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Watch: Homeowner Gives Grizzly Full Brunt of Shotgun Blast, Bear Keeps Charging

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Here in the United States, we usually think about the Second Amendment as a defense against dangerous people. Discussions about gun ownership are usually about preventing tyranny and defending our families from criminals or intruders — but it’s pretty rare for citizens to think about four-legged predators.

It’s a very different story in more wild places, like Alaska or rural Canada. There, the situation is often reversed, and it’s dangerous animals, not people, who are the big problem.

Case in point: A man in British Columbia was just forced to use a shotgun to defend himself against a charging grizzly bear, and the whole confrontation was caught on video.

According to CBC News, Lawrence Michalchuk lives in Bella Coola, a sparsely-populated valley near the west coast of Canada. Grizzlies are so common in that part of the country that the region is called “The Great Bear Rainforest” … so it’s no surprise that Michalchuk ended up facing one.

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The resident explained that a female grizzly bear and three cubs came onto his property, and basically started treating it as their own territory for several days. This might have been fine if it was a remote part of the forest, but it was right outside the house where the man lives with his wife and young kids.

“By leaving them on the property, you’re playing Russian roulette, and I’m not doing that with my kids or my family,” Michalchuk told CBC.

“What are your choices? You leave a bear in the yard who thinks it owns your yard … and then your kids go out there?” he continued.

Indeed, Canada may be much more anti-gun than the U.S., but laws there do allow for some ownership of firearms like shotguns, and permit guns to be used for self-defense against animals even outside of hunting seasons.

Do you think having a shotgun saved this man's life?

Michalchuk said he didn’t want to shoot the bear, but first tried to scare it off non violently. It didn’t work.

In dramatic video recorded by the man’s wife, he first fired a warning shot to frighten the animal. The grizzly seemed fearless, and started coming at the homeowner.

As you can see clearly in the clip, Michalchuk then backpedaled as fast as he could but the grizzly kept charging. Then he raised the 12 gauge shotgun and fired.

“The last thing I remember is that she was coming at me with her mouth open,” the resident told CBC. “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 said that since he wasn’t planning on shooting the bear but just scaring it off, the shotgun wasn’t loaded with heavy ammunition such as slugs. Instead, he hit the grizzly with bird shot and purposely avoided its face.

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The bear and its cubs did finally leave the property. The homeowner believes he only stunned it, and that the animal was fine after the altercation.

“It’s nice to think that when you live in the city, it’s not an issue down there, but here, I mean … yeah,” he said. “This has been tough for me to take.”

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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