Homeowner kills bears that return to property

Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008

FAIRBANKS - A Salcha man said he killed three grizzly bears Thursday night after they returned to his home and one of the animals charged him.

The sow and two yearling cubs broke into a garage and raided a freezer at Brandon Mattzela's property earlier this week.

The bears returned Thursday night to look for more food. The animals were already there when Mattzela got home about 9 p.m., although he didn't see them at first.

Mattzela had backed his pickup to his porch and was standing at the bed of the truck to unload a barrel of fuel.

"The sow was in the barn and she came steaming at me," he said. "I heard her coming before I saw her. I could hear the crunching of snow and she was woofing."

The cubs were inside the garage.

Mattzela said the sow chased him and he ran into his home. He said the bear then began pacing back and forth on the porch.

"She was staring at the front door, pacing back and forth, making a lot of noise," he said.

Mattzela said he grabbed a rifle, went upstairs and shot the animal through a window. He was able to get a good shot because of a full moon and a light amplifier on his scope.

He then shot the cubs when they ran up to their mother.

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