Procut Portable Sawmills in Prince George, BC Back to Stories and Laughs


Many years ago I was falling in Dome Creek, about 60 miles East of Prince George, BC. I arrived at the landing one morning, it was snowing big wet flakes, and visibility was about 25 feet. We always had a big fire going steady on the landing (for all the limbs and of course our huge coffee pot) and I am sitting on a log keeping warm, sharpening my saws etc. The skidders are warming up, the 966 loader is running, the D6 and TD25 dozers are idling, when I hear a shuffling sound behind me. I turned but did not see anything and went back to filing my saw chains. Next thing I see are the equipment operators running to the machines in a heck of a hurry, and I thought "boy are they determined to have a fast start". I turned back to my saws and out of the comer of my eye I spot something, I look, and 15 feet away stands the biggest, meanest looking grizzly bear I have ever seen, needless to say I froze.

Now the equipment I have mentioned are all open with just R.O.P.S. canopies over them except for the 966 loader which has a fully enclosed cab (has a heater even and in this case also a stereo with head phones - loader operators have it good) well I slowly look around for some escape. I haven't moved yet (nowhere to go), the pickups are too far on the other side of the landing, there is 2 guys each on the dozers, the line skidder operators are sitting in the skidders and there are 3 guys crammed into the cab of the loader, but it was hard to tell because all I saw were legs and arms pressed against the glass. At this moment frozen in time, everybody is looking at me, wondering what I am going to do (I am wondering the same thing myself. I am eyeing the grizzly bear, he is sizing me up for breakfast and here comes S.O.B. skidder operator #2 to chase the grizzly away with the skidder, only the bear doesn't move, goes up on his hind legs, and starts announcing to the world just who is boss around here. The grizzly attacks, I throw the chainsaw blade first, this makes boss bear really mad, I run like heck towards the loader as the dozer operators do not want any part of this and have taken off up the skid trails, ditto the other skidder, that leaves S.O.B. skidder chasing the bear and me looking at how fast I can climb a 966 loader to the roof. I make it, guys in the loader are desperately trying to close the cab door (cab is small) and I start laughing because boss bear is eyeing a foot stuck out of the door. Then the bear stands straight up. Well! Did you know that a fully grown grizzly bear can stand up to 8 feet, I try to make a decision on where else to go but my brain will not operate, boss bears claws are 6 inches long and are trying to swipe me off the roof. Here comes S.O.B. skidder operator #2 and bumps the bear in the behind, the grizzly goes berserk, I go berserk, guys in the loader go berserk because the door is not closed, and the skidder operator panics. The grizzly bear smashes everything in site, windows on the loader (3 guys fighting to get out) rips out hydraulic lines to the grapple, takes huge chunks of rubber from the tires and then turns on the skidder. He takes off with the bear in fast pursuit but the bear gives up and ambles off into the bush. I am now so relieved that I start laughing, especially at the guys still crammed in the loader trying to untangle themselves. I laugh so hard that I fall off the roof cracking a shin on the grating on the way down.

I have had lots of these experiences, like the day I cut into a tree with the biggest wasps nest inside, the day I cut up my little toe, worst day of my life when I cut off 3 fingers on my left hand, the loader that got away, the dozer that captured the wood's record for side rolls, and many many more over a 35 year span. All will be told in my new book I am trying to write along with everything else.

Have a great day.

Allan Cornes