Fairbanks man shoots grizzly bear he says was charging him

A Fairbanks man says he shot a grizzly bear as it charged him on Monday in a neighborhood woods northeast of town.

a brown bear with its tongue stuck out
A grizzly bear eats berries near the Denali park road on August 21, 2019. (NPS Photo / Emily Mesner)

Robert Wyble, 48, said he and his son Kendall and the family dog were hiking Monday in a familiar area past the end of Smallwood Trail near Mile 7 of Chena Hot Springs Road when the grizzly sow charged.

“Both of us kind of thought it was a moose for a split second and then then I could tell for sure that it was a bear,” Wyble said.

Wyble said his son and the dog moved off the trail.

“Kendall did really well: He didn’t panic, he didn’t scream, which I’m thankful (for). That way the bear saw me first,” he said.

Wyble said he yelled at the bear but the animal kept charging.

“She was coming fast and she was growling,” he said.

Wyble, an experienced hunter, said he drew a .44 pistol he carried in a chest holster and took aim.

“I think she was maybe 5 or 10 yards from me when when I shot her and then Kendall said that she rolled and then she was about 5 feet from me. And then she took off,” he said.

Wyble said a cub came out of the woods and chased after the mother bear. He said he called State Troopers who looked for the bear from the air with a helicopter and with him on the ground.

“We tracked the bear for a couple hours,” he said.

Wyble said they followed a trail of blood until it stopped and did not see the sow or cub.
State Troopers say they are still investigating the case.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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