Alaska is a bucket list trip for millions of people who want to experience life in one of the most remote and harsh environments remaining in America.
Some just want to take a whale watching cruise and see a few icebergs, but some really want to get out there in the wildlife and do some hunting and fishing.
From moose and caribou to wolves and Dall sheep, the range of creatures is impressive, but there’s always the threat of running into one of nature’s most dangerous animals… bears. There are a number of bear species native to Alaska, including polar, black, grizzly, and brown bears, but in my opinion, the coolest is the Kodiak bear.
In reality, Kodiak bears are just brown bears that inhabit the Kodiak Archipelago in southwest Alaska, but their name and lore make these specific creatures some of the coolest on planet earth.
They are the second largest species of bear on the planet, after polar bears, and are around 1.5 to 2 times larger than grizzlies, weighing 660 to 1,320 pounds, with mature males averaging over 1,000 lbs. They grow to 8 feet in length and over 4 feet high at the shoulder and can live up to 30 years in the wild.
Despite their enormous size, they tend to eat mainly grass and berries, as well as some fish, but make no mistake about it, if the opportunity comes for some fresh meat, they’ll hop all over it.
Which makes what these fishermen encountered in Buskin River State Park that much more terrifying.
Two anglers were fishing for salmon in the Buskin River and were able to catch two absolute monsters when one of the local residents took note and decided it wanted an easy meal.
While we only see the end of this encounter, it’s pretty obvious what happened.
The guys had their catch on a stringer and a young Kodiak bear noticed and charged at them. The men then took off running as the bear chased them towards an area with at least one other person, who was filming.
Naturally, everyone’s first thought is to just drop the fish, let the bear get them, and move on with your life, but pausing the video to read the sign the cameraman shows proves they were following proper protocol.
Here’s what the sign posted by Alaska State Parks said.
“DO NOT forfeit fish to bears! This teaches bears that anglers provide an easy meal.”
As much as I would probably have ignored this advice in the moment, the fishermen made the correct choice in not giving up their fish.
Fortunately, the bear stopped chasing and turned around, but my goodness can you imagine the adrenaline rush that would have been?
I still absolutely want to go fishing up in Alaska, but man will I be so strapped with protective equipment it won’t even be funny…