Bear doctoring



What killing a bruin has to do with getting things done for your state in the U.S. Senate is hard to say, but candidate Dr. Al Gross is campaigning as “Bear Doctor” in one campaign spot, and in another the claim is made “he killed a grizzly bear in self-defense after it snuck up on him.”

The problem is that there is no record Gross ever killed a bear, although he reportedly shot at one.

And that’s where this story gets interesting. But first for non-Alaskans, a little background.

There is nothing much more Alaska-manly than shooting a bear in self-defense. Gross’s ads, which have been swamping television in the 49th state, were a sizable one-up on the old tradition of Alaska candidates swinging a maul to mightily split wood.

Still, Gross’s claim to have killed a bear was little more than your standard election-season goofiness before Newsweek reported that “Republicans 4,200 miles away in Washington, D.C. really want to know” if the bear story is true.

“So badly (do they want to know), in fact, that the GOP opposition research and communications firm America Rising, based in the DC-area, has sought to dig up dirt on Dr. Al Gross by making a public records request about the Independent Senate candidate’s campaign ad claim…,” reporter Ramsey Touchberry wrote.


How exactly this information arrived in Touchberry’s hands is not made clear. The story says Newsweek made a public records request to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game which revealed the America Rising inquiry, but later says a photo of Gross with a dead bear and “a copy of the decades-old incident report from the Alaska Department of Public Safety” was provided Newsweek “by the Gross campaign.”

The story doesn’t say which came first, but it does conclude from the information provided by the Gross campaign that the candidate “did indeed once kill a grizzly in self-defense.”

Only that’s not what the information shows. An incident report from Public Safety at the time says “Jeffrey Jones and Dr. Alan Gross contacted FWP (Fish and Wildlife Protection) ref. they shot a sow bear (DLP)….Incident location: Sweetheart Flats.”

DLP is an abbreviation for “defense of life and property.” Anyone in Alaska is legally entitled to kill a bear in self-defense. 



    • You don’ t need a tag if you’ve shot it in self-defense. That’s why they refer to the DLP law…”defense of life and property”. The article explains that…I guess you didn’t read it thoroughly.

    • From 20-21 Fish and Game regs, pg 24 online

      “Bear locking-tags may not be transferred to another hunter. A nonresident bear locking-tag may be used for any other species for which the locking-tag fee is of equal or lesser value, but you must have a harvest ticket or permit (if required) for that species.”

  1. Sweetheart is a great place for hunting ducks from Juneau, and it has two characteristics everyone experiences. Unlike the duck flats in downtown Juneau, Sweetheart has lots of pintails. The other characteristic is the bears, both black and brown. I have had bears remain in the tall grass watching my dog retrieve one duck after another, seemingly fascinated and never causing a problem though I always had slugs at the ready. (In Juneau I have had bears become tangled in my decoys while the dog and I watched.) I was especially wary of sows with cubs at Sweetheart and would move the spread when I spotted that. Otherwise the bears just made everyone wary but I never heard of an incident. The bears there are accustomed to the sounds of shotguns. I have no doubt the bears pick up ducks at night the dog misses but the bears seem to know to not mess with the duck shooting, surprisingly. We named some of the bears that seemed to always be present. There were two we called Bill and Hillary back when this politician claims to have shot this one, and this bear looks like the one I called Miss Sally.

  2. Al is trying to portray himself as having “Grandes Cojones ” I think he is trying to emulate Jay Hammond, a man who doubtless had some influence upon his formative years. Trouble is I happen to know that Jay withstood bear charges without firing a shot, “bluff charge” was his take on the situation. That Craig, is real Alaskan Manliness. From the looks of this bear and the location where it was killed, I would posit that Al was a babe in the woods and possibly knew little of the wilderness.

    • Gross can’t find the back side from the front side of his own thong. Gasbag doc with no Alaskan manhood. Complete bs liar!

  3. I have no urge to Vote for him anyway….the only thing positive he has said so far is he has done the research and discovered that Alaska is next door to Canada..!! I am not at all sure if he knows that Canada is another country or may think it is another State.?? I guess I have to wait until he does further ‘research’.

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