A recent fishing trip led to a frightening bear encounter at Babine River

A group from Prince George, B.C. were off on an annual fishing trip when not only were they approached by a big old grizzly bear, but it also proceeded to lunge at them.

Narcity spoke with Jay Dupras to learn more about the experience he and his loved ones had.

He told us that he was with his father, nephew, son, and son's best friend on the trip. They had arrived at the Babine Bridge "between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to check the river conditions for steelhead fishing the next morning."

When they got there, there were already a couple of photographers on the bridge. "We figured they were there to get some pictures of the many grizzlies that feed on the plentiful salmon in the river," said Dupras. 

Next, they spotted the bear that would soon give them quite the scare. 

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What led up to the scary encounter? 

"As we came on the bridge we could see the bear feeding below along the bank," he explained. While that may sound scary enough for some people, Dupras told us that it was actually quite a common sight as his family has been "catch and release steelhead fishing" in the area for over 45 years.

"We moved to the middle of the bridge so we could see the bear and give us safe distance as the bears occasionally come up the bank and cross the road into the woods to access the river further up," he told us. 

Just as they had expected, the bear came up. "But what happened next was atypical from the behaviour we've seen in the past," he said.

What happened when the bear lunged? 

The bear started walking towards the bridge as if to come up and cross it. Dupras said the bears normally avoid the bridge because of heavy logging traffic.

Apparently, the bear was not deterred by the photographers.

"Normally the anglers in the area watch each other's backs and warn others when there is a bear in sight and the distance and direction it's moving. We would also attempt to deter the bear from accessing the bridge, especially if there are others behind us," said Dupras. 

The bear strolled past the photographers and right towards the fishing group.

"Our safest option was to group together and be as still and quiet as possible and allow the bear to pass. If we had moved off the bridge the bear could have viewed us as prey running away or as an aggressor trying to get to the food source."

Dupras says that when the bear lunged soon after, it was a test to see if they would run or attack, but "because we did neither it continued on its way."

Did everyone get away safely?

Dupras told us that they were all a bit scared. "who wouldn't be when an 800-pound Grizzly lunges at you!?" he said. But luckily, everyone was totally fine. 

"It was an amazing experience and we were lucky it didn't turn out in tragedy, but I would be happy not to be in that situation again," he concluded. 

The video that has since gone viral was posted by Jay's wife, Lonnie. 

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