ANCHORAGE - A fisherman shot and killed a sow grizzly as she charged him in the early morning darkness Saturday on the banks of the Russian River.
The encounter was the latest of several close calls between people and bears along Southcentral rivers and streams this summer. The Russian is thick with spawned-out sockeye that draw bears.
The grizzly surprised Garen Brenner and two friends about 2:30 a.m. as they packed up their gear at one of the Kenai Peninsula's most popular fishing spots, said Larry Lewis, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife technician.
Brenner fired twice at the center of the hulking shape closing to 4 or 5 feet away. The sow, estimated at 400 to 450 pounds, went down. Brenner then put three more bullets into her head.
The bear most likely was protecting her yearling cub, which waited well behind her above the steep bank, wildlife officials said. Lewis later tranquilized the cub, tagged and collared it and moved it to the south side of Skilak Lake.
Authorities are looking into whether the dead bear is the same sow that attacked a Soldotna mother and son hiking Resurrection Pass Trail on Friday afternoon about three miles from Cooper Landing.