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by Chuck Holton The 700 Club Amazing Stories [Not Fiction]

CBN.com - Kodiak Island is a sportsman’s paradise. People come here from all over the world to hunt and fish. But if you are going to come here looking for that trophy salmon, you’re going to have some competition – the Kodiak brown bear. It’s the largest carnivore in the world, so you’d better be prepared. The bears on Kodiak Island get large because of the abundant supply of salmon. They are capable of hunting for other food, but they will happily steal yours if they can.
Gene Moe is an avid outdoorsman who has been hunting the Alaskan backcountry for more than 50 years. He knows better than anyone that if a bear wants your lunch, it’s best to just let him have it. Gene took me back to the site of his most recent bear encounter…which he hopes will be his last.
Gene showed me a tree that had been gouged in several places down one side. Gene told me that that is the bear's way of marking his territory, so you better get out quick.
It was November 1, 1999. Gene was hunting deer in the wilderness near Kodiak, Alaska. He’d been out all day, and it was almost dark when he finally got lucky. But what he didn’t know was that there was another hunter stalking the woods nearby, and Gene was its prey.
"You don’t see far in these woods here, and I was bent over, skinning this deer out, taking the hide off when all at once I heard 'Raaahhh!'."
All Gene had to defend himself was a knife.
"The bear was on me, and he got me in the arm," says Gene. "Then he knocked me down. He came on top of me, but I had these big, heavy boots on. I knocked him off, and I fell here. But you know what? I got up before the bear got up. Then I really took that knife and I cut in his throat. He got my leg with a bite, but after I got that neck in there, he kind of released, and I took that knife and hit him in the vertebrae. The neck turned up, and he just sprayed me with blood. Then he went kind of away from our arena and he circled around."

Gene knew that if he went another round with the bear, he didn’t have a chance. But he did have a prayer.

"I said, 'Lord, please help me, Lord. I need help,' " Gene prayed.
The confidence that that prayer gave him was just what he needed.
"I looked at that bear, and I said, 'Come on, bear, the Lord’s on my side.' He made a jump at me when I swung with this
fist . I hit that bear so hard I caught him someplace up in the nose. He fell down, he bounced one time, and his head went into the moss," Gene notes. "I said, 'Is he dead?' So I hobbled back to get the gun. I said, 'I had better shoot that bear, too.' That was a big job in that this hand [Gene's left hand] was completely white from hitting that bear, so there was no feeling in this
arm, and this one [the right arm] was all hanging down. Then I asked the Lord, 'Please help me. If it’s our way, I got to go to the beach. I don’t think I can do it, Lord, but let’s try.' "​

I wondered if Gene had thoughts that he was going to die on that mountain that day so I asked him.
Gene told me, "It’s tough to say. I laid down to die, I know, three separate times. I asked the Lord, 'Will you take me home? Without that, Lord, give me strength so I can go.' I started down, and it was tough. It was hard. My hardest thing I think in life was coming down off that mountain. I was going downhill, I didn’t know exactly where the boat was, I was kind of mixed up a little bit, and all at once, it was a dark, dreary day, just about snow, and the sky had just opened up. Right across there I could see Afognak, and I knew that mountain there. I said, 'I’m right on line.' "
Miraculously, Gene made it to the beach. There he found his longtime hunting buddy, Tom Frahlich.
Tom remembers Gene making a dire request.
"He says, 'Just shoot me,' " Tom remembers. "I told him, 'No, we’re not going to do that. You tell me that tomorrow and maybe we will.' Let’s put him back together and get him back in the boat and get to some civilization so that we can get some help."
When Gene was injured, the only available phone within a 50-mile radius was a radio phone at a certain cabin. The people who lived there were nice enough to take Gene in, bandage him up, and call the Coast Guard, who were here within moments with a helicopter to take him to the hospital.
A month of rehab, two skin grafts, and 500 stitches later, Gene made a full recovery.
"Tom is the one that put this arm together," explains Gene. "This doctor said two days later, 'What medic did this?' It was just another lowly cement finisher."
I asked Gene if it was hard to stretch his arm now. Gene replied, "No, but I wouldn’t tell you if it hurt anyway." Not one to mope around, the 74-year-old is now enjoying golf again.
The bear, however, didn’t fare so well. In fact, Gene has that same bear skin hanging on his wall. But there’s one thing that Gene believes with all his heart: he was saved for a reason.
"Our Lord had something for me to do, or I would have never made it or been here," says Gene. "Since I was 14, the Lord has been my hunting guide and my fishing guide. I’ve been so blessed for all those years of having Christ on my side."
 

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I've read his story before, always enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it, nice to read it all over again.
 
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Great story. I think they had Gene on Wild West tv series. He had a Buck 110 folder I think.
My brothers and I have discussed hunting black tail's on Kodiak several times. We decided if we do it we will hunt in pairs. No solo hunting on Kodiak or any of the other brown bear populated Islands for that matter.
Yes they did. That`s where I saw/ heard about it.
 

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How is it that he only had a knife with him? Call me paranoid, but I don't go anywhere without a rifle, my side arm, and at least one knife, usually two. Of course, if you shot an animal and you are skinning it, you have to put the rifle down. But if you have your side arm loaded with ammo that can kill a bear, as well as a couple of knives, if the pistol gets knocked out of your hand, you can still reach for the knife.

Listen, its easy for me to say while I sit here critiquing that bear attack. Things happen fast and usually when you least expect it. Animals will stalk you and spring on you when you least expect it.

The best advice was Post above, NEVER hunt alone. I think I would pass on hunting Kodiak Island if I were solo. I don't even like to go solo in the woods and game lands of PA, but I usually don't have a choice.

Thanks for Posting this experience.



Mike T.
 

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I hear you miket. I do not go anywhere in the bush without a weapon (big bore). I would be on high alert if on Kodiak. I can virtually guarantee you I'd have my 1895GS at my side at all times along with a .44 magnum on my hip. The browny's in some of these locations have learned to go to the sound of gun fire in hopes of stealing a kill. Bears are smart opportunists. At the very least they will have a gut pile to consume. They will track your blood trail too as you drag the animal out of the woods.
Solo is just not smart in these locations. It may think twice if there are two hunters instead of one. Push come to shove two men firearms are better than one.
So far all of my black tail hunting in Prince William Sound was on islands that are not inhabited by brown bears. The magpies found me one day and harassed me to the point of leaving. lol They were not sure what I was but they knew they didn't like me. Every animal within a 1/2 mile knew where I was so packed it in for the afternoon.
 

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Whitewater:

"44 mangnum on my hip". Nice, Smart too! My side arm is a Ruger GP100 357 Mag. But I stay in the woods of Central PA, no plans to travel to Grizzly country. The average Black Bear in PA is about 200 lbs so I have always felt I could get by with a 357 sidearm. There was only one time that I got nervous from a Black Bear in PA. A very large boar (estimate over 400 lbs) came out of the woods a short distance from my camping spot, saw me, and headed right for me. Normally PA bears are just foraging for food or sometimes trying to panhandle a free meal, but that bear appeared to be up to no good. I was by myself, and I only had my 357 loaded with light personal defense ammo. Fortunately, a guy that owns a camp up on the ridge was coming up the State Forest Road and ran him off. Good thing for me. After that happened, I bought a box of Buffalo Bore 180 grain ammo for my 357 and ALWAYS have at least a Marlin 35 REM or a Marlin 45-70 with me at all times.


Cheers!



Mike T.
 

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Great story! Just goes to show that you should never give up and prayer works!
 

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Great story! Thanks for posting it, AlaskaDawg!

How is it that he only had a knife with him? Call me paranoid, but I don't go anywhere without a rifle, my side arm, and at least one knife, usually two....
Absolutely. I carry a can of bear spray (with an extra secured in my pack), a big ol' revolver, a fixed-blade knife, and a folder. A bear may eventually get me, but not without a fight.
 

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it is a great story and it pays to have hunting buddies along
 
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