'Odd thud' wakes retired B.C. couple, ends in bloody battle with massive black bear
'I'm not afraid of bears, but this was a little over the top'
Sandy and Rod Haines were in a dead sleep in their rural Fruitvale B.C., home south of Castlegar on Wednesday, when there was an "odd thud" in the basement around 3 a.m.
The retired couple in their late 60s didn't expect it to turn into a hairy encounter that would end with four shotgun blasts and eventually a winch.
A "bigger than average" black bear had somehow let itself in their basement and shut the door behind it.
"My wife came face to face with it near the couch," said Rod who heard his wife scream and reacted fast.
He says he tried to scare the animal out the patio door using a chair, but it headed to the basement, where it was cornered and acting dangerous.
"He was running around ripping apart my basement, and I just shot him," said Haines, a retired ironworker who is no trophy hunter but said that he had little choice.
Haines said he grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun and took aim, firing four times.
"He was penned in and going nutty down there."
The bear never charged and the Haines's suspect the big male smelled garbage in the basement and pushed open a door then, somehow, got trapped inside.
"Thank goodness my husband has a shotgun, and he had to shoot it. What else could you do?" said Sandy.
Her husband had never even used the gun before. He only bought it in case of an unwelcome bear.
"I'm goddamned glad I did!"
The animal measured more than 1.5 metres long, and it was so heavy they had to use a winch to remove it from their house.
Fish and Wildlife officers were taking too long, so the couple, in proper rural fashion, managed it themselves and the carcass was eventually taken to the dump.
The shock hit Sandy hard on Friday, and she says she's getting dead bolts for the doors, as bears are always an issue in their yard.
"I mean I'm not afraid of bears, but this was just over the top!"
With files from Bob Keating