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Attacked by a Black Bear
Saved by Storm Whistle

I'm convinced your Storm Whistle saved my life about 10 years ago when I was bowhunting for elk in the Rawah Wilderness of Colorado. It was late in the evening and I was sitting on a ridge with my back up against an enormous spruce tree. My butt was on the ground. There was a bull elk upwind from me about 100 yards away, bugling, tearing trees apart, creating some incredible theatre to watch. When I'd blow on my cow or calf elk call he'd get stirred up again. Soon I realized it was too dark to consider shooting this bull elk with my recurve bow and I simply enjoyed the evening listening to him, blowing on the calf call now and then. Fortunately the wind died down and after another calf elk call I heard a loud WOOOF, WOOOF, over my left shoulder. I turned to see a large male black bear, a boar, coming in fast to my call. I went from hunter to hunted in a split second. Thank God I had your Storm Whistle around my neck and in my shirt pocket. I pulled it out, turned toward the bear and blew as loud as I could. He slowed up at five yards, stood on his hind legs above me, wheeled around and took off. The first thing I realized was I hadn't peed my pants. Being in brown camo clothing, that bear could have easily mistaken me for a calf elk and the ending might have been different had I not had your Storm Whistle. 


I started putting together a backcountry emergency system when I was nine years old. I tested my gear and skills for two years before my parents let me go into the Cabinet Wilderness Area, ten days at a time, without adult supervision at the age of eleven. I never looked back and the passion for spending time in really wild places has only grown over the years. I take my safety and security seriously and in doing so I'm never worried about getting lost or not being able to handle a backcountry emergency. 


Most of the Ten Essentials lists you'll find are missing the key tasks everyone should complete before leaving home. These are the tasks that separate backcountry deaths from those who survived. The vast majority of the people I run into in the backcountry are woefully unprepared. My goal is to help folks confidently answer the following three questions if they are forced to spend one or more unplanned nights out in the backcountry while waiting for emergency help:


1. Who knows my current location?

2. When do they expect me back?

3. What is the plan and response if I don't return by that date and time? 


I put this system together to help me and others avoid a tragic outcome and more importantly, fully enjoy our time in the backcountry. That's what it's all about. I welcome your feedback.


I've attached the document as well. Most of my time in the backcountry is spent filming mountain lions with remote cameras. Plying this craft affords me time in truly wild places. Your Storm Whistle is noted in the Navigation section of my Ten Essentials Plus document. As I teach more workshops in the coming months and years I welcome the opportunity to purchase the Storm Whistle at a wholesale price. I'll call Donna this afternoon to discuss the options. Thanks again for saving lives, including mine! 




Warm regards, 


David Neils

Wild Nature Media

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