21 October 2009


some events just leave me speechless at the unutterable stupidity of humans. as described in an article in the choteau, mt, acantha, a party of four men were hunting pheasant in an area of dense undergrowth on the prairie just east of the rocky mountain front. this region is home to a population of grizzly bears, which are listed as a threatened species under the endangered species act. it was not an idle fancy which prompted taxonomists to give the grizzly the species name ursa arctos horribilis -- grizzlies are notoriously temperamental and violent in defending their territory and their young.

the prime directive for any hunter is to know your prey, including its territory, habits, preferred diet, and also the animals which share its habitat -- particularly large omnivores which might pose a threat to the hunter. of the hunting party in question, two were from alaska, and two were montana residents. all four knew (or should have known) better than to seek pheasants (which can easily be found along the edges of wheatfields and in hedgerows) in a dense grove of trees, shrubs and berry bushes that grew well over the hunters' heads, limiting their view. this is a recipe for predictable, avoidable disaster, and disaster is what ensued.

one of the alaska hunters, a 68-year old retired dentist, "surprised a radio collared female grizzly who was bedded down for the day with her three cubs." about 22 feet separated the man from the grizzly. defending her cubs, she charged the intruder, who was armed with a 5-shot semiautomatic 20-gauge shotgun. he managed to pump three rounds into her before she feel dead at his feet.

the acantha article is factual, noting that the hunter (rather lamely) noted, "i was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." gee, ya think? blundering around in known grizzly habitat in autumn, when females with cubs are feeding in preparation for winter hibernation. i submit one glaring observation -- these morons should not have been in that situation in the first place. it sickens me. now a grizzly is dead for no good reason, three cubs are orphaned, and a mighty hunter is thinking, "whew, what a close call." indeed. my only regret is that he did not turn his 20-gauge on himself, rather than on the bear. it would certainly be one small step in the direction of correcting human overpopulation, the root of nearly all our planet's ecological, social and economic ills. SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO ARM BEARS !!

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