July 21, 2006

Bear Essentials

C'mon - like you're really surprised I'd use a title that cheesy.

In the last week a woman was attacked by a bear while sleeping in a tent & a mountain lion is stalking pets in Parker, Co (just east of Denver). A few months ago an elderly man was killed by a moose (more on that can be found here).

I've written about the dangers of nature before. Doing some research (i.e. trying to find the story I wanted & stumbling across others) I found this one about a bear attack in 2001 (& this one ont he same incident but with interesting related links at the bottom). By August of 2001 5 people had been injured by bear attacks in Colorado. But note that in the advice the give about being in bear country they neglect to mention anything about firearms. Oh they mention fighting back & say that using sticks or rocks or bare hands can sometimes drive off a black bear attack. But no mention of a .30-30 or a 12 gauge.

No wonder folks get nervous at the mere hint of a predator in their neighborhoods. School recess canceled? well then again it's not like the teachers could literally ride shotgun with the youngins as they play musical feline bait. Ah, gun free schools, where every predator is protected no matter the number of legs it possesses.

But people seem to disregard the dangers inherent in nature - well until it's right up in their face. Or in their back yard. I do recall reading about some folks who moved into a neighborhood on the edge of Boulder being shocked when little Timmy watched a mountain lion take down a deer in their back yard. They said they moved there to get close to nature but methinks their idea of nature was heavily influenced by Disney & not Tennyson.

This story contains the quote which sums it up:

"Said co-worker Maggie Keyes: 'I've had people actually ask me if the bears are wild."

I think that profound western philosopher John Wayne summed it up best:

"Life is tough. Life is tougher if you're stupid."

Ayn Rand had a gentler way of putting it:

"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality."

The point I'm trying to make is that it's a good idea to follow the advice given in some of the aforementioned links about dealing with wildlife. It's beyond me though why they would not mention carrying a firearm into the woods, or your backyard if you're in bear (or other predator) country. 911 doesn't work that well if you're at a well known intersection. It damned sure ain't working if you have to give them the longitude & latitude to come rescue you. So before you or a loved one goes jaunting through the forests to commune with nature, how about taking along a six shooter or a scatter gun? The life you save may be your own, or someone else's.

For more reading on how Coloradans interact with the wildlife I leave you with these:

Bear eats ranch hand's lunch, then attacks him near outhouse

Home-raid bear killed

Mountain lion that attacked boy in Colorado is killed


Bear Attack Victim Talks

I shall repeat advice first given in 1785 in a letter to Peter Carr by one T. Jefferson:

"Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."

Or to be a little more direct about things:

"No man is competent unless he can stalk alone and armed in the
Townsend Whelen

Posted by Publicola at July 21, 2006 03:42 AM | TrackBack

I usually take a 44 mag with me in areas with bear, lions, or moose. I've had more problems with cow moose than anything. I've found that with bear and moose I have not as of yet had to shoot one; the sound of the gun fired in the air usually scare the hell out of them and sends them running.

Posted by: BobG at July 23, 2006 10:53 AM

I'll point out that there's something just as dangerous in many areas: wild pigs. Some of the things have Russian boar blood, and even those that don't have fighting tusks and a really nasty attitude.

Posted by: Firehand at July 24, 2006 09:01 PM

"I've written about the dangers of nature before. "

that link is broken/wrong

Posted by: Zendo Deb at July 24, 2006 10:37 PM

Thanks for letting me know Deb. had one too many http:// 's in the link but it should be fixed now.

Posted by: Publicola at July 25, 2006 05:04 AM