Simon Francis
The Ice Bear
ęBert Gildart

    Among all of the animals most feared, none is feared more than the grizzly bear when encased in ice. Grizzlies so shrouded are an anomaly, for by the time winter has descended in earnest, most bears have hibernated. But some bears, particularly older bears that may have lost their ability to forage, remain out much longer trying desperately to put on the fat so needed to sustain them during the long winter sleep. In its search for food, bears ford creeks still unfrozen. Because their coats provide such superb insulation, the fur of their coats become encased in ice and all matters of other debris, such as pine cones, dirt and limbs. Under such conditions a bear's coat becomes hardened and can easily deflect a bullet. 
    Once, Simon Francis knew such a bear. As a man who has spent a lifetime in the woods, working as a trapper, he was once stalked by such a creature that remained impervious to his many shots...