WY: .45 Super Stops Grizzly Bear Attack

Tev Kelley, was accompanying a friend, hunting elk, in Wyoming on October 6th, 2017.  His friend, Scott Smith, shot a nice bull from 327 yards, in a strong wind. Preparing to dress out the bull, they put their rifles a short distance uphill, to keep them from getting bloody.  Then they started field dressing the animal.  Fortunately, Scott heard a twig snap.  He looked up, and saw the bear closing rapidly. He yelled “Bear, bear, bear!”

The hunters jumped up and separated. The bear momentarily halted. Kelley fired a warning shot from his .45 Super. The bear moved away a little, behind some fire killed trees and brush, then came in again, fast. Kelly fired again, and the bear went down, rolled down slope and came to a halt, motionless. From codyenterprise.com:

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25 Responses to WY: .45 Super Stops Grizzly Bear Attack

  1. rick says:

    Brown bear…blood in the air…with winter approaching…and he fires a a ‘warning’ shot? Some people.

  2. Mark says:

    Sorry, I’d a kept shooting.

  3. Tsquared says:

    I learned the lesson of carrying a big bore pistol while hunting with my rifle back in the 70;s when I was in high school. If I am in the woods I usually have my 44mag strapped on.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I always had my 41 when I was running around up in the mountains in California but that was a bit of overkill. The only real danger was mountain lions and they’re so thin skinned a 38 Special could take them. I knew a government hunter back in the 80s that used a 22 magnum on treed cats.

      • Elmo says:

        I’d prefer a 41 Mag. I once had a cat cross the road in front of me at 3:30 in the morning. All I remember seeing was that as he ran his nose was on the centerline and his tail stretched over the fog line.
        And then there are the Black Bears I’ve seen. But that’s another story.

        • Wirecutter says:

          I have never had any problem at all with bears once I got away from the Forestry Service campsites. Matter of fact, the only ones I’ve ever seen were heading directly away from me at a high rate of speed.
          Campsite bears are a whole ‘nother story. They’ll look right at you as they’re destroying a tent of vehicle looking for free food.

  4. John Deaux says:

    Steel in his blood

  5. fjord says:

    2 for the price of 1

    Do they get to keep it?

  6. Sendarius says:

    So, when is the arrest and prosecution for violating hunting restrictions and illegally killing a bear?

  7. Tim in AK says:

    That is fucked up that one of them didn’t grab their rifle and finish it off after it rolled down the hill.
    Now there’s a pissed off bear out there just waiting for some other unlucky person to stumble across.

  8. larryw says:

    45 Super is a serious load, as far as 45ACP is concerned. Special brass with a thicker head required. Will beat the snot out of your 1911 unless you properly prep it with springs and barrel, but my trusty old USP 45F eats them up (not sure about G21’s unsupported chamber for these). Took a 200# boar quartering to me with one once: 200gr XTP went in between the neck and shoulder and shredded the entire gut sack. That’s the upper end of the safe and ethical spectrum for this load as I see it, and only because it was a short (under 25 yard) shot.

    From the article, I’d guess he hit the griz in the head and knocked it out. That’s the problem with the .451 bullets; hard to find decent jacketed that can penetrate thick bone. As a result, the bear wakes up with a headache and bad(er) attitude. They’re lucky it ran off instead of coming back for more, but now there’s a wounded bear wandering around.

    Why was this idiot packing a 1911 in griz country?

    “Preparing to dress out the bull, they put their rifles a short distance uphill, to keep them from getting bloody.” Dumbasses. Blood washes off rifles.

  9. Dan says:

    45Super is a better round than 45ACP for use against bears, it is similar to 10mm or 41 magnum in energy. However I would prefer either 44mag or 460 Rowland for Grizzly……NO pistol round is a guarantee when it comes to Grizzly or Kodiak bear.

  10. Waepnedmann says:

    My grandad was a government hunter and trapper. He used a.Ruger Single-Six in 22 magnum on treed lions.
    He shot them back in the lungs so they bled out and hit the ground dead.
    Otherwise, the lion would tear up his dogs.

    • Oswald Bastable says:

      Just like the old buffalo hunters- through the lungs and the die quiet.

    • Sanders says:

      One of the last professional bear hunters in Southern Arizona never carried anything bigger than a Single-Six on his hunts. He’d go into bear caves with that pistol. Crazy old guy. Bear never got him, but he couldn’t get away from the cancer.

  11. SemperFi, 0321 says:

    I live south of where this took place, big bears are an everyday occurrence in the woods here, as Kenny can attest to my photos.
    I went from a .45 Ruger Bisley to a G20 10mm with nuclear handloads due to weight and ammo count.
    But one cartridge that caught my attention was the .460 Rowland, which a few of my friends here now own (Springfield XD .45 acp). Power of a std .44 mag in a .45acp size case and very mild recoil. For any of you thinking of a nice woods pistol, look into the .460, it will amaze you, especially if you like a 1911 frame and dislike the heavy recoil of a .44 mag revolver. This is a cartridge for women and teenagers, it shoots so mild.


    • soapweed says:

      Semper: Thanks for the link. Used to listen to Johnny Rowland on an am station back in the nineties?? as he was coming out with the Rowland. Forgot all about the advantages.
      Sounded like the perfect southern gentleman. soapweed

  12. Thomas Doan says:

    Sig, where you been, glad your back.

  13. idaho bob says:

    I worked for outfitters in Wyoming for 10 years, and I gotta tell ya, the grizzly bear recovery is exceeding all expectations.

    They have learned that when they hear rifle shots during hunting season, the dinner bell has rung! Not just the gut pile, but maybe even a whole elk.


  14. Elk Tracks says:

    Some thoughts . . . .

    I live outside of Cody, WY.
    I’ve had friends and acquaintances mauled by grizzlies.
    Bears are everywhere out here nowadays. . . . .
    The population is booming, and they have to expand to survive.
    Dominant bears will kill and eat other bears, even their young.
    Decades of protection make grizzles treat gunshots like dinner bells.
    A needed season would soon weed out the more aggressive ones;
    and put the fear of man back into the others; as it should be.
    A grizzly bear is nothing like a black bear, in disposition, or in constitution.
    I always carried a 4″ .44 mag; until I commissioned my 4-3/4 .454 Casull.
    Now, when in certain Grizzly country, I pack my 4-3/4 .500 Linebaugh.
    My good friend John, did a beautiful job in construction. A thing of beauty.
    Unlike a .500 Smith at 5lbs; the Linebaugh modified Bisley is 2.8 pounds.
    Wonderfully balanced, precision craftsmanship, and grips contoured for me.
    Another friend, Von Ringler made the beautiful custom rigging for the gun.
    Those who say a handgun is unsuitable for bears . . . . Horse-feathers . . .
    A heavy pistol will take down anything that walks this earth…. If you can handle it.
    Out of my 4-3/4″ Linebaugh; a .510 diameter, 500 grain, hard cast bullet,
    travelling at an easy 1100 fps, will completely penetrate an adult bull bison.
    Penetration box tests have shown 58″ into water soaked Denver phone books.
    Wyoming is extremely windy and the mountains are fickle with wind direction.
    Bear spray at times would come right back into your face . . . .
    Warning shots . . . I could see . . . IF you have the time . . . .
    Because . . . if they suspect you didn’t make a reasonable effort to not to
    have to shoot the bear . . . You WILL be put through the grinder… C.S.I. style.

    • SemperFi, 0321 says:

      I’m south of you 70 miles, same issues. Backpack in YNP almost every summer too. Got to shoot my first .500 Linebaugh over 25 yrs ago in Idaho, a deputy friend had just moved from Cody and had a nice custom Linebaugh Bisley for me to try. AWESOME!
      These big mouths don’t understand the rules and hoops to jump thru when dealing with grizz shootings. I have no desire to kill a bear unless absolutely necessary, and also don’t want the hassles from a federal interrogation. Doesn’t mean I’m not armed, I never leave my vehicle without my 10mm on my hip. 200 gr XTP (or 220 hardcast) at 1300 fps handload.
      Hunting elk alone and then gutting one is always fun, you want eyes in all sides of your head too, with bigger ears also. Nothing like getting your adrenaline going when you drop an elk just before dark. I hunt elk with a .375 H&H (270 gr Barnes TSX) for one reason, to stop a bear in mid charge, something a smaller caliber just won’t do.

      Was backpacking Pebble Cr/Cooke City this Aug when my flatlander buddy made the observation our bear spray was worthless today, we spent the day walking into a stiff headwind and any attempt to use it would have been futile, hence the leaded spray on our hips.
      Until you live and hike these woods here, don’t judge us as stupid, for you don’t understand what it’s like.

  15. John h says:

    Friend of mine was elk hunting in Wyoming with a bow and his guide had to shoot a grizzly that bitch slapped my friend broke his femur on a fire fall tree. The feds investigation lasted over a year and they never did find the bear which was hit with at least 2 12 gauge slugs. The first round was birdshot and didn’t even slow her down. It took almost 3 hours to get him to a hospital. He’s fortunate.
    John h

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