For Soldotna fishing guide Greg Brush, the rare and precious finally arrived — a summer day off between king and silver salmon seasons.
It was Aug. 2, a little after 11 a.m., when he headed down Dirks Lake Road, a quarter-mile from his home, taking three dogs for some exercise in preparation for hunting season. Brush talked to his animals as they walked past homes on one- to five-acre lots.
The slightest noise — a twig snapping — prompted Brush to glance over his shoulder. Less than 20 yards away, a brown bear was charging, “ears back, head low and motorin' full speed.
“Came with zero warning,” Brush said. “No woof, no popping of the teeth, no standing up, nothing like what you think.”
Brush said he wears a pistol on his walks because bears have chased his dogs in the past.
He drew a Ruger .454 Casull revolver. There was no time to aim, barely time to squeeze the trigger. He's not sure whether he got off two shots or three, but one proved fatal.
“Total luck shot,” he said.
“It doesn't get any closer. He slid by me on his chin when I shot him,” Brush said. “I was backpedaling as fast as I could. I wasn't even aiming. I tripped over my own feet as I pulled the trigger.”
He estimated that the animal weighed 900-plus pounds, and was 15 to 20 years old. It had grass packed in its molars and little fat on its bones.
“It was starving to death and saw an opportunity,” Brush said. Read more