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Old 08-16-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
Jesse Joe
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
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Default Punch sends bear packing

Punch sends bear packing

Published Saturday August 14th, 2010

Hunter draws on Inuit knowledge to fend off hungry polar bear

WHALE COVE, Nunavut - Wes Werbowy can still see the polar bear's head pressed up against his tent's mosquito netting.


Wes Werbowy poses next to the tracks of a polar bear he punched in the nose.

"I wish I could find an artist to capture this image in my mind," says Werbowy, who survived a recent up-close-and-personal encounter with a polar bear with the help of an old Inuit trick. "It is burned into my brain - the eyes peering and the ears flat and the head about as big as a bushel basket jammed right toward your face. There was just this implacable stare for a thousandth of a second. And I thought, well, it's my day to die."

Werbowy was camping on the tundra outside of Whale Cove, Nunavut, on July 16 with three Inuk hunters he was training to be outfitters and tour guides. The party had set up camp with separate sleeping and cooking tents to minimize the bear hazard, but one large male bear didn't take the hint.

A light sleeper, Werbowy says he was awakened shortly after 3 a.m. in the pre-dawn Arctic twilight by a sound he didn't want to hear. "I can hear a bear inhaling with a snuffling sound. They do that when they're on the trail of a quarry - and it's right outside my tent."

He'd left his shotgun at the front of the tent. Werbowy started to unzip his sleeping bag.

"The bear heard that zipper. And that, to him, was the sound of food being unwrapped.

"He was just there - it was instantaneous. I've got a thousand pounds of bear, standing on my firearm, his face collapsing the screening of my tent right toward me where I'm still in my sleeping bag and staring at this black nose about two feet from my face."

That's when he remembered some words of wisdom an Inuit elder had once shared. The most sensitive part of a polar bear is his nose and if all else fails, take a swing at it. That's what Werbowy did. "I came up off the mat with as strong a fist as I could throw and I punched him as hard as I could right on the nose. It was like hitting a bag of thawed hamburger. Instantaneously, he just changed ends and vanished."
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Punch sends bear packing

I will say this--it did take a great deal of nerve to do what he did to fend off the bear. However, in my own personal view, it wouldn't have happened if man hadn't encroched on the bears territory. Don't people like that realize that by going into the space that is the bears habitat, that the animals soon loose all fear of man & all too quickly they learn to associate man with food & even quicker they soon consider humans as a food source? And when a bear does that, then they have to be put down, which is a sad thing as it seems the polar bear population is rapidly deteriorating. From my perspective, to a point we do need to cull out the unfit animals in the wild in order to insure a healthy animal population. But in return, man also needs to practice some self control in many areas.
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