Kodiak bears are the largest bears anywhere on the planet—a distinction they share only with polar bears. A hunt for one of these creatures is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but 14-year-old Kavin Roberts was not hunting for bear when he came across one in late October. Instead, the Kodiak native and his uncle were out chasing deer when they stumbled into an adult Kodiak that had been stalking them. According to Alaska State Troopers, the bear had started following the pair during their deer hunt and ambushed them in an unspecified location on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Being a more experienced hunter than his uncle, Roberts fatally shot the brown bear at 15 yards.
“After, he called his mom to tell her what happened so she could report the Defense of Life or Property kill to the Department of Fish and Game. Having never killed a bear before, Kavin recruited two good Samaritans, along with the local Wildlife Troopers, to help him correctly salvage the large bear,” Alaska State Troopers stated on Facebook.
Wildlife officers determined that Roberts shot the bear in self defense. In the face of a bear charge, even experienced hunters have been known to freeze up, but the teen showed considerable courage and quick thinking by downing the bear at such close range. That act may have very likely saved the his life and the life of his uncle.
“Not many 14 year olds would stand their ground against a charging bear, getting a clean kill shot while protecting his elder. Alaskan made and grown!” wrote on commenter on Facebook.
“Glad no one was hurt. Great job on the troopers for pitching in and teaching this young kid proper skinning!” wrote another.
Although Roberts aided wildlife troopers in dressing the bear, the teen was not allowed to keep the hide or head. Under Alaska law, bears that are killed in the act of self defense or the defense of others are usually turned over to the Department of Fish and Game. Roberts was allowed to take a few pictures with the bear before it was confiscated.
Bear attacks on Kodiak Island are rare, but not unexpected. Even residents such as Roberts have to occasionally deal with a bear that is too curious for its own good. Earlier this year a Kodiak bear was killed when it tried to attack a local man outside his own home. Many Kodiak residents possess large caliber firearms specifically for bear defense—as well as bear spray—and in this case, the man was fortunate to be armed.
“It all happened in really tight quarters,” Nate Svoboda, Fish and Game biologist, told the Alaska Dispatch News. “He shot at it five times before it finally stopped and then once it was on the ground, it was still moving. So he shot it one more time and then it died.”
That bear was nine feet tall and was shot at 10 yards.
Image from Facebook