This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
Look, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but sometimes you have no choice but to point a shotgun right at a bear’s stupid, evil face and pull the trigger.
A man in Bella Coola, British Columbia—which is about 420 (nice) kilometers [260 miles] northwest of Vancouver—discovered this the other day when, you know, a grizzly charged him and his dog. The wild encounter between Lawrence Michalchuk, his dog, a shotgun full of buckshot, and a grizzly, took place in Michalchuk’s backyard in early October. Luckily, his wife caught the encounter on video and put it online.
It. Is. Intense.
Michalchuk told the CBC that a mama grizzly bear and her two cubs wandered into his yard and decided to stay there for a few days while he was out of town. Upon his return, he noticed the mama bear acting territorial toward his family when someone left the house, which left him with a tough decision.
"What are your choices? You leave a bear in the yard who thinks it owns your yard… and then your kids go out there?" Michalchuk told the national broadcaster. "By leaving them on the property, you're playing Russian roulette, and I'm not doing that with my kids or my family."
So Michalchuk got all dressed up in his nicest, brightest orange vest, grabbed his shotgun, loaded ‘er up with the good buckshot, slipped on some crocs and went out to confront the bear—here is where the video (which was shot by his wife and has over 200,000 views) picks up. He shot once in the air and, in the write up underneath the video, said that the bear then charged him. So he ran back into the house and the sow and her cubs started to leave the yard.
“I took that as a sign of submission, so I went outside again and when she got 65 yards away, I shot in the air again to keep pushing her along,” reads the write up. “After that shot, the sow turned around and looked at me.”
This is where the pants-shitting portion of the encounter unfolds. Michalchuk says he ran at the bear to "keep moving her on.” Well that, my friends, turned out not to be the best idea because the bear charged and it charged fucking hard. Michalchuk, who has experience with bears says he immediately knew this was “serious charge” and, to make it that much more terrifying, he only had one shot left in his shotgun.
So backing up at a rather quick pace Michalchuk loses a croc—which almost trips him—and aims his shotgun. He says that he aimed for her right side and not her face because he “didn't want to blind the sow.” Then as the bear is only feet from him, Michalchuk pulls the trigger and, BOOM, hits the bear in the side, dropping it temporarily.
The bear, having only been momentarily stunned by the buckshot, gets up, briefly bites the croc he lost, and continues the charge. By this time Michalchuk was in the house. Still though, the bear, being the killing machine it is, “kept coming toward the house with her mouth open, ready to bite me, and I slammed the door.”
“Holy fuck,” you hear him say in the video, “she was going to come in the house.”
After he slammed the door he said she turned and sped off with her cubs. Michalchuk said that he tracked the bear and it wasn’t bleeding. “I know she’ll be sore,” he wrote, “but she’ll now think twice about approaching people.”
Since the video has gone up, BC conservation officers announced they are investigating the incident and Michalchuk said that he’s faced some backlash and threats. This explains the detailed write-up and the exasperated “Read ‘The Facts’ below before viewing” which has been added to the title of the video. Nevertheless, though, Michalchuk has a story and a video for the ages. One that ends with him breathing hard and gasping out, “Holy Christ.”
We couldn’t agree more, buddy.
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