The photographs displayed above are authentic, and the basic
story of their origins are correct, but, some of the
details have been changed as the pictures have
traveled around the Internet.
The slain bear shown in these pictures was shot in October 2001 by airman Ted Winnen
stationed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. His
encounter with the enormous ursine took place while he was deer hunting
on Hinchinbrook Island in Prince William Sound, Here is his description
of the story from the Anchorage Daily News reported in December 2001:
Alaska Vacation of a Lifetime on the Cheap.!!!!!!!
Winnen and three hunting buddies were dropped off on
Hinchinbrook Island in the heart of Prince William Sound by an air
taxi on a cool, rainy Oct. 14 morning.
Hinchinbrook is a 165-square-mile island near Cordova with an
estimated population of about 100 brown bears, giving it the
distinction of harboring the highest density of bears of any island in the Sound, according to Dave Crowley, Cordova area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Four to six bears are killed by hunters on the island every year, though rarely one of more than 400 pounds.
Winnen wasn't there to hunt bear. Instead, he and his hunting
buddies packed for a week of hunting for Sitka blacktail deer on
the remote, wooded island. Winnen did, however, pick up a permit
to shoot a bear just in case.
On day two of the group's hunt, the skies cleared at 8:30 a.m. Winnen and Eielson Staff Sgt. Jim Urban set out to follow a
creek bed upstream looking for deer. Urban was carrying a
.300-caliber Winchester Magnum. Winnen was carrying his significantly more
powerful .338-caliber Winchester Magnum in case a bear crossed their
In the creek, they spotted a deep pool with 20 salmon circling.
''By this time, the ... run was over and the salmon were looking
pretty nasty,'' Winnen said. ''We started thinking that we were
looking at a bear's dinner plate.''
That got Winnen in what he calls ''bear mode.''
The two men continued following the creek upstream until they came
a small island ringed with thick brush. Some end-of-season blueberries
clung to the surrounding brush. In the middle of the island was a
tree larger than what Winnen could fit his arms around. At the base
of the tree were signs that an animal had tried to dig a hole.
About 9:30 a.m., Winnen glanced upstream.
|Forty yards away was a big brown bear with all four paws in the
flipping over logs looking for salmon.
"He's a shooter," Urban said under his breath.
"So I started getting in the zone," Winnen said. "When I am going
to take an animal, I am really concentrating. We racked shells into
guns and took off our packs and left them by the tree."
The hunters moved a few feet upstream. About halfway between them
and the bear was a large fallen tree.
"I said, 'When the bear crawls over that log, he will present his
and we'll take him,'" Winnen recalled. "I brought the rifle up to take a
shot, but the bear moved over the log like it wasn't there.
"I thought, 'Oh crap.' I didn't have a chance to get a shot off."
As the bear kept coming along the creek, the two hunters momentarily
lost sight of him in a thicket, so they retreated back to the big
"We were sitting there concentrating when, a few seconds later, he
up right in front of us, about 10 yards away and he was coming toward
us," Winnen said. "I don't know if the wind was in our favor or what.
We were dressed in camouflage. He might not have seen us."
"I put the scope on him. I wanted to hit him in the chest, but all I
was nothing but head.
"My partner said, 'Shoot! Shoot!'" Winnen said. "I aimed for his
but the bullet takes an arc and I hit about two inches low in the
his muzzle and into his brain.
"He buckled backwards and raised his head like he was going to howl
at the moon, but nothing came out,'' Winnen said. ''I put two more
rounds in the vital area, then three more after that. Six total."
"It was amazing"
"We watched for a few minutes, I reloaded and Jim brought his gun
up on him," Winnen said. "I approached from the rear and poked him in
the butt to see if he was going to jump, but he didn't move. He was dead."
"It was amazing when I got close to him," Winnen said. I
picked up the paw and it was like, 'good God.' The thing was as wide
as my chest."
After the kill, Winnen and Urban spent six hours skinning the bear —
and trying to drag its hide and skull back to the Forest Service
Here's another photograph of the hunters posing with their ursine prey:
Dramatic to Funny A great book about fishing.