Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2005

Pa. man killed in hunting accident in Alaska

8/15/2005, 2:39 p.m. ET

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Pennsylvania man was killed when he stepped in front of an assistant guide attempting to shoot a wounded grizzly bear, Alaska State Troopers said.

Gary Kern, 37, of Gettysburg, died Sunday. He was shot while hunting with a guide service at the Chakachanta River three miles south of Beluga Lake.

Beluga Lake is about 75 miles northwest of Anchorage across Cook Inlet.

Kern had fired two shots and wounded a grizzly bear, troopers said.

As the bear fled into brush, the head guide ordered his assistant guide to shoot to stop the bear, troopers said.

The assistant guide raised his .338 rifle to fire. Kern stepped in front of the weapon and was hit in the head, troopers said.

Troopers say no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

Troopers from Soldotna flew to the scene by helicopter, trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said Monday morning. They hope to return to recover the body.

"They ran out of daylight and did not have enough room on the helicopter to transport the body last night," Wilkinson said.

The bear escaped and troopers also hope to track the wounded animal.

Kern had owned a cabin near Soldotna, Wilkinson said.

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