Swift reaction time and an even quicker trigger finger from an 11-year-old boy in Hoonah, Alaska, saved him and his family from a charging brown bear, Alaska State Troopers said.
Elliot Clark was walking in the woods near Game Creek with his cousin, his father, Lucas, and his uncle, along with three dogs when the bear appeared out of nowhere and charged them, The Juneau Empire is reporting.
Based on the details we’re hearing, it sounds like the four men were walking along a trail when the bear charged at them from close range. So close, that the men in front didn’t even have time to take their firearms off their shoulders.
The bear ran down the trail and was on Elliot’s uncle in no time. Elliot raised his pump shotgun and shot the bear with birdshot.
According to CBS News, Elliot’s father said the first shot did nothing, but two follow up shots downed the bear until finishing shots by the boy and his uncle killed it.
“That first shot hit him in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing,” he said. “The next shot hit him in the nose and traveled down through his neck.”
Alaska Senator Shelley Hughes heard of this crazy encounter and praised the young boy for his brave actions in a Facebook post:
Also, it turns out that Elliot’s father had apparently been meaning to put a sling on his son’s gun, but not getting around to it may have saved all of their lives.
“He was carrying it in his hands rather than on his shoulder, Lucas said. “That was the problem with the other ones, when the bear came at his uncle, he had his rifle on his shoulder and the bear was very close, so he couldn’t get it off in time.”