that someone can be on the lookout for bears while the others sleep.

    1. This is Canada we’re talking about here. If pistols are streng verboten for tasty foreign tourists, think what they’d want to do with a tourist who even knew what a claymore was.

  13. “…was mauled to death by a bear that dragged him away as he slept.”
    I’m betting that he wasn’t actually sleeping as he was dragged away.

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