Hunter Who Shot Charging Bear With Pistol Shares Epic Details

Hunter Tyce Erickson has the story of a lifetime after recently taking down a Kodiak bear.

Erickson went viral over the weekend after several social media accounts shared a photo of the massive bear he took down in Alaska.

Naturally, I had to dive into the details. Erickson revealed in a podcast that they were tracking the wounded bear that he had shot with a rifle when it charged him and his guide. Upon being charged, the guide fired two shots from his rifle - at least one hit - but the bear wasn't down.

That's when Tyde fired with his 10mm to put it down before one final rifle shot from the guide, but there's a lot more to unpack!

Hunter who shot bear with pistol speaks with OutKick.

I reached out to Erickson to break down what happened during his trip to Alaska and Kodiak Island. The killing went down within a matter of seconds, and the details are incredible.

"The guide was in front of me and I was right behind him about 10 feet or so when tracking it. The bear charged him being in the lead, he hit the bear with his rifle on the initial charge we think in the chest, then his leg tripped up in the brush on the steep hillside. He racked another one while on his back and kind of shot from his hip. Not being able to see well being on his back now still tangled in the brush is when he yelled for help. I had my gun out and ready since we were tracking it. I ran to his side through the brush to clear the guide, not shooting over him, and the bear erupted in front of me with a little less brush. This is all happening in seconds. I am guessing around 15 to 20 feet. I didn’t walk it off exactly, we were hunting and didn’t really care. So close it was an easy target with the pistol being such a big animal," Erickson told me during an exclusive interview.

How many times did Erickson fire to put down the giant Kodiak bear? Not as many as you'd think. It only took a few shots at close range.

"I fired three times and after skinning the bear, found a bullet in the chest we believed to be from the guide's rifle and two bullets from my pistol. One in the neck and one through the back. I had 15 rounds, but the guide said to stop shooting when the bear rolled after my third shot. The skull is part of the animal you bring home, and he didn’t want it shot on accident with the pistol and broken. When the bear was skinned, it’s hard to see exactly all the holes so he may have hit it more than that, but that’s all we could see real clearly. One of my bullets may have hit one of the trees in the brush as the bear was not in the wide open," the outdoorsman turned internet hunting sensation further explained.

To recap the ordering of fire, it is as follows:

  • Tyce hits the bear with a rifle to begin the tracking process.
  • Guide fires two shots from his rifle as the bear charges them.
  • Tyce fires three shots at the bear with his 10mm.
  • One final shot from a rifle as it's down for the count to put an end to it.

Naturally, I had to find out why Erickson chose a 10mm as his sidearm in addition to his rifle while hunting a bear, and he put a lot of research into the choice.

"I chose the 10mm because I watched a video on YouTube where guys were shooting a 10mm into gelled bear skulls to reenact a charge, and they were showing how they penetrated and broke down the bear. It’s also a bigger round. It can hold 15 instead of a revolver, which I believe only holds 5 or 6. I don’t own one, so I don’t know for sure off the top of my head. Very comfortable gun to shoot and accurate. I practiced with it at home beforehand to make sure," Erickson explained.

He also shared a solid pro-hunting message when he told me the following about Kodiak Island and the benefits of hunting:

"Kodiak Island and bear hunting there is very regulated. It is an amazing and beautiful place. I hope it stays that way for generations to come. The fish and game spend a lot of time and money regulating and making sure the bear numbers are extremely healthy. We only harvested male bears. Dominant male bears will actually kill cubs so they can re-breed the females. It actually helps to increase the population taking larger boars out of it. The money to hunt them helps in protecting these animals and making them a valuable resource. It is a resource that helps to boost the economy in Alaska and helps to put food on the tables of many families. On average we saw two to eight bears per day over 14 days of hunting. This area only allows 4 bears a year to be taken and all males. Amazingly, beautiful place and hopefully through the current proper conservation it will stay that way long into the future."

Props to Erickson for taking down a Kodiak bear and also promoting the importance of hunting and conservation. Do you have an epic hunting story you want to share? Let me know at

Written by
David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture. He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics. Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.