Man Reportedly Uses Pocket Knife To Stave Off Grizzly Bear Attack


A Canadian man reportedly used a small pocket knife to thwart a life-threatening grizzly bear attack in a remote part of British Columbia late last month.

Colin Dowler, 45, was mountain biking on a logging road on July 29 near Powell River, about 150 miles north of Vancouver, when he came upon a large male grizzly bear.

“It was pretty freaking scary,” Dowler told CBC.

When the bear approached him, the cyclist took a hiking pole and poked the massive animal on the head to try to keep him away.

Dowler said the grizzly then knocked him to the ground and grabbed him by the stomach and dragged him toward a ditch perhaps 50 feet away.

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The man tried eye-gouging the bear and playing dead, but both tactics did not work.

Dowler’s most vivid memory from the encounter was the sound of the grizzly’s teeth biting his thigh bone.

“It sounded like it was grating my bones,” he said. “I was trying to peel its lips back, or its mouth back and it bit me in the arm.”

The bear then bit his foot and other parts of his body.

That’s when the Canadian remembered that he had a small knife in his pocket his father had given him two weeks before.

“Somehow, I don’t know how I did it. I used both hands to pull underneath the bear to get to that knife, and I grabbed the knife out and opened it and put it in [my] hand and stabbed the bear in his neck,” Dowler said.

“It let go of me immediately. It was bleeding quite badly,” he explained. “I wasn’t really sure if it was dying faster than I was.”

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Dowler then cut a piece off one of his shirt sleeves and used it to bandage his badly bleeding leg, as the bear continued to watch him.

He then crawled to his bike, mounted it and managed to bike a little over four miles to a logging camp.

Dowler collapsed outside the worksite’s mess hall and began yelling for help.

Five workers came out and began administering first aid.

“When we saw him, it was shocking and pretty unnerving at first,” Vittorio Giannandrea, the camp cook, told CBC.

“Then we began talking to him, cutting off the clothing on the apparent wounds where blood soaked through everything and just used as many hands, large bandages and other materials to stop the bleeding and cover the wounds.”

A helicopter arrived in 40 minutes and transported to Dowler to a Vancouver hospital.

British Columbian wildlife officers returned to the bloody scene of the attack and ended up putting the grizzly down after it snuck behind one of them. One of the officers confirmed the bear had a stab wound in its neck.

Dowler, who was a day away from his 45th birthday when the bear encounter happened, says he is lucky to be alive.

“I was thinking I’m not going to make it,” he said

His wife, Jennifer, thanked the logging camp workers for their swift action.

“He definitely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them,” she said. “And I’m just happy my husband is as stubborn as he is.”

Kudos to the outdoor enthusiast for having the presence of mind to remember that knife and put it to good use.

It goes to show, dads should never think their sons are too old to give them a pocket knife: You never know when it will come in handy.

The U.S. National Park Service recommends if you are attacked by a grizzly or brown bear, to play dead by lying flat on your stomach, spreading your legs, and covering your head and neck with your arms. Do not fight back.

This move hopefully will convince the bear you are not a threat, and it will leave you alone.

However, if the attack persists, the NPS advises, “fight back with everything you have!”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith