American Fork Canyon, Utah

From the Salt Lake Tribune of June 19, 2007

Killer bear taken down

Authorities confirm that the animal shot to death Monday is the one that mauled Samuel Ives, 11

The barking hounds told Luke Osborn the bear was near. After hours of trudging up and down a mountain, through thick forests and soft dirt, Osborn and his fellow hunters were closing in.

Then, 10 yards away, he could see five hounds snapping at the bear. Osborn, a federal predator-control hunter, raised his .243-caliber rifle and fired a round into the base of its neck.

With that, the hunt for Utah’s first documented killer black bear was over.

The bear is believed to have dragged 11-year-old Samuel Ives from his tent about 11:10 p.m. Sunday. The boy’s family – his mother, stepfather and a 6-year-old brother – heard the boy scream “something’s dragging me!” and rushed to help, but he and his sleeping bag already were gone.

Still, it was the second attack Sunday in the same camping spot.

American Fork resident Jake Francom said a black bear swatted at his tent about 5:30 a.m. The bear hit him twice in the face through the tent wall before he woke up and realized what was happening.

“The first two [swats] were just kind of a feel,” Francom said.

The bear struck again, hitting him in the head and knocking him to the ground. He said he felt the bear’s claws.

“When he saw me move in there, he gave it hell,” Francom said. “The sucker struck right through the tent and tore my pillow.

Francom yelled to his friend, “Troy, get your gun!”

Troy Strode woke, pulled a 9 mm handgun and shot into the air. The bear started running toward a hill about 50 yards away as Strode fired about six shots. Francom quickly put his girlfriend and Strode’s girlfriend in his truck.

Then the bear returned to the crest of the hill. “It just stared at us for about 30 seconds,” Francom said.

Francom’s brother, Kip, threw rocks at the animal and it walked away.



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