The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

This is Why You Carry Guns in the Weminuche Wilderness

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Because it’s the roughest, most dangerous place in the lower 48.


In the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 11, a black bear attacked a man who was working as a sheep herder in the San Juan National Forest of southwestern Colorado, about 23 miles northeast of Durango. According to a Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) press release issued yesterday evening, the man survived and was treated for head wounds and other severe lacerations. The bear was tracked down and killed by a federal agent less than 24 hours after the attack.

The 35-year-old herder was working for a permit holder of a sheep grazing allotment in the nearly 500,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness Area when the bear attacked him. It bit him on the head and left additional wounds on his left arm and hand, CPW said. It also left deep cuts on his left hip and scratches on his back.

The herder told CPW agents that he was awoken by the sounds of the bear preying on his sheep around 1 a.m. He fired a .30-30 rifle in response to the attack before the bruin charged and mauled him. “This is an unfortunate incident and we are thankful the victim was able to contact help to get emergency services deployed and that he was able to be extracted to receive necessary medical care,” CPW Area Wildlife Manager Adrian Archuleta said in the press release.

In the aftermath of the attack, the man managed to crawl to his tent and call his cousin for help. An airlift was summoned to the scene, and he was transported to the Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.

See F&S for the rest of the story.

I’m assuming that he missed with his .30-30.  I would think that round would easily put down most black bears.

It’s good that he had the means to call for help – that area is rugged and is several hours from cell phone connectivity.

When I was there we all three carried firearms, and I carried a 1911 with a 10-round magazine and 22# spring with 450 SMC cartridges (230 gr. at 1130 FPS), along with additional ammunition and magazines.

I also carried a satellite texting phone capable of reaching 911.  Any rescue out of where we were would have required a helicopter because the hike for foot-borne rescuers would have been two or more days.  This is extremely rugged terrain and isolated area, and the sheep herder is blessed to be alive.

Colorado Man Fires .40 Cal Glock 9 Times to Kill Black Bear That Broke Into His House at Night

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago


A man in the ski town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado shot and killed a black bear that entered his home in the middle of the night. According to the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife (CPW), homeowner Ken Mauldin dispatched the bruin with a .40 caliber Glock handgun after it opened and walked through an exterior door.

“The door was unlocked, and it’s one of the older-style lever door handles. So, the bear pushed on that to get the door open,” CPW public information officer Rachel Gonzalez tells F&S. “[Mauldin] was alerted when his wife screamed. It was just after 2 a.m. when we received the incident notification.”

Three things pop into my mind.

First, this is yet another anecdote that justifies carry inside the home.

Second, this anecdote justifies closing and locking the door.

Third, that’s a lot of rounds.  Nine rounds to put this bear down.  This advocates for accuracy or high capacity, or preferably both.

9mm Pistol And Knife Used To Stop Bear Attack In Rural WI Home

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

Dean Weingarten.

According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, authorities received a report of a bear attack at a home on Castle Road in the Township of Medford Friday around 11 p.m.

In a press release, authorities report a husband and wife noticed the bear eating from their bird feeder, opened the window and yelled at the bear to scare it off. The bear then turned and charged at the home, breaking through the window and began attacking the couple, while their kids were asleep in their bedrooms.

This correspondent was able to talk with Larry Woebbeking, Sheriff of Taylor County.  While Sheriff Woebbeking was not at the scene of the attack, he had talked to an investigating officer who was. Larry had interesting information to add. He was sure of his facts.

The bottom of the window was about three to four feet above the ground. The bear had to jump up to get through the window. The window appears to be a typical northern Wisconsin type which slides vertically up and down, with an insect screen on the outside. The screen is gone on the picture from the sheriffs office, so the bear probably clawed the screen out as it came inside.

After the wife yelled at the bear, the bear forced its way through the window and attacked the wife. The husband came to the aid of his wife, interjecting his body between them. The bear attacked him. He suffered severe bites to the neck and may have had an arm broken.

The wife, freed from the bear attack, accessed a knife and attacked the bear mauling her husband. The bear turned its attention back to the wife, which allowed the husband to escape momentarily. He was able to access a 9mm Sig handgun. He quickly returned and killed the bear.

Dean goes on to make interesting points about female black bears not displaying strong maternal instincts, and that 9 out of 10 times a female black bear will abandon cubs rather than face danger.

This bear had something else in mind.  Perhaps food.

I would never have allowed my wife to open the window and scream without having a firearm nearby.  And this is yet another instance of the need to carry inside the home.

Bear Attacks In Alaska And The Smoky Mountains

BY Herschel Smith
3 years 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.

Black Bear Attacks Hunter In Virginia, Tearing Softball-Sized Chunk From His Leg

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 8 months ago

News from Virginia.

A Virginia hunter was attacked by a black bear, with the animal taking a softball-sized chunk out of his leg.

Ronnie Dalton, 68, from Carroll County had been out hunting on Saturday in Hillsville and was about to pack up for the day when the incident occurred, The Carroll News reported.

Dalton was in his hunting tree stand when he noticed a black bear cub nearby. After scanning the area for the mother and failing to find her, he decided it was safe to climb down.

But when he reached the floor, he spotted her and the animal rushed towards him in an aggressive manner.

“When my feet hit the ground I saw her. She looked up and saw me and when that happened she made a beeline at me as hard as she could come. I tried waving my hand like they say on a black bear, but I guess that doesn’t work if they have cubs and feel threatened,” Dalton told The Carroll News.

Dalton decided in the moment the the best chance of saving himself was to climb back up into the tree stand. But he was not able to escape the bear’s reach.

“I thought maybe I would have a chance. When I tried to climb the tree stand, I got about three or four rungs up and she made a lunge on me and grabbed my right side. She bit me on my right calf and jerked me out of the stand,” he said.

The bear took a softball-sized chunk of Dalton’s leg, and left three or four large teeth marks. It also caused him to fall around 7-8 feet out of the tree, temporarily knocking hum unconscious.

“When I came to and got to my senses and looked, she was already leaving with her two cubs, thank goodness,” Dalton said. “And so then I looked down and saw my britches was tore and my leg gashed open. I said to myself, ‘I have to get out of here.’ I grabbed my bow and took off toward the house.”

Dalton thinks that being knocked out may have actually saved his life, because the bear may have no longer considered him a threat to her cubs.

Bad situation.

Question.  Did you have a large bore handgun with you?  This could have ended far worse than it did.

“I Could Have Touched The Bear’s Nose”

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

I’d prefer not to be that close.

Renee Levow enjoys walking with her two German shepherds in the wooded area near her home on Rum Springs Road, about a 15-minute drive from Myersville.

Lately, however, the 53-year-old has been nervous to step outside, because on Sept. 21, she was attacked by a bear.

Levow said her two dogs were off the leash when, about a half mile from her home, she spotted a black bear nearby in the woods.

Her female dog, Kylie, chased after the bear, which she said weighed about 150 pounds. The bear then charged at Levow, after Kylie returned to her.

“I could have touched the bear’s nose,” Levow said this week about the encounter.

She is recovering at home from her injuries. The bear bit her two times above her left knee, wrestled her to the ground, stomped on her chest and damaged her face.

After playing dead for about 10 minutes — and her dogs Kylie and Bones possibly chasing the bear away — she called 911. Levow was sent to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown and then flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

A surgical team worked on her face for four hours, said Levow’s husband, Steve. Renee said they had to sew up all her wounds.

“I have a good amount of damage, but I don’t know how it will turn out. It will be months until I know what I really look like,” she said. “There may possibly be nerve surgery above my right eye. We don’t know yet, because of the swelling.”

The Levows are glad the attack didn’t turn out worse, and hope it raises awareness of the growing bear population in the area. Steve said since he moved to the area with his wife more than 20 years ago, he’s never seen as many black bears in the area as he’s seen in the last few months.

They said they’ve seen more than a dozen black bears around their home this summer, which is in a wooded area of the county, roughly six miles north of Gambrill State Park.

Harry Spiker, a bear biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service, said the bear population has been growing in the state and region.

But bear attacks are rare, Spiker said, as the attack on Levow is one of only a few recorded in Maryland history. The last was in 2016, also in Frederick County.

Speaking with colleagues in similar positions throughout the region, Spiker said bear attacks usually happen because of three scenarios: Someone could intentionally or unintentionally be feeding the bear, through a bird feeder or other something similar; a person startles the bear when they encounter one at night.

The last scenario? Dogs.

“One of the most common [causes] is dogs … dogs and bears just don’t get along,” Spiker said.

That’s for sure.  Dogs will go after bears, and usually dogs are too agile for the bears, but you’re not.  But I’d rather have the dogs with me to alert me to bear presence.

Both the Levows and Spiker noted the topography and development in the region, as there is rolling farmland to the west and Frederick and its development to the east.

Because of this, the bears tend to travel along wooded ridge tops, like the area near Rum Springs Road.

“That is a natural funnel that the bears tend to come down,” Spiker said, adding Maryland’s healthy forested areas and plentiful food sources have likely led to an increase in the bear population since the mid-20th century.

DNR officials have set a trap in an attempt to catch the bear or others. Spiker said it’s unlikely the bear would be put down if trapped because it would be difficult to know if it was the one that attacked Levow.

Both Steve and Renee urged people who bike or hike in the area to be alert for bears, and not to approach them if they see one. Steve thanked DNR for bringing up some cans of bear mace for protection.

“We encourage anybody who walks up here to carry bear mace,” Steve said. “It’s probably better than a gun.”

Yea okay.  You keep your bear spray.  If I’m out and about in the bush, I’ll carry a large bore handgun, thank you.

Black Bear Kills Unarmed Woman In Unprovoked Attack; Bear Spray Fails, Gun Works

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 10 months ago

Dean Weingarten at Ammoland.

The father said he was talking to her when he heard a gurgling noise, and was no longer able to communicate with her. Nine minutes later, his son-in-law, Stephanie’s husband, Curtis Blais, called him and told him of the attack. Curtis had tried bear spray, but it did not work, so he got a gun and shot and killed the bear. From

After waiting two minutes, Esquirol disconnected and called back. No one answered. Seven minutes later, he got a call from his daughter’s husband, Curtis Blais, who had been in the cabin’s kitchen about 30 metres away.

“Curtis called advising me that a bear attacked her, that he sprayed the bear with pepper spray, and the bear got more angry.”

Esquirol said his son-in-law told him he got a gun and shot the bear twice before it went down.

“So by that time, Stephanie had no pulse. He gave her mouth to mouth, but she was injured beyond the point of recovery.”

[ … ]

The bear was not starving. Its stomach was full of blueberries. From

He said a conservation officer told him the bear was unprovoked in the attack and that the bear wasn’t hungry. It had a stomach full of blueberries.

We do not know how much time was consumed by complying with the Canadian government laws on firearms and ammunition storage.

Free men don’t follow unrighteous laws when those laws put themselves or their loved ones at risk.

When in bear country, always have a large bore firearm within reach.  Or be at increased and unnecessary risk.  The choice is yours.

And no, bear spray isn’t a large bore firearm.

This Thing’s About To Have Me For Lunch

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

Bear news from Colorado.

Chernosky realized that the bear was now between him and the cell phone in his room, so he couldn’t call for help. But he knew he had to try to coax the bear toward the door where it had walked in unannounced (yes, bears can actually open doors and cars).

Chernosky said he calmly talked to the bear, ushering it away from the stairs to where his kids were sleeping. According to the National Park Service (NPS), once a bear has noticed you, it’s important to talk to it so the bear can identify you as a human. Remember, humans are not their typical food choice. You should also make yourself look as large as possible, and back away sideways.

This method worked for Chernosky—initially. “The bear slowly backed away and opened the garage door. It went into the garage and the door shut behind it. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that the problem was solved,” he says. After waiting a few minutes, Chernosky cautiously opened the door to the garage and hit the button to open the garage door so the bear could go outside.

“The garage door spooked it, and it ran back toward where I was standing. I ran down the hall and hid in the corner, and it came back inside,” he continues. “I couldn’t see it because it was so dark, so I came back to the hallway to look, and when I came around, I realized it was standing right in front of me. It was a total shock to the both of us.”

The 400-pound black bear instantly hit Chernosky in the head so hard that it spun him around in a full circle. “It felt like a brick smacking you in the side of the head and instantly tore the skin off my forehead, my right eye, and sliced my ear in half. I was bleeding immediately and crawled back behind the counter thinking, ‘This thing’s about to have me for lunch,'” he says.

I guess the thing I don’t get is this.  Why would you hear someone or something trashing your home, and go out to meet that someone or something without a gun?

Black Bear Attacks In Tennessee And Connecticut

BY Herschel Smith
4 years ago


SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating after a man was reportedly attacked by a bear on an island on South Holston Lake.

TWRA spokesperson Matthew Cameron told News Channel 11 on Tuesday that officers were investigating after a man reported being dragged from a hammock while camping on the island.

TWRA reports that victim Matt Marvin was camping at an “undeveloped campsite” across from the 421 Access Area.

Marvin was asleep in a hammock early Sunday morning when he woke up to a bear biting his foot.

Marvin told investigators he defended himself by shooting at the bear.

Later Sunday evening, TWRA says that Marvin reported the incident to Washington County, Virginia 911 and told TWRA about the encounter on Monday.

TWRA reports that Marvin gave them a photo of the injury, which showed “a small wound to the heel of his foot.”

A dead or injured bear was not found at the campsite, nor did investigators find any sign of one.

TWRA reports human food was left behind at the campsite, and a warning of bear activity has been left in the area.


A man who was walking three dogs on a trail in Simsbury was attacked by a black bear Sunday morning.

The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. in the McLean Game Refuge off Firetown Road, police said.

Police said the attack happened about 20 minutes into the Eddy Loop Trail.

The man was walking three dogs on the trail when a bear came out and bit one of the dogs, according to Sergeant Brad Chase. The man tried to intervene and help the dog when he himself was bitten in the leg.

The man sought medical attention and is doing fine, police said.

The police department said they are working with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection who is handling the bear aspect of the incident.

One of the three, Lucy, a golden retriever who weighs about 50 pounds ran away when the incident happened. Simsbury police announced Monday morning that Lucy was found safe at the McClean Game Refuge.

At least the Tennessee camper had a pistol.  I don’t even think that’s allowed in Connecticut.  The first article recommends cooking far away from your camp site.  That’s hard in most instances, but it’s a good practice to elevate food in a tree, and camp with a dog, or multiple dogs.

Black bear mauls Alyeska pipeline contract worker out for a run near pump station

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 1 month ago

News from Alaska.

A black bear mauled a contract worker for the trans-Alaska pipeline last week near a pump station in the area of Prospect Creek, officials said Tuesday.

The man the bear attacked Friday evening was seriously hurt but is expected to recover. The bear, which was later killed, appeared to be hungry but not emaciated, said Glenn Stout, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Michael Becwar, 53, of Wasilla notified security staff that he was going for a jog shortly after a 6 p.m. shift change, said Katie Pesznecker with Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. He headed down a road outside the station that connects to a small airstrip. Pesznecker said employees often exercise along the road.

When Becwar hadn’t returned from jogging 80 minutes later, security guards started looking for him.

They found Becwar along the road with serious injuries, Pesznecker said. The bear was no longer at the scene. Medics at the pump station treated Becwar immediately and performed what Pesznecker described as life-saving treatment so he could be flown to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 160 miles south.

Becwar was in the hospital over the weekend, Pesznecker said. She did not have an update on his condition Tuesday but said he is expected to recover.

Stout, with Fish and Game, said the attack was considered to be predatory because Becwar told officials he saw the bear from several hundred yards away during his jog, and he stopped to make noise and ensure the bear heard and saw him before continuing to exercise.

While he was returning from his jog, he encountered the bear again, Stout said. The bear, alone, wasn’t surprised by Becwar and was acting defensively, Stout said.

“It was very, very fast. He saw the bear and seconds later it attacked him,” Pesznecker said. “He didn’t really have time to think about it or react.”

Becwar did everything right during the encounter and the attack that followed, Stout said.

“He fought off the bear pretty hard, and that may have saved his life,” he said. “The bear had tried to drag him off the road and back into the woods, but he didn’t want that to happen — he wanted to stay on the road. He had a pocket knife that he took out to help fend off the bear, and at some point the bear seemed to end the attack.”

There was concern that the bear would go after other employees, so security guards returned to the scene of the mauling Saturday with advice from Fish and Game officials to shoot the bear if they saw it, Pesznecker said.

Security staff saw the bear and shot at it once. Pesznecker said it fell to the ground but quickly jumped back up and ran into the woods before they had time to fire another shot.

They returned Sunday to clean up the scene and look for the bear again, Pesznecker said. An employee flying above in helicopter saw the bear approaching security guards on the ground and notified them. Pesznecker said the bear was shot three times before it went down.

Well, I don’t think he did everything right.  I’d be carrying a large bore handgun.

I have written the AP reporter who authored this report and asked her what weapon was used and what caliber.

She wrote back immediately and stated that she didn’t know, but gave me the contact information of the plant.  I have contacted them with these same questions.

If I get a response I’ll let you know.  Both I and Dean Weingarten would be very interested in that information.

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