Everyone knows that it's not wise to approach a mama grizzly bear and her cubs. But, one British Columbia man felt he had no other option when the family of bears took up residence in his backyard. To keep his family safe, he decided to try to scare the bears off. Let's just say, things didn't go as he planned.
Lawrence Michalchuk, 54, told CBC News the sow and her three cubs had been living in his Bella Coola yard for days, and were acting territorial and threatening whenever someone tried to leave the house.
Finally, he'd had enough. So, he confronted the sow with a shotgun loaded with birdshot.
Lawrence said he had to do something about the bear, but never planned on having to shoot her. He'd hoped to just scare her away.
"What are your choices? You leave a bear in the yard who thinks it owns your yard … and then your kids go out there?"
Michalchuk's wife filmed the encounter and posted it on YouTube.
As you can see in the video, Michalchuk yelled at the bear and fired a warning shot. He yelled again and ran toward the bear. The grizzly then charged at Michalchuk, who ran backward as he raised the 12-gauge shotgun to his cheek and fired.
The bear fell and rolled over twice, shaking its head. Michalchuk turned and ran inside the house. The bear ran in the same direction and also went out of view.
You can hear his wife ask if he's OK...among other things.
Michalchuk, who said he's been hunting since childhood, didn't answer but could be heard breathing hard.
"The last thing I remember is that she was coming at me with her mouth open," he said in the interview.
"I didn't want to shoot her in the face so I clipped her in the right leg. Thank God when I shot, it did exactly what I hoped it would do: It tripped her."
Michalchuk told the CBC he's been met with backlash and threats since the video was posted, with many asking why he would provoke an aggressive mother bear with cubs.
But Michalkchuk said he didn't feel he had a choice. The grizzly and her cubs had been hanging around his property for several days and refused to leave.
Fortunately, after the incident, the bear eventually did leave the property.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.