Scary Bear Attacks Podcast

by Add Ventura

Some of the most frightening and astounding bear attacks from around the world

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Bear Spray Isn't The Only Weapn Alex Woods Used To Fend Off This Bear Attack

    Bear Spray Isn't The Only Weapn Alex Woods Used To Fend Off This Bear Attack

    Welcome back to Scary Bear Attacks! Today’s episode takes us to the interior of northern British Columbia, Canada, near a small town called Gitanyow. The mountains tower to above a mile high at their peaks, and the valleys between them are broad and heavily forested. In most of these broad valleys, tangles of willow, alder and tall grasses screen deer, elk, moose and woodland caribou. You may even see American Bison browsing on grasses munching their way across meadows. Predators including cougars, wolves, coyotes and black and brown bears stalk the riparian zones to surprise their prey. It is in this setting that our episode today takes place. On June 26th of 2019, fifty four year old Alex Woods was walking alone near Gitxsan Village just a few miles from his village Gitanyow. He was a forest pathologist and was going to check tree roots for a disease known as Armillaria Root Disease in old growth stands of forest. Alex was a lean built man who wore his silver beard trimmed short. He had the GPS coordinates all entered into his device, but was an old school type of guy, so he just took a heading and hiked in the general direction. He had spent the last few decades in the deep woods and routinely hunted and floated the rivers. As he walked through the foliage he noticed a freshly broken stem of a fireweed plant. Knowing this doesn’t happen unless a large animal has passed by, he took mental note to pay attention to his surroundings. He began yelling “Yo Bear!” repeatedly to let anything that was around him know he was there. He didn’t want to end up in a close range standoff with a moose, let alone a surprised bear. A few hundred yards into his journey, Alex came up on a steep slope covered in hemlock and balsam fir, burned from a wildfire a year or two before and was open consequently. The small creek at the bottom babbled refreshed plants and animals alike, along its banks. Given the noise from the creek, Alex decided to raise his while yelling “Yo, bear” as he descended the bank. Just beyond half way down the slope, he saw some morel mushrooms and plucked a couple for his dinner later. After he picked up the mushrooms and stood, he noticed a black bear running directly at him. It wasn’t grunting or growling. The bear didn’t have drool dripping from its lips. It simply sped toward him as if it was going to run right past him. It closed from 100 feet, when he first saw it, and quickly climbed the steep slope toward him so fast Alex wasn’t sure what he could do. Alex quickly maneuvered himself behind a small tree with a tree laying at its trunk and began yelling at the bear. He reached his hand into his vest and pulled out his bear spray figuring that one blast from it would probably send the bear scampering in the other direction. The cap on the bear spray was stuck and he fumbled with it, trying to get to function as the bear approached him. The next thing Alex knew, he saw a huge bear head with its mouth wide open and ready to bite into his abdomen. One thing Alex had working for him was the steep slope he was climbing down. As the bear labored up the slope, its head happened to line up for a perfect defensive strike from Alex. He yelled again, then mustered his bravery and kicked the bear as hard as he could right in the jaw. Between Alex’s kick and the steepness of the slope, the bear slid back down the slope several feet. It then began to run around the tree to get at him. As the bear approached again, Alex yelled louder and kicked in the head as hard as he could one more time. This really rattled the bear, as it ran to a nearby tree and climbed several feet up and stared at Alex. The man was hoping that this encounter was coming to an end after the brief struggle, but in the world of bears, struggle is always part of survival.

  • Valerie Theoret and her baby were killed by this brown bear

    Valerie Theoret and her baby were killed by this brown bear

    Welcome back to Scary Bear Attacks. Thank you for helping us reach 70,000 subscribers! Today’s episode takes us to frozen north of Yukon Territory, Canada, near a small town called Mayo. It lies about 250 north of Whitehorse and is surrounded by wilderness as is the homerange of the native tribe known as the Big River People. This area has a subarctic climate and temperatures range from -80 degrees fahrenheit in winter, which lasts about 6 months, to 97 degrees in the summer, with extremely short spring and fall seasons. This area receives about 12 inches of precipitation per year, but most of that falls in the winter season as snow. With some of the nation's highest mountains here in the Saint Elias Mountain Range, the peaks stay covered in snow year round. In the southern part of the territory Boreal forest gives way to tundra. Black Spruce, White Spruce, Quaking Aspens and Balsam Poplar provide a sheltering canopy for Caribou, Moose, Mule Deer and Elk to hide in. The predators of this area are plentiful and include wolves, Black, Brown and Polar Bears as well as cougars. It is in this setting that our story begins today. Valerie Theoret and her companion, Gjermand Roesholt had just ten months prior, welcomed their first child, Adele into the world. She was originally from Quebec and moved here about ten years ago. She made fast friends and immersed herself in the Francophone community in the area. Valerie was nearing the end of her maternity leave from her 6th grade teaching position, guiding children in French Immersion at Whitehorse Elementary school in Whitehorse, Yukon. Gjermon was the owner operator of 37 years old and the owner operator of a company called Wild Tracks, which guided hunting, fishing and trapping expeditions. He was from Norway originally but blended in in the territory and its rigorous wilderness folk. The family had purchased one of the 360 trap lines in the territory about three years ago and it was located near Einarson Lake. Here he harvested wolves, foxes, lynx and other furbearers, and she would design and sell trinkets from their fur. They would take their wares back to town and sell them at trade shows and events. While visiting the cabin, the family would live off the land and enjoy their remote haven together. Their friends indicated that they were well aware of the dangerous animal life in the area and were very experienced outdoors people. Running a trapline is a labor intensive and perilous pursuit. Gjermond would frequently have to leave Valerie and their daughter at the cabin while he ventured on foot or snowmobile along their trapline to harvest animals caught in them, then reset the traps to continue to catch more. This way of life was so important to them they had been discussing doing it full time and year round. Their friends described them as having the time of their lives doing what they loved together. Given their experience, they knew they had to keep things clean around their cabin. They didn’t leave food scraps or waste around to attract unwanted visitors. However, in their shed they stored organs and entrails from animals to use in their traplines as bait. They never had a problem with animals invading it though, as would use it up as the winter passed. On the morning of November 26th, the family ate breakfast together and enjoyed each other's company. Gjermon rounded up his trapline equipment and loaded it onto his snowmobile. The couple chatted as he got ready to do his trapline check for the day, and once he was ready, Gjermand headed, with his snowmobile leaving a distinct trail for him to follow to get back home. Somewhere between 10 am and 3 pm, Theoret decided to take Adele for a walk and enjoy the scenery and solitude together. She bundled the baby up as well as herself, and placed the baby into the backpack carrier for the trip.

  • Nikolay Irgut did something extreme to keep this brown bear from killing him

    Nikolay Irgut did something extreme to keep this brown bear from killing him

    Welcome back to Scary Bear Attacks! Today’s episode takes us to Southern Siberia to a province in the Russian Federation called Tuva. This area is poverty stricken and is renown for its crime and drug abuse. The temperature here can drop to -80 degrees in the winter and over 100 degrees in the summer. The Siberian Larch, Laurel leaf Poplar and the Scots Pine are among the tallest trees here and Kites and Kestrels hunt the Chee and tufted hair grasses. A few of the common animals here are wolves, snow leopards, mountain sheep, antelope, reindeer and brown bears. It is in this wilderness setting that our episode takes place. On June 1st of 2019, twenty nine year old Nikolay Irgit was headed out to the wilderness near his hometown of Khut, with several of his friends to gather horns and antlers that were shed by animals in the winter. Some of the animals that died in the winter would leave behind their horns that could be sold on the black market for money. This activity required a permit issued by the local government but Nokolay and his friends declined to purchase theirs as it bit into their profits. In his everyday life, Nikolay was a school caretaker and happy father of two sons and one daughter he was raising with his twenty five year old wife, Aida. Given the condition of the local economy, Nikolay and his friends couldn’t afford firearms, nor bear spray. They didn’t even bother bringing knives along with them. They weren’t planning for any confrontations in which they may need them and wouldn’t be long in the woods. They had planned a quick trip and to return to their families by nightfall with their haul. Shortly after arriving at the area they planned to search in, they began to spread out and looked in their own spots for antlers and horns. As Nikolay walked around for a few hours he began to push his way through some dense brush. He emerged on the far side of the bushes and glanced up. His eyes widened as a massive brown bear filled his vision, glaring at him. The bear was just a few yards away and Nikolay had walked nearly right up beside the giant bear, which was estimated to weigh around 1,000 pounds. As soon as their eyes met, the bear flung itself toward the man letting out an ear shattering roar as it came. Nikolay clenched his fists and yelled at the bear as it advanced, hoping the bear would bluff charge him, then run away. But, if bears operated on our hopes or expectations of them, we would all be safe when we encountered them. The bear didn’t bluff charge him but opened its mouth wide and reached out for his arm. Nikolay instinctively punched the bear in the head but this didn’t even make the bear flinch, as it immediately bit onto his forearm and lept on top of him. The bear immediately bit into his abdomen and tore at his flesh, then moved up to his chest and ripped flesh there. He was careful to point out whenever he relayed his story that the bear never clawed him, but exclusively used its powerful jaws. It apparently wanted to devour him immediately. While being savaged by the angry bear, Nikolay didn’t smell anything. He didn’t feel anything during the attack. He began to lose any regard for his own life but thoughts of his children and wife flashed through his mind. He loved them so much and didn’t want them to be without him. After the bear bit at his chest, it changed its savage focus to his head. It clamped its massive jaws onto his skull and began tearing his scalp just above his left forehead. One of its canines punched into his left eye orbit tearing his flesh from the middle of his eyelid back a few inches toward his temple. At that point, Nikolay opened his eyes and his entire visual field was filled with the enormous maw of the bear gleaming with huge teeth closing over the width of his face. As the bear bit into his face he felt enormous pain shoot through his body like electricity.

  • The Ten Square Sitka Spruce Bear

    The Ten Square Sitka Spruce Bear

    Thank you for watching Scary Bear Attacks. Today’s episode takes us to The Nalchin Public Use Area just northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. This part of the state consists of steep mountains covered in fir and pine stands and forests, as well as birch trees, alder and willow bushes crowding the valley floors. There are hillsides that are covered with shorter bushes as well, but most of the area is forest. The animals here are the typical Alaskan fauna, including moose, brown and black bear, as well as an abundance of fur bearers and birds. I was hunting moose near Anchorage Alaska in the Nalchina Public Use Area, a huge tract of land dedicated to people to enjoy the woods. In Alaska, hunters are allowed to hunt moose for subsistence, that is, for food. The requirements to harvest are that the moose must be a bull of a specific size or larger. I had been hunting in my secret spot for about 8 years and it had been a reliable place to find bull moose that met the subsistence hunting minimum size requirements for each of the last 8 years. This is no small feat in moose hunting and this place is what hunters call a “honey hole”. That means that is a sweet spot to harvest the target animals. In the fall of 2011 I was doing my normal yearly preparation before heading to my honey hole by float plane. I took careful inventory of my necessities and tracked their weight as I would only have 180 pounds of cargo load to carry on my Dehaviland Beaver before passing the weight limit. I grabbed the usual equipment, my tent, sleeping bag, guns, ammo and distinctly recall carefully examining my moose call and being excited about how much meat it had helped me put in the freezer. The next morning I arrived at the small private airport and eagerly walked toward my small plane in the dark. My gear was already loaded the prior day and all I had to do was buckle up and prepare for take off. I cracked the engine after completing my pre-flight review and then taxied down the short runway. As I gained speed and approached the end of the runway, my Dehaviland Beaver lifted off gracefully and away I went. I flew for a little over under an hour and saw the Talkeetna River come into view. In stretches of the river it is a steep canyon which can make for very frightening and riveting wind patterns at times. I followed the river to the point at which it turns west and I went east, gently landing at remote Stephan Lake. The lake is surrounded by a mix of tundra, bush and small patches of Sitka Spruce. Now Sitka Spruce are a particular species of Spruce tree which are adapted to the arctic and subarctic climate and grow in muskeg areas and don’t usually pass about 5 to 7 feet in height. This area offered tremendous views to observe for my moose. As I unpacked my float plane and tethered it to the shore, I paused to take in the cool October air and the freedom and loneliness that Stephan Lake always gave me. It centered me in many ways, and helped me keep perspective on life when I visited it. I set up my tent and laid out my bed and sleeping bag and prepared my dinner. After eating dinner and briefly reading my Bible I decided to get to bed. I was too excited to go to sleep right away and tentatively planned out my hunt the next day. Uneventfully, consciousness faded and I fell asleep. My alarm startled me awake at 7:30 AM. It was cold outside of my sleeping bag and I hurriedly got dressed and put on my stalking cap. I warmed up some oatmeal and sipped my coffee quickly so I could get on the trail as quickly as possible, then I remembered, it wouldn’t even get light for another hour. I decided to take advantage of having the time to start hiking toward a meadow that had often had bull moose and many other game animals there in the past. Utilizing my headlamp to light my way,

  • It Took 30 Shots To Stop This Grizzly From Attacking Elk Hunters

    It Took 30 Shots To Stop This Grizzly From Attacking Elk Hunters

    Welcome back to Scary Bear Attacks! Today’s episode takes us to the Two Oceans Pass area located in the Teton Wilderness area just south of Yellowstone park near Cody, Wyoming. This area features majestic granite peaks biting into the sky above lush forest of fir and pine. It receives a lot of snowfall each winter which keeps the undergrowth thick to hide the elk, deer and moose that tiptoe along the meadows and streams in the valleys. Cougars, wolves and black and brown bears round out the dominant predators that stalk the hillsides. Drawing skiers, horseback riders, trail hikers and sightseers, this area is a sportsman's paradise and it is dotted with expensive cabins here and there. On September 27th, 2021 licensed Wyoming hunting guide Tyler Barnard was leading his clients, who were father, whom we will call Dave, and son, whom we will call Juston on an elk hunt. The party was pursuing a large bull elk which to them was a satisfactory specimen. Rifle season for elk had just started about a week before and the country was rough hiking, wild and rigorous. On the 27th the party had found and shot at the bull they had their eyes on. The shot seemed like a good hit and they followed the ample blood trail for a good mile or so before the blood trail dwindled, limiting their ability to follow it any further. Recognizing their dilemma and limited abilities due to sunset, the men called it a day and agreed to return first thing in the morning to follow up on the bull and hopefully reclaim its carcass and antlers as best they could. They resumed the search on the 28th to no avail. They returned for one last good look as ethics require hunters to do. It was 85 degrees out that day so they knew they would have to find it as soon as possible, fairly confident that the meat they wanted was bone soured if not completely rotten by now. Even if they did lose the meat the Wyoming game laws required them to do every reasonable thing to recover the carcass and salvage it if possible. The morning of September 29th, the trio head out to find another bull, as they were convinced the bull they shot a few days prior may have escaped and not died at all. At about 8 AM they were hiking up a trail in the same area they found the prior bull in, when they noticed a whiff of death in the air. Elk meat has its own distinct smell as do most species, so the men decided to investigate a little more. With fair certainty that the smell was coming from the bull they had previously wounded, the men left their rifles on their horses and began walking to the edge of a small ridge that the smell seemed to be coming from. As they crested the ridge they could see small pines protruding from numerous larger trees now dead and blown down by winds and decay. Because the pines were young the visibility was limited by their low canopies. Visual lanes appeared but mostly were limited to about 25 yards at most vantage points. The men briefly discussed how they had to go about the act of recovery. They agreed to look for the bull and then locate the carcass with a pin on their GPS. Next, they would have a recovery team come in and reclaim the carcass and the antlers after they had tagged it. Edible or not, the hunters had an ethical duty to tag the elk and they were dedicated to the ethical practice. Now, these men were no dummies. They came in loaded for bear, literally. Tyler carried a 10MM model 20 Glock loaded with Buffalo Bore 190 grain hard cast bullets. This is a powerful pistol but is obviously nowhere near as powerful as even a smaller caliber hunting rifle. Justin was also packing a 45ACP with a red dot sight and a 15 round magazine. He loaded it with Hollowpoint +P self defense ammunition. Dave wasn’t carrying a sidearm, but did bring along his can of bear spray just in case. It turned out they would need every bit of the firepower they brought with them on this day.