On October, 21, 2022, Wyoming dentist, Dr. Lee Francis, 65 years old, was hunting elk with his 40-year-old son, in the area near Rock Creek, in the Sawtooth Mountains, east of Bondurant, Wyoming.
In this video from KSAL-TV, he gives an interview and explains what happened.
Dr. Francis is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He successfully collected a large grizzly bear with bow and arrow in 2013, during a hunt, perhaps in Alaska or Canada.
Several attempts to contact Dr. Francis have been unsuccessful.
Dr. Francis had separated from his son when he unintentionally stepped in front of the entrance to a bear den. He saw the fresh dirt, had drawn his Glock 10mm, chambered a round, and was backing away when the bear charged at him out of the den from 10 feet away.
The best interview about the encounter appears to have been in an article at cowboystatedaily.com. The article says Dr. Francis used 130 grain hardcast bullets in his 10mm Glock.
“He came right at me, and he came on full blast,” the elder Francis said.
Counting the cartridge already in the chamber, he had 14 rounds loaded with 130 grain hard cast bullets in his Glock.
“I just remember shooting three or for times, right before he hit me,” he said. “Then I went down on my back.”
Hard cast bullets will punch through a bruin’s body, instead of
rapidly expanding and expending their energy in massive, shallow wounds
the way that hollow point bullets do, he said.
“Hollow points are meant for stopping people, not bears,” he said,
adding that it was also fortunate for him that his weapon was loaded
with hard cast bullets.
“A hit from a hollow point would have probably just exploded my whole foot,” he said.
He also said he favors the high-capacity, semi-automatic Glock over magnum revolvers.
130 grain hardcast bullets for a 10mm would be unusual. Perhaps it is a typo or misreading of notes, where another weight of bullet was intended. Buffalo Bore has a 220 grain hardcast bullets loaded for bear in the 10mm.
Dr. Francis was attempting to fend of the bear with his feet when he accidentally wounded himself.
In the over 123 documented cases where pistols were fired in defense against bears, this correspondent recalls only two where the person firing the pistol wounded themselves.
Coincidentally, both were with 10mm pistols. Both happened as the defender fell on their back and attempted to fend off the bear with their feet.
The first case was with Kim Woodman who had to shoot a grizzly sow at bad breath distance in 2016. Kim was backing away from the bear when he tripped and went over backwards. He continued to fire, and shot the tip off of the middle toe of his left foot as he shot the bear and attempted to block it with his foot at the same time.
Peace officers train to be able to back up without falling, and failing that, to avoid shooting their legs or feet if they fall backward.
Those techniques can be handy for people who carry pistols as a potential defense against bears. Here is one video on shooting while moving. Here is one for shooting from your back. The important thing to practice is not to point the muzzle at your own body, obviously a more difficult task in the middle of a fight for your life.
©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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