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You never want to end up in a situation where you have to defend your life from a charging brown bear, but just pray you react as quickly as Elliot Clark did if you end up face to face with an angry bear.

The 11-year-old was out on a fishing trip near Game Creek in Alaska with three family members and three dogs when a brown bear came out of nowhere and charged them.

“There was four of them in a line. My son was third,” Elliot’s father, Lucas, said. “The bear came down the trail at them, fella in the front, who was his uncle, the bear was on him so quickly that he didn’t have time to take his rifle off his shoulder.”

The bear pushed the first two men out of the way and was running right at Elliot and his cousin.

Thinking quickly, Elliot aimed and fired his pump action shotgun and shot the bear, hitting its shoulder with birdshot.

“That first shot hit him in the shoulder and did absolutely nothing,” Lucas said. “The next shot hit him in the nose and traveled down through the neck.”

After another shot downed the bear, both Elliot and his uncle took a couple more shots to finish off the bear and kill it.

Elliot’s quick reaction was also due in large part to not having a sling on his gun, which required him to carry it in his hands. His father believes having not gotten around to equipping the shotgun with a sling ended up saving all their lives.

“He was carrying it in his hands rather than on his shoulder,” he said. “That was the problem with the other ones, when the bear came at his uncle, he had his rifle on his shoulder and the bear was very close, so he couldn’t get it off in time.”

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