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Park identifies hunter killed by bear in Alaska as Ohio man

JacksinPA

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COPPER CENTER, Alaska (AP) — The hunter killed by a grizzly bear last weekend in a remote part of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve was identified Thursday by park officials as a 22-year-old man from Ohio.

The death of Austin Pfeiffer late Sunday was the first recorded fatal bear attack in the park since it was established in 1980, the park said in a statement. Park spokesperson Jan Maslen, said in an email that officials were not releasing his hometown at the family’s request.

Pfeiffer was hunting with a friend and they were salvaging meat from a moose they killed a day earlier when the attack occurred, the statement said.
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They got caught eating the lunch they had provided for the bear.

Sometimes you get the bear & sometimes the bear gets you.
 

99percenter

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How did this happen? They were hunters. they could have just shot the bear.
 

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How did this happen? They were hunters. they could have just shot the bear.
Heavy growth of vegetation in the area I would guess. And a charging bear is hard to beat if you are carving up a kill & don't have your rifle ready.
 

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COPPER CENTER, Alaska (AP) — The hunter killed by a grizzly bear last weekend in a remote part of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve was identified Thursday by park officials as a 22-year-old man from Ohio.

The death of Austin Pfeiffer late Sunday was the first recorded fatal bear attack in the park since it was established in 1980, the park said in a statement. Park spokesperson Jan Maslen, said in an email that officials were not releasing his hometown at the family’s request.

Pfeiffer was hunting with a friend and they were salvaging meat from a moose they killed a day earlier when the attack occurred, the statement said.
========================================================
They got caught eating the lunch they had provided for the bear.

Sometimes you get the bear & sometimes the bear gets you.
There is a serious problem with this story, due to the lack of fact checking by the media: It is prohibited to hunt or use a firearm in any National Park.
 
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Glitch

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How did this happen? They were hunters. they could have just shot the bear.
If they were within the National Park borders, then they could not be hunters. It is illegal to hunt in any National Park.

While it is legal to carry a firearm in a National Park - it depends on the State laws where the National Park is located - it is illegal to use a firearm in National Park, even in self-defense.
 

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Heavy growth of vegetation in the area I would guess. And a charging bear is hard to beat if you are carving up a kill & don't have your rifle ready.
The most common form of attack occurs when the bear is surprised. Bears are terribly near-sighted, but have an excellent sense of smell. If you approach a bear from downwind, it is very possible to get within just a few feet of the bear before it notices you are there.

The overwhelming majority of bear encounters are with non-aggressive bears. Judging from the used can of bear spray during this attack, this was not one of those encounters. Bear spray works great against non-aggressive bears, but will not do diddly-squat to stop an aggressive bear. Only a large caliber firearm will stop an aggressive bear.
 

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The most common form of attack occurs when the bear is surprised. Bears are terribly near-sighted, but have an excellent sense of smell. If you approach a bear from downwind, it is very possible to get within just a few feet of the bear before it notices you are there.

The overwhelming majority of bear encounters are with non-aggressive bears. Judging from the used can of bear spray during this attack, this was not one of those encounters. Bear spray works great against non-aggressive bears, but will not do diddly-squat to stop an aggressive bear. Only a large caliber firearm will stop an aggressive bear.
Yeup, that is why when in Alaska and Montana on the upper Missouri River, I always had my LA .44Mag Marlin and Ruger Super Blackhawk. You just don't want to surprise a Grizzly, black bears will usually run, Grizzlies and Browns will charge, and Real Fast. Remember watching am outdoor show years ago and it had Fess Parker from the Daniel Boone series bow hunting bears, he hits the bear with his first arrow and the bear turns and charges, Fess just stood there and notched another arrow and put another into the charging bear which finally dropped within feet of Fess. I thought at the time that wow, now that took Balls. Of-course there really is no alternative since a bear can run down a horse in a sprint.
 

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Yeup, that is why when in Alaska and Montana on the upper Missouri River, I always had my LA .44Mag Marlin and Ruger Super Blackhawk. You just don't want to surprise a Grizzly, black bears will usually run, Grizzlies and Browns will charge, and Real Fast. Remember watching am outdoor show years ago and it had Fess Parker from the Daniel Boone series bow hunting bears, he hits the bear with his first arrow and the bear turns and charges, Fess just stood there and notched another arrow and put another into the charging bear which finally dropped within feet of Fess. I thought at the time that wow, now that took Balls. Of-course there really is no alternative since a bear can run down a horse in a sprint.
Due to the lack of tourists in Alaska this year because of COVID-19, the bears have become more visible this past Summer. All my bear encounters have been with non-aggressive bears, and I hope to keep it that way. However, I do carry an AR-12 as my "camp gun" and a Ruger .44 mag. as backup. As they say, "it is always better to have firearms and not need them, than to need firearms and not have them."

I also don't use bear spray. I consider that to be incredibly rude. Instead, I keep a string of ladyfinger firecrackers in my tackle box. If a brown bear gets too close for comfort, and if talking to them proves to be futile, I will toss one or two firecrackers in their general direction. They are trying to be sneaky when they are attempting to steal our salmon, which not an easy task for a 1,200 pound, 10 foot long brown bear. Most of the time just talking to them and letting them know they were busted is enough to get them to back-up. A couple of times it may require more incentive, and that is where the firecrackers come in handy. Once they know they have been busted, they quickly disappear into the woods.

I've never had an issue with black bears. As you say, they will almost always run away or climb the nearest tree to escape. You also need to be aggressive towards black bears, which is exactly the wrong approach with grizzlies. With black bears you have to demonstrate that you ARE a threat. With grizzlies you have to demonstrate that you are NOT a threat.
 

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If they were within the National Park borders, then they could not be hunters. It is illegal to hunt in any National Park.

While it is legal to carry a firearm in a National Park - it depends on the State laws where the National Park is located - it is illegal to use a firearm in National Park, even in self-defense.
Poaching deer is a fine old American tradition.
 

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Poaching deer is a fine old American tradition.
Not in Alaska. Just ask Ted Nugent. He was fined $10,000 for exceeding his bag limit and poaching a black bear in 2012.


After researching the matter further I discovered that the victim was not in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, like the media mistakenly claims. He was, in fact, attacked in the Cottonwood Creek drainage of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve, where hunting is allowed. He had a moose permit for Alaska Game Management Unit 12, which includes the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve.

That is a very good location for both moose and caribou. I have taken caribou near there, in Game Management Unit 13C.

Bears, wolves, and other predators are always a problem when hunting in Alaska. Alaska also prohibits hunters from defending their kill. Which means you either have to pack out the carcass in a single trip, or have at least two people so one can stay with the kill at all times. The minute you leave that carcass alone the predators will be all over it. It is one of the reasons why all out-of-State hunters are required to hire a State-certified Alaskan guide.
 

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If they were within the National Park borders, then they could not be hunters. It is illegal to hunt in any National Park.

While it is legal to carry a firearm in a National Park - it depends on the State laws where the National Park is located - it is illegal to use a firearm in National Park, even in self-defense.
Getting mauled by a bear is defintly not a good way to go.
 

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it is illegal to use a firearm in National Park, even in self-defense.
LOL. I would take the chance with the law instead of a bear. BLM? bear lives matter
 

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Getting mauled by a bear is defintly not a good way to go.
I agree. Which is why it is important to be always aware of your surroundings, and to be well armed just in case. People (city critters in particular) forget that without our tools we would not be on top of the food chain, but the best method for avoiding a mauling is to know where the bear is before the bear knows where you are.

As I posted above, the overwhelming majority of bear encounters are with non-aggressive bears. Bears are very curious and very intelligent, but they are also predators. Which means that they have an instinct to chase anything running away from them. Which explains why the majority of those who were mauled have occurred with people who were ridding their mountain bikes down game trails. That might be reasonable behavior in the lower-48 where they have no predators, but that is suicidal in Alaska. You aren't paying enough attention to your surroundings from a bicycle.

Bears are also not the only predators in Alaska. We had a teacher killed by wolves in 2010 (confirmed by DNA testing) after she decided to go for a run in the forest. She was unarmed. Wolves are coursing predators. Meaning they literally eat as they run.

I'm not sure which would be worse. Being mauled to death by a grizzly, or ripped apart and devoured by a pack of wolves.

I have no plans to find out either.
 

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LOL. I would take the chance with the law instead of a bear. BLM? bear lives matter
I solved the problem by avoiding National Parks. Denali National Park is less than 100 miles north of my home, and in the 29 years I've lived in Alaska, I have never visited a National Park in Alaska. That is because whenever I head into the bush I'm always well armed. Particularly when I'm fishing for salmon on the rivers during the Summers, but also when I walked my dogs during the Winter.

I really like bears, and would prefer not to shoot one in self-defense. So I pay close attention to my surroundings, including the direction the wind is blowing. Dogs are also a very useful tools in the forest. Their senses are better than ours, so they are more likely to detect a moose, bear, or wolf before you.

Another reason why it is not a good idea to shoot a bear, unless it is absolutely necessary, is all the work involved. Even if you shoot a bear in self-defense, you are required by law to salvage the meat. You are also required to salvage the hide and the sex of the bear. You then have to turn all that over to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (you keep nothing), and then you have two or three hours of paperwork to fill out.
 

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I agree. Which is why it is important to be always aware of your surroundings, and to be well armed just in case. People (city critters in particular) forget that without our tools we would not be on top of the food chain, but the best method for avoiding a mauling is to know where the bear is before the bear knows where you are.

As I posted above, the overwhelming majority of bear encounters are with non-aggressive bears. Bears are very curious and very intelligent, but they are also predators. Which means that they have an instinct to chase anything running away from them. Which explains why the majority of those who were mauled have occurred with people who were ridding their mountain bikes down game trails. That might be reasonable behavior in the lower-48 where they have no predators, but that is suicidal in Alaska. You aren't paying enough attention to your surroundings from a bicycle.

Bears are also not the only predators in Alaska. We had a teacher killed by wolves in 2010 (confirmed by DNA testing) after she decided to go for a run in the forest. She was unarmed. Wolves are coursing predators. Meaning they literally eat as they run.

I'm not sure which would be worse. Being mauled to death by a grizzly, or ripped apart and devoured by a pack of wolves.

I have no plans to find out either.

I think the absolute worst is from a saltwater crocodile in australia
 

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There is a serious problem with this story, due to the lack of fact checking by the media: It is prohibited to hunt or use a firearm in any National Park.
Since when have the "news" media been concerned with "fact checking"?
 

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I think the absolute worst is from a saltwater crocodile in australia
I don't know. I could be mistaken, but if the crocodile has a large prey item in its mouth wouldn't it dive underwater to drown the victim before consuming it? So it at least you will drown before you are eaten. Also, an aggressive bear can polish off a human pretty easily. So you are more likely to be killed by the bear, before it starts eating you. Like Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend.

I think being ripped apart by wolves has to be worse, because you will be alive when they start to eat you.
 

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I don't know. I could be mistaken, but if the crocodile has a large prey item in its mouth wouldn't it dive underwater to drown the victim before consuming it? So it at least you will drown before you are eaten. Also, an aggressive bear can polish off a human pretty easily. So you are more likely to be killed by the bear, before it starts eating you. Like Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend.

I think being ripped apart by wolves has to be worse, because you will be alive when they start to eat you.
A large croc pulls you under water and while you drown it already starts to twist your arms and legs off.
 

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Not in Alaska. Just ask Ted Nugent. He was fined $10,000 for exceeding his bag limit and poaching a black bear in 2012.
Poaching also kind of implies that you don't get caught.
 

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Poaching also kind of implies that you don't get caught.
No it doesn't. Poaching is killing game illegally, and Alaskans do not take that sort of thing lightly. More people are turned in by other hunters and fishermen for violating the fish and game regulations, than are busted by government officials. How do you think Ted Nuget got busted? He was busted by his Alaskan bear guide. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game had no clue how many bears Nugent shot, but his Alaskan guide did.

Like I said, we do not tolerate poachers in Alaska.
 

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Yeup, that is why when in Alaska and Montana on the upper Missouri River, I always had my LA .44Mag Marlin and Ruger Super Blackhawk. You just don't want to surprise a Grizzly, black bears will usually run, Grizzlies and Browns will charge, and Real Fast. Remember watching am outdoor show years ago and it had Fess Parker from the Daniel Boone series bow hunting bears, he hits the bear with his first arrow and the bear turns and charges, Fess just stood there and notched another arrow and put another into the charging bear which finally dropped within feet of Fess. I thought at the time that wow, now that took Balls. Of-course there really is no alternative since a bear can run down a horse in a sprint.
All you need is to be faster than your buddy!
 

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I agree. Which is why it is important to be always aware of your surroundings, and to be well armed just in case. People (city critters in particular) forget that without our tools we would not be on top of the food chain, but the best method for avoiding a mauling is to know where the bear is before the bear knows where you are.

As I posted above, the overwhelming majority of bear encounters are with non-aggressive bears. Bears are very curious and very intelligent, but they are also predators. Which means that they have an instinct to chase anything running away from them. Which explains why the majority of those who were mauled have occurred with people who were ridding their mountain bikes down game trails. That might be reasonable behavior in the lower-48 where they have no predators, but that is suicidal in Alaska. You aren't paying enough attention to your surroundings from a bicycle.

Bears are also not the only predators in Alaska. We had a teacher killed by wolves in 2010 (confirmed by DNA testing) after she decided to go for a run in the forest. She was unarmed. Wolves are coursing predators. Meaning they literally eat as they run.

I'm not sure which would be worse. Being mauled to death by a grizzly, or ripped apart and devoured by a pack of wolves.

I have no plans to find out either.
There has to be a Timothy Treadwell joke here somewhere......
 

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There has to be a Timothy Treadwell joke here somewhere......
People may jog or ride their mountain bikes down game trails oblivious to what is around them, but it takes a special kind of stupid to set up your camp on a game trail. Which is what Treadwell did. His girlfriend was an unfortunate consequence of Treadwell's stupidity. If he had survived he might have faced negligent homicide or manslaughter for directly causing his girlfriend's death. Yet we have ignorant lower-48ers who still think he was some kind of bear expert. I think the manner of his death proves beyond any doubt that he wasn't an expert about anything.
 
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