Bear Charges Former Police Chief Who Fights Him Off With a Light

A surveillance video captured a large black bear charging aggressively at former Eureka Police Chief Murl Harpham Saturday morning about 2 a.m. in the Weaverville area near Browns Mountain. Harpham, however, was having none of that nonsense. He chased the large bear off with a spotlight.

The video is a film of the video narrated by Pamlyn Millsap, a friend of Harpham. First, you see the large bear pursue Harpham’s large German Shepherd off the porch.

Then Harpham opens the door. At first the bear looks as if it will wander off the far end of the porch but then, at the last moment, it turns and charges directly at Harpham. “Hey, get out of here,” Harpham yells. He later told us that he struck at the bear with a large handheld spotlight. Blinded, the bear fled. Harpham chased after it into the dark for a bit before returning like John Wayne.

Harpham who has a residence in the Weaverville area said that he had been having issues with the creature. “The bear had been around the two previous nights,” he said.

Harpham said he was worried for his 105 pound German Shepherd. Last year, his dog had to be taken to the vet for a 6 inch slash on its head from a bear.

He didn’t want the bear killed though. “I love the animals around, ” he said. “I love the deer walking through. I got a fox pooping on the rail. So, Harpham called Fish and Wildlife. They are worried about the aggressive behavior and have already put in place a method to capture the bear. “A federal trapper set up a live trap,” Harpham said.



  • Haha old man has probly hit so many charging tweakers with that flashlight it was just a reflex. Well done.

  • After years of dealing with eureka tweekers……. A crazy bear ain’t shit. Yeeeee haaaaa. Go murl.

  • Trillium Hummingbird

    Time to remove the aggressive bear from the area near the smokie’s house. Be careful out there!

  • guaranteed, if you re-locate that bear to anywhere,,,,he’ll be back and not as nice as he is now. How ya gonna re-locate him with out tazzing, stunning, dart gun, net, etc. and just totally piss him off. Learn to live with him,if he just came around for the first time and did not find any thing of interest,,,,,garbage,,,food,etc..He may not come back at all. If he does come back and mess’s with you or anything associated with you or yours. Kill him, eat him and have a nice rug.

  • Wow oh wow!!You go Murl!!!

  • Lol, that’s impressive

  • Haha cool as a cucumber. Already this year there’s more bear activity than I ever remember, expect it to get way worse, no more dog hunting means population explosion.

  • this bear has been around the area for a while . soon he will be a dead bear because he gets in far to much trouble 🙁 . I wish his meat and pelt could be put to good use if that’s the case .

  • Murl, you stud you!!! Go buddy, go!

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    No doubt a member of BLM,

    Bear Lives Matter-

  • The bears are a problem this year, like they are in many years. A 400 LB black got close to me last week, but I was able to run him off. Not all bear encounters are bad, however. Some are just sad. Take this little fellow. I believe he was hit on the highway, crawled down to hide, and died.

    • photo file was too large to upload

      • Poor little dude, here’s the photo, John.

          • Chupacabra.

          • I found him dead in my fenced dog kennel (no dogs stay there) April 3. He had been there about a week, judging by the smell. I had been walking past him every day and never saw him tucked away under some junk. I figure he had been hit by a car on the highway and made it down to the kennel. There wasn’t a mother around, so she must have left after loosing him.

            I really like bears and hate to see negative comments/feelings/actions towards them, so I tried posting this photo with a comment, but the photo was too large, and I was too tired to crop it down to a smaller size. Many of us choose to live out in the so called “wilds”, and I believe it is up to us to learn how to live with these creatures, and not just kill them off because they become curious or hungry and invade “our” space.

            Last week a 400 pound bear came for a visit. I got my wife up for a look at him, her first of a bear in the wild, and we chased him off with a light. He ran down and swam across the river, where my neighbor shot him with 00 buck shot. My neighbor told me later this particular bear is a “problem bear”. A problem bear can be any bear that comes up to any house.

            I’ve buried five bears here over twenty years. One was a decapitated cub that floated in to my swimming hole. Several more have been killed along the highway near me. This one was the smallest; a beautiful cinnamon bear.

            • A problem bear is one whose territory has been encroached on by people who decide that his presence and acting bear-like is a problem. Being a native Humboldter, I have had my own “discussions” with black bears when backpacking…99% of the time, I have won them…only once did I have to give up and go back to bed, only to hear the branch from which my food was hanging break with a loud crack after “my bear” jumped up and down on it for about 45 minutes. They charge, but freak out even if you just raise your arms above your head and yell boo! Way different from a grizzly.

  • Awesome

  • Murl has always been my hero.

    I would have had no problem killing that bear.

  • Its almost like they live here.

  • I chase the bears away with a broom and a really loud voice. They come around looking for food, but I never leave anything out. It’s their territory, after all. We just co-exist with them as best we can.

  • Davey Crocket got nothing on Murl 🐻

  • Which one was the bear?

  • In order to protect pets and wildlife, pets should be indoors or in a kennel at night. Livestock should be in a barn and or protected by the right kind and number of dogs.

  • Love the narration, and the way the wife back-seat-bears about his “Turning his back on the direction the bear was”…..likely partly why the guy has lived so long and able to chase off bears. If there is another moral to this story it seems to be blind them…don’t think the broom one commented mentioned is going to be as much of a deterrent. The comments: which one is the bear…the one with the shirt; those are part of why I read these articles…good chuckles.

  • Just wondering, where do they move mildly aggressive bears like that just deeper into the forest or to a different location where he might leave people alone?

  • Safely trap him with a large caliber. Best solution by far. Relocating him only relocates the problem!

  • I want Murl on my team 😉 Bravo !

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