Montanans are no strangers to bear encounters. Most times, it’s hard to tell who’s running away faster—the bear or the human. But when bears are hungry, not much stands in their way. They push through fences to eat calves, bust into chicken coops, knock down bird feeders, and pillage unattended campgrounds.
If bears become aggressive, pepper spray is recommended. However, if that’s not handy, you might have to improvise.
In 2010, near Huson in Missoula County, a woman let her three dogs out around midnight, not realizing a bear was a short distance away, snacking in an apple orchard. Two dogs started out into the yard. A third dog, a 12-year-old collie, remained with the owner in the patio. The two dogs sensed the bear and ran back into the house.
Before the owner could react, the 200-pound bear was at the door, mauling the collie. The woman screamed and kicked the bear but it persisted, scratching her leg through her jeans.
When she tried to close the door, the bear shoved in, blocking the door open with its head and paw.
Fortunately, the woman had a ready weapon. While holding back the bear with the door, she grabbed a fourteen-inch-long zucchini she’d harvested earlier that day from her garden. She threw it at the bear, bouncing it off its head.
The bear turned tail and fled.
The collie recovered from injuries and the brave woman only needed a tetanus shot.
The bear escaped and is still at large.
TKZers: Have you heard stories about someone who used an unusual weapon to ward off an attack?