Archive for the 'Animals' Category



Down South We Have Black Bears For Yard Pets

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

He’s sitting on the front porch the whole time.

Montana Grizzly Bear Attack

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

News from Montana.

Early Tuesday morning (July 6), a bear attacked and killed a woman while she was camping in western Montana. Local authorities are still searching for the animal.

The attack took place near Ovando, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of the state capital Helena, according to KGVO News. A statement from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) noted that, prior to the attack, a video camera at a local business caught footage of the animal, which appeared to be a grizzly bear. Grizzlies are common to Ovando and the surrounding Blackfoot Valley, according to the statement.

[ … ]

The bear initially passed by their campsite about a half-hour earlier, waking the campers and prompting them to secure their food before going back to bed.

“The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times,” Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles told The Associated Press.

[ … ]

It’s not clear why the bear sought out the campsite or attacked Lokan, but Tuesday’s attack does not represent “normal bear behavior,” Lemon said. “Usually, human and bear conflicts stem from bears protecting food, female bears protecting cubs or surprise encounters that result in the bear feeling threatened and attacking the person. … Going into a campground and attacking a person is not a natural instinct.”

I think he needs to update his psychological profile of bear behavior.  This video was a juvenile bear attack in California.

Guy comes back from dinner in South Lake Tahoe, finds a 400 pound bear raiding his kitchen

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

News from the West.

The vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe had been empty for most of the night; the man and the people with him in Tahoe had all gone out to dinner. While they were out, a large female black bear entered the house through a sliding glass door, looking for food to eat in the kitchen upstairs.

Wildlife officials say the bear weighed as much as 400 to 500 pounds. The man, who has not been identified, told law enforcement officials that the bear charged at him, trying to swiping at him with her arm, huffing and growling. He said that, within a moment, the bear was on top of him. He said the bear had her mouth on his arm, said Capt. Patrick Foy of California Fish and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Division.

“He had a pistol in his other hand,” Foy said, “and shot [the bear] in the head at point blank range.”

[ … ]

Foy said the shooter did not sustain any injuries that warranted immediate medical treatment.

The bear, however, was bleeding profusely from the gunshot wound in her head and immediately retreated.

Dang it.  Dean Weingarten needs the caliber of the handgun for cataloging purposes.  Why do news reporters write on bear attacks and not give the gun type and caliber?

Note.  He shot the bear at point blank range, and the bear was still able to retreat

Camper Drops Charging Moose with .45 Handgun

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Field & Stream.

A backcountry camper in Idaho killed an aggressive bull moose in self-defense in Northern Idaho last week. The bull had charged the man and his dog at a Harrison Lake, a popular hiking and backpacking destination near Sandpoint, Idaho.

The camper, whose identity has not been released, tried to hide behind a tree when the moose charged. But the bull didn’t let up, and he shot it with a .45 caliber handgun at point blank range, stopping the bull in its tracks. Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) officials responded to the event and located the downed moose before temporarily closing the Harrison Lake trailhead to prevent conflict between hikers and scavenging bears and wolves.

An article on the incident published in The Spokesman-Review notes that there have been male moose sightings at the lake for several years. Last fall, the U.S. Forest Service posted an advisory warning of an “aggressive moose” at the campground. Ben Read, a local hiker who is familiar with a moose in the Harrison Lake area that fits the description of the downed bull, told the Review: “I can’t say there’s never been an issue, because I know people generally run into him around the camp and obviously the two don’t mix,” he said. “However, I’ve never heard of a charging or trampling issue that someone was never able to avoid or get away from.”

Well I’ve heard of it.  Preparing for my trek through the Weminuche Wilderness I talked with someone who cut and cleared trails in that area.

He told me that bears had not been a problem in the area (this surprised me), but that Moose have been known to come into camp, and they were a danger due to stomping.

Chalk another one up for the power of the .45.  Carry self protection in the bush.

Bear Attacks In Alaska And The Smoky Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Down South.

COSBY, Tenn. — Rangers shot and killed a black bear Friday after a 16-year-old girl was attacked while sleeping in a hammock in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

According to park officials, the girl was camping with her family at Backcountry Campsite 29 in the Cosby section of the park when the attack happened. The family was able to drive the bear away and called for help.

The incident happened about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

When rangers arrived, they provided medical care to the teen, who had multiple cuts on her body, including to her head.

The Tennessee Military Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency were alerted shortly before 7 a.m. Friday about the wounded teen.

A Knoxville-based Tennessee Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter arrived at the campsite about 8:45 a.m. A critical care paramedic rode a hoist down to the site, assessed the teen with rangers and then rode back up with her in the hoist to the chopper hovering overhead.

The entire hoisting operation took 14 minutes to complete, according to the National Guard.

The Blackhawk then flew her on to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment. She was in stable condition, according to park officials.

Two bears were spotted in the area following the attack. One larger male entered the campsite several times despite the rangers’ attempts to scare it away. The family identified it as the bear that attacked the teen so rangers shot and killed it.

Up North.

An Alaska hiker whose whereabouts were unknown for nearly two days after she reported being chased off a trail by bears was found alive Wednesday evening, officials said.

Fina Kiefer, 55, of Palmer, Alaska, emerged from the woods and was spotted on a road about a mile from the Pioneer Ridge trailhead. Kiefer was injured and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation, according to statements from the Alaska State Troopers as well as Alaska’s National Guard.

State troopers were notified on Tuesday around 1:29 a.m. local time that Kiefer was alone and in need of assistance on Pioneer Ridge Trail near Palmer, about 42 miles northeast of Anchorage. Kiefer had called her husband asking for help after she said she was charged by multiple bears and had to use bear spray. But she stopped responding to telephone calls and text messages shortly thereafter, according to officials.

These are tough situations, but once again, there are common themes I would highlight.

Bear spray, scaring the bears away, and medical kits.  Don’t rely on spray.  Carry a large bore handgun.  And these people are fortunate – the national guard and helicopters won’t always be available.  Carry a medical kit.

Bear Attack In Alaska

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

ADN.

Two campers were attacked in their tent by a bear early Saturday along the shoreline of Skilak Lake, an official from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge said.

Officials don’t know yet why the bear attacked or what kind of bear was involved, said Leah Eskelin, a public information officer for the wildlife refuge.

“It was a short, quick, in-your-tent attack,” she said.

The two people were camping in a dispersed area near the mouth of Hidden Creek, Eskelin said. There were no other campers in that immediate area Saturday morning, she said.

The campers had been sleeping when the bear attacked their tent around midnight, said wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The campers had bear deterrents, including a bear horn and spray, but didn’t have time to use them, Selinger said.

“There’s no indication that they did anything to prompt the attack or did anything wrong,” he said. “It’s one of those where you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The campers described the attack as quick and intense, Selinger said. Once it stopped and things quieted down, the two quickly loaded some of their gear into kayaks and set out to the Upper Skilak Lake Campground boat launch, he said. The campers were well prepared with first aid supplies, Selinger said.

Cell service is spotty around Skilak Lake, Selinger said, and it’s unlikely that there was service where the two campers were attacked. Selinger said the kayak trip took about an hour and a half to two hours.

At the campground boat launch, other people administered first aid and called for help using a satellite phone, according to a statement from the wildlife refuge. One of the campers was airlifted to a nearby hospital and the other was taken by ambulance, Selinger said.

Officials did not provide details about how severely the campers were hurt.

“We’re grateful that they got the care that they needed right away and that everyone really came together at the campground to provide that aid and give them a quick response time,” Eskelin said.

Biologists from the state Department of Fish and Game visited the scene Saturday with federal wildlife officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Eskelin said.

There were no bears in the area when officials visited the scene, but they collected a collapsed tent and other camping gear, Eskelin said.

“ADF&G is working on seeing if they can pull any DNA material off of that, like hair, because they want to see if they can find out what kind of species it is and that might help determine why the bear acted the way it did,” she said.

Selinger said the ground near the campsite is made up mostly of rock and gravel, which makes it difficult to find animal tracks or other clues that would normally help fill in details about what happened during an attack.

Hidden Creek Trail, which is a nearly 3-mile loop trail that leads to Skilak Lake, was closed Saturday after the attack, Eskelin said. The trail reopened Sunday but Eskelin said there are signs posted with details about the attack to warn people to use caution.

“It’s one of those scenarios where if you close an area and have no activity on it, you stand to make it only a wildlife area,” she said. “So the trail is reopened and it’s signed with clear information that the area was involved in a bear incident and some safety information.”

Selinger said it would be wise to avoid the area because the bear could still be around. Officials are still investigating the attack but Selinger said anyone recreating in the area should use caution and carry safety supplies like bear deterrent and first aid supplies.

In remote locations I like to carry a satellite phone or phone with texting capabilities via satellite.  And yes, a medical kit with Quikclot and bandages, tourniquets, Tylenol, etc.

In the tent I sleep with a gun next to myself, although in this case it may not have made a difference.

Those are mean beasts who attack without remorse.

Seven Rounds To Stop The Grizzly

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Dean Weingarten.

He saw the grizzly coming at them. He dropped the arrow and bow and drew his Taurus .45 1911 semi-auto. He yelled at the bear and started backing away. As the bear saw the two other hunters behind the lead, it momentarily paused, giving him time to rack the slide and chamber a round. The Taurus had eight rounds in its magazine.

The pause was momentary; not a full stop of the charge. The lead hunter was able to start shooting from a range of six feet. The grizzly grabbed the lead hunter by the left thigh and the hunter went down with the bear on top of him.

As the bear closed with the lead hunter, the middle and last hunters had seen the bear, dropped their bows, and drew their pistols, a .44 magnum and a 9mm. They started shooting.

With the lead hunter down and the bear in his lap, he put the .45 against its head and shot his last rounds. The bear went limp. The lead hunter was able to crawl out from under the big bear.

Shortly afterward, the bear was seen to move, and the hunters fired two more rounds into the chest cavity from the side. The hunters estimated they had fired 19 cartridges at the bear; 8 rounds of .45, 6 rounds of .44 magnum, and about 4 rounds of 9mm.

[ … ]

At the scene, they collected 12 cartridge cases, including 9mm, .45, and .44 magnum.

The wardens found seven bullet wounds in the bear, five of which were from the front, and two of which were from the side. They recovered four bullets from the bear in three different calibers.

Good Lord.  That bear was hard to put down.

Yet more lessons learned.  Pistols, not bear spray.  Next, the bow hunters thought they had discharged 19 rounds.  They actually discharged 12.  Finally, don’t always assume you’re going to hit your target in that sort of situation.  They connected with 7 out of 12.

10 seconds of terror: Man survives brown bear mauling

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

From a reader, news from Alaska.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Allen Minish was alone and surveying land for a real estate agent in a wooded, remote part of Alaska, putting some numbers into his GPS unit when he looked up and saw a large brown bear walking about 30 feet away.

“I saw him and he saw me at the same time, and it’s scary,” he said by phone Wednesday from his hospital bed in Anchorage, a day after being mauled by the bear in a chance encounter.

The mauling left Minish with a crushed jaw, a puncture wound in his scalp so deep the doctor told him he could see bone, lacerations and many stitches after a 4½-hour surgery. He also is wearing a patch over his right eye, saying the doctors are worried about it.

All that damage came from a very brief encounter — he estimates it lasted less than 10 seconds — after he startled the bear Tuesday morning just off the Richardson Highway, near Gulkana, located about 190 miles (306 kilometers) northeast of Anchorage.

The bear, which Minish said was larger than 300-pound black bears he has seen, charged and closed the ground between them in a few seconds.

Minish tried to dodge behind small spruce trees. That didn’t stop the bear; he went through them.

As the bear neared, Minish held up the pointed end of his surveying pole and pushed it toward the bear to keep it away from him.

The bear simply knocked it to the side, the force of which also knocked Minish to the ground.

“As he lunged up on top of me, I grabbed his lower jaw to pull him away,” he said, noting that’s how he got a puncture wound in his hand. “But he tossed me aside there, grabbed a quarter of my face.”

“He took a small bite and then he took a second bite, and the second bite is the one that broke the bones … and crushed my right cheek basically,” he said.

When the bear let go, Minish turned his face to the ground and put his hands over his head.

And then the bear just walked away.

He surmises the bear left because he no longer perceived Minish as a threat. The bear’s exit — Alaska State Troopers said later they did not locate the bear — gave him time assess damage.

[ … ]

Minish, 61, has had his share of bear encounters over the 40 years he’s lived in Alaska, but nothing like this. He owns his own surveying and engineering business, which takes him into the wild often.

“That’s the one lesson learned,” he said. “I should have had somebody with me.”

He left his gun in the vehicle on this job but said it wouldn’t have mattered because the bear moved on him too fast for it to have been any use.

That’s a hard-learned lesson.

I’ll accept that he couldn’t have deployed a handgun from a holster fast enough to defend himself if he says so.  He was there and I wasn’t.

But I’ll tell you what.  If it was me and I had to go out in the bush alone, I’d keep a tactical 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buck or slug on a sling at the ready on my body.  I say a tactical 12 gauge shotgun because I’d want something with a shorter sight radius than a fowling piece – where I could drop what I was going and pick the gun up within a second or two.

Still better, go out with someone.

Maybe The Alaskan has some better suggestions.

Carry A Large Bore Handgun For Protection Against Predators When In The Bush

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

From reader Richard, awful news about a man being killed by a bear in Yellowstone.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Grizzly bears are part of life in the gateway communities around Yellowstone National Park, and backcountry snowmobile guide Charles “Carl” Mock knew well the risks that come with working, hiking and fishing among the fear-inspiring carnivores, his friends said.

Mock was killed after being mauled by a 400-plus pound (181-plus kilogram) male grizzly while fishing alone at a favorite spot on Montana’s Madison River, where it spills out of the park and into forested land that bears wander in search of food.

The bear had a moose carcass stashed nearby and wildlife officials say it likely attacked Mock to defend the food. The grizzly was shot after charging at a group of seven game wardens and bear specialists who returned the next day.

Bear spray residue found on Mock’s clothing suggested he tried to ward off last week’s attack using a canister of the Mace-like deterrent, considered an essential item in the backcountry. He usually carried a pistol, too, but wasn’t on the day he was killed just a few miles north of the small town of West Yellowstone where he lived, according to two friends.

While some on social media questioned the inherent perils of such a lifestyle in the wake of Mock’s death, those who knew him said he accepted the risk as a trade-off for time spent in a wilderness teeming with elk, deer, wolves and other wildlife.

“People don’t understand that for us who live here, that’s what we do every day,” said Scott Riley, who said he fished, hunted, hiked and kayaked numerous times with Mock over the past decade.

[ … ]

Mock, 40, managed to call 911 following the mauling and was found by rescuers propped against a tree with the cannister of bear spray in one hand, his father, Chuck Mock, told the Billing Gazette. His other hand had been “chomped off” as he tried to protect himself.

One of the animal’s teeth punctured his skull and Mock died two days later in an Idaho hospital after undergoing extensive surgery.

One more failure in the bear spray category.  The pistol he usually carried didn’t do him much good sitting at home.  While the risk wouldn’t have been nonexistent, it would have been reduced with a large bore handgun.

Wild Boar Hunting In Central Texas

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

I cannot embed the video.  Go to reddit/Hunting to check it out.

That boar was intent on an attack.  The notion that wild pigs are all “runners” now and won’t charge is clearly false.  A pig tusk can cut a femoral artery and cause death in minutes.

He had an AR pattern rifle shooting 300 BO, with a standard capacity magazine.

But hey, who needs standard capacity magazines anyway?  He could have just let the pig kill him.  PETA would have loved that.  Maybe not so much though when they invade their yards and kill their pets and tear up their lawns and gore their children.

You do the math.  They reach maturity in several years, have three or four litters every year, 12 pigs per litter.

Even if you’re not intent on hunting, carry a large bore handgun when in the bush.


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