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Ketchikan man shoots marauding bear

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A black bear that raided a family's outdoor freezer was shot early Monday morning.

David Finley shot the bear 2:30 a.m. The wounded bear crawled into the nearby woods where Alaska State Trooper Lonny Piscoya found it four hours later, about 15 yards from the house

Monday marked the third time in 10 days that the bear invaded the property.

''It tore open our freezer. My husband put a lock in it. He tore through it like it was nothing,'' said Rose Finley.

David Finley said he is not a hunter and the only firearms in his home belong to his son. He first attempted to shoot the bear with a bolt-action rifle as the bear stood in the family's carport. He loaded the weapon and pulled the trigger three times but could not get the gun to fire.

''After that I went inside and talked (on the phone) to my son in Wrangell who said, 'You didn't take the safety off,''' Finley said.

Finley got his son's .308-caliber rifle and returned to the carport, this time taking the safety catch off. He shot the bear in the neck.

Finley said he has had trouble with bears on his property since the Ketchikan Landfill closed down in 1997.

According to Trooper Piscoya, Finley was within his rights to shoot the bear because he was protecting property.



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