Monday, July 25, 2011

Bear Blogging

Today The Volokh Conspiracy posts a couple bear photos taken at Yellowstone.

So, in that spirit, here are a couple close-ups from last week, when Rusty the Alaskan Wilderness Adventure Dog put a bear and her cubs up a tree in our backyard:





Unfortunately, she shows signs of habituating to humans.

4 Comments:

Blogger erp said...

Showoff!

July 25, 2011 11:02 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

This morning, my newspaper has a story about a mama bear with cubs (different species, I think) attacking a band of wilderness hikers in Alaska.

You might need a bigger dog.

July 25, 2011 11:15 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Harry:

That article was also in today's Anchorage Daily News. Pretty bad. What I cannot suss is why people were hiking without guns. Bear spray works fine if you don't mind letting the thing getting bloody close, and it has the manners to stay downwind.

A week before these pictures were taken, my across the street neighbor was hiking with his daughters and Labrador Retriever along the river below our sub.

The dog had gone ahead (as ours does to scout the trail, periodically returning to make sure we are doing OK). Suddenly, it came hauling back, with an angry bear in trail.

My neighbor pulled his .44 and fired a warning shot into the river.

Which had the immediate, intended, effect of causing the bear to turn tail and run.

As well as the far less expected, and perhaps just as unwelcome, hearing what his oldest daughter (all of 8) had been learning in their Christian School. Her response to the gun going off?

"HOLY SHIT!HOLY SHIT!HOLY SHIT!"

These pictures were taken a week after a black bear, possibly the same one, was knocking over trash cans on pickup day.

And about an hour after RAWAD had caused mom to send her cubs up the tree in the first place, just before making very threatening moves towards RAWAD. (Fortunately, he is an extremely well behaved dog, and came when called.)

In the interim, she had headed into the woods, then circled back to stroll through the neighborhood before waltzing up our cul-de-sac with way more la-de-dah than I am happy seeing from Ursus Americanus. Then she called her cubs down, and headed back into the woods.

In case you are wondering, my neighbor had his gun at the ready while I was taking these pictures.



About five days later, RAWAD went DEFCON 2 while I was in the garage. Figuring a bear was involved, I hustled through the house to the back yard, picking up our .44 on the way.

As I came out the back door, a bear was coming over the side fence, whereupon RAWAD went DEFCON 3 (RAWAD is, just like Dug from Up, makes up in friendliness what he lacks in brains. Regardless, he hates bears with a primeval passion.) Just as I was thinking how painful to my unprotected ears shooting this bear was going to be, it backed off the fence and headed the other direction.

I assumed my presence had turned the thing around. My son, who had been in a position to observe the entire evolution, assured me otherwise. Rusty's arrival, in all his hard-wired fury, was what put her to flight.

----

erp:

Showoff!

Having a bear casually casing the neighborhood, which also has a bunch of kids running around, is no fun at all.

July 25, 2011 7:14 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Sorry, I was just joshing ya.

We tent camped at many national parks from sea to shinning sea and all over the fruited plain, but it never occurred to us city slickers to have a gun in our possession and although we did see signs of bears at camp sites, we never saw one in person nearby.

I'm reminded of the time we were driving in the Lake Louise area in Canada. When cars ahead of us starting pulling over, we did likewise. People started running towards some bears up a pretty steep hill at the side of road, some with kids in their arms. Luckily the bears were smart enough to run away.

Later we learned they were grizzlies.

Lesson learned.

July 26, 2011 10:39 AM  

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