The Killing at Bartell Creek

This is the short version of this story, rated PG for general audiences.
The long version is seared into my memory, it is a much longer version, full of split seconds and details.
Too much to share here, some of wich is not rated PG at all, I will probably just keep it with me, it is mine to carry.
It has taken me a long time to get around to this one, maybe for the best, time numbs the wounds…

The Killing at Bartell Creek

It was 1987 and I was house sitting on the Tok Cutoff while on a construction project that I had designed. One night a black bear came round, not a little one, but  bigger than me, a 280 pounder. It was clear from the get go he wanted food and smelled it in the house and he was willing to come through me to get it. Three days of cat and mouse ensued. He even got inside while I was at work and I searched room to room with my 44 cocked and finger on the trigger, heart pounding, but he got away. That third day he was coming in again but I had my 45-70 Marlin on the kitchen table with bear loads in it. More cat and mouse, but finally he was out in the open and I pulled down on him with the big gun, now he was the mouse and I could see he knew it. I put him down with a single shot but to my amazement he got back up and and charged. More cat and mouse, but he ended up in the woods, so I went in after him, the adrenaline running high, to find him expired. So that’s the Killing at Bartell Creek, I killed the bear before he killed me.

A song comes to mind now after all this time.

Perhaps this bear was like Poncho, and me like Lefty, after all I only did what I had to do…

>>>Poncho and Lefty

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20 Responses to The Killing at Bartell Creek

  1. Horst says:

    Wow, quite the story, I do love Willy Nelson, great song. Glad you are still around to tell it.

  2. john says:

    being bear food…. not good

  3. Pat says:

    Wow is really a bit of an understatement!I am very glad it was him and not you.

  4. Sue says:

    Yes you did what had to be done,I too am glad it was him not youTake careSue

  5. Terry says:

    Frightening even in the short version. Glad for the way it turned out.

  6. Fizz says:

    Wow. I\’m glad it turned out good for you. Sorry that it turned out bad for the bear. Too bad, but still very glad you\’re alive.Hugs.

  7. kïrstin says:

    im glad you won. very glad. my grandfather killed a black bear that was charging him, many years ago. i do not know the circumstances, only that the bear was nearly on him when he dropped it. hearing your experience puts a little meat on his event for me.your description painted a very clear picture for me – more than any camera could have done. thank you for sharing it. k☼

  8. J says:

    Good shot Steve!

  9. Raven says:

    OMG!!! That must have been a very frightening period, in a not PG at all version. Amazing encounter with a bear, a movie could be made there. We have to be careful here too, (the black bear) always looking for food. great story. Thanks for your comments to my Loose Tales…LOL.Raven xox

  10. Raven says:

    ps…is that the skull of your bear?

  11. Rhapsody says:

    ooohhhhh……………..very interestingHave a fab week My regards to the family

  12. Jana says:

    Hi Steve!That is a very personal story of you and the bear. I\’m sure your adrenalin had to be running high. Too bad that the bear couldn\’t be spared.I think that you wouldn\’t otherwise kill the bear if you didn\’t have to. And as you said time heals.

  13. Here I Am says:

    Only had friendly bears here so far. But I wouldn\’t hesitate to take an aggressive one down in a minute. Just like mean people there are also mean animals in this world who have no respect for bounders even in areas where there is plenty of room and food.

  14. T says:

    Oooo Steve!And how many times you have confronted with bear in the woods?Hug,T

  15. Jacque says:

    I am so glad you survived! Quick thinking and reflexes.pretty scaryHope you are having a great day!

  16. Jacque says:

    Thank you again for your kind comments, Steve…

  17. Neora Chana says:

    Interesting story. I would understand it would take a while to share it. A friend of mine had a story about a black bear bothering the people in a summer lake home community–until their intrepid Siamese male decided to take the bear on. Guess who won?

  18. Sarah says:

    Yes, you did what you had to do, Steve. It is a shame you had to be the one to kill him, that must have been a hard, hard thing. Fine bear, fine man. A karmic meeting. Perhap you\’ll meet again, in another realm. Bless you, Bear. Bless you, Steve.

  19. Arctic says:

    Wow, Steve before i read the rest, i had figured out some big story, yeah i am right, that big carnivorous skull is your trophy which never become true for most of people.i quit hunting last year, so this will never happen to me anymore except self-defense kill. live your the photo you and Jana. just back from holiday, and wish meet you some day.Wolf.

  20. Here I Am says:

    Hi Steve just coming by to check up on my space friends. So busy these days no time to blog or visit on a regular basis. I feel a nip in the air here. Where did summer go this year…. Have a great week Hugs Carrie

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