Callie sends me this news item, about a camper who woke up to discover he was bleeding from an ongoing bear attack, and subsequently shot the bear dead.
I HATE stories like this.
I do the majority of my backpacking in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas, where there is a growing black bear population. I've never seen a black bear, even though I've found their droppings around my camp once. I hope never to see a black bear. Even though they are supposedly timid and shy away from people, that experience is about the only thing that worries me when I'm out backpacking.
But it doesn't worry me that much. If you keep an eye out for bear cubs (because if you stumble upon them -- and their mom -- that would be bad) and bear bag your food, trash, and utensils well away from where you sleep, you will generally be fine when it comes to black bears.
The idiot in this story didn't do that with his food items, and wound up killing a bear needlessly. Just a little effort and applied knowledge would have prevented this moron from ever being attacked. But from the sounds of the story, he was probably too drunk to think very well after enjoying his steak. Short of being passed out, what sort of outdoorsman only wakes up WHEN THE BEAR HAS ALREADY RIPPED INTO HIM?!
[Posted at 19:46 CST on 07/18/02] [Link]