Grizzlies in Alaska are not endangered, as they are in the contiguous United States-about 35,000 inhabit the state-but that doesn't give license to shoot them indiscriminately. Twice during this wait, the bear faced the concealed hunters and half rose to her hind legs, as if she sensed danger but wasn't sure. At last, she turned broadside, and I saw her fall hard onto her belly a fraction of a second before I heard the shot, a flat, echoing crack. The sow whirled around, lunging with her forelegs toward the thing that had struck her from out of nowhere. Even through binoculars, I could sense her rage and shock. Benson fired a finishing shot. The bear went down again, thrashed for second or two, and then lay still.