ak boy shoots bearOne day last month 11-year-old Elliot Clark was hiking into a fishing hole near Hoonah, Alaska, with his uncle, a cousin and three dogs. Young Elliot didn’t have a sling on his shotgun, so he carried it in his hands. That likely saved lives.

Lucas Clark, Elliot’s father and a bear hunting guide but who was out of town at the time of the encounter, shared the story with the Juneau Empire:

“…four of them in a line … my son was third. The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front…the bear was on him so quickly that he didn’t have time to take his rifle off his shoulder.

The bear ran through the first two men, who were pushed to the side of the trail, leaving Elliot…in front of his unarmed cousin. The boy raised his pump action shotgun and shot the (bear), hitting it with birdshot, which is often used just to scare bears off, Lucas Clark said.

“…That first shot hit (it) in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing. The next shot hit (it) in the nose and traveled down through the neck,” Lucas Clark said.

The third shot went into the bear’s shoulder and his back, dropping it…. The bear was so close… there were powder burns on the bear’s mouth….

“As the bear slid past him and came to a stop, (Elliott) put a kill shot it him,” Lucas Clark said.

Lucas told the Empire that while his family practices shooting, caution and safety, when you live in bear country something like this “can happen to anybody. We pray for our kids every day.”

Alaska Wildlife Troopers say this was the first Defense of Life or Property killing in the Hoonah area this year.

Incredible presence of mind and shooting in the face of danger, way to go young man!

(Photo: Alaska Senator Shelley Hughes’ Facebook page.)