In this day of high-powered rifles and ballistic efficiency, the big-game hunter is seldom injured except by other big game hunters. It is a sobering rarity when an animal itself turns the tables but it has happened twice this year, and in both instances experienced hunters were the victims.
Just a fortnight ago in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Ken Scott, only 29 but a practiced woodsman, and Vivian Squires, a hunter of somewhat rusty experience, were rushed by a grizzly. Squires was bowled over and bitten in the foot. Ken Scott shot the bear twice with a .30-06, wounded it, but did not down it. The grizzly retreated, leaving a trail of blood. Eager for the trophy, the men tracked the bear into a jack pine thicket—a maneuver risky on several counts. A wounded grizzly in dense cover is an animal of legendary maliciousness. One of the two hunters was of admitted inexperience and Scott, left-handed, was using a rifle with right-hand bolt action. Both hunters opened fire, and the 700-pound bear charged. Scott's rifle jammed and, before Squires could bring help, he was mauled to death.
On April 16 of this year near Anchorage, Alaska, Lloyd Pennington, a professional guide, and Everett Kendall, a barber, prodded at a denned-up bear with sticks. It is an old, ill-advised stunt designed to bring a foggy, bewildered, hibernating bear out where it can be easily shot. This bear charged forth anything but sleepy. Pennington was killed before he could shoot. Kendall's rifle was found empty but Kendall also was dead.
Bears are not the only animals to take advantage of human imprudence. In 1954 young Billy Reed of Grangeville, Idaho, bent over to cut a presumably dead elk's throat when it lashed out, driving the knife into Reed's leg. In 1953 Keith Burns, a 67-year-old packer of Twin Springs, Idaho, was guiding a four-man hunting party into the Sheep Creek country. In the process of navigating a steep switchback, one hunter fired at a bull elk. The bullet glanced off the base of the bull's rack. It charged, knocked Burns from his horse, gored two pack mules, left Burns with a broken arm and several broken ribs.
Encounters such as these are a matter of record in every hunting area. Veteran hunters who think "this couldn't happen to me" will do well to remember Ken Scott, Lloyd Pennington and Everett Kendall.
A GOOSE IS COOKED
In Wahoo, Nebraska last week a blue goose flew over the home of William Behrens, a telephone company employee. Mrs. Behrens saw the bird, let out a goose call and summoned it back. Behrens took over the call and kept the goose circling, enthralled, while Mrs. Behrens went for his shotgun. Mindful of a Wahoo ordinance that prohibits goose hunting inside the city limits, Behrens then got into his car and—honking out the window—lured the goose eight blocks to the border, shot it and drove home for dinner.
Whooping cranes were in the news again last week and John O'Reilly sent this report from Washington: