A Tale of Two Bints and a Bear

Posted By on August 27, 2013


10 Responses to “A Tale of Two Bints and a Bear”

  1. Gary Carbone says:

    Those tattoos will be a reminder of their “surviving”a bear encounter by running down the trail screaming.Unbelievable.

    • Randy says:

      Unbelievable but all too common Gary. These two are like the poster children for all that’s wrong with societal perceptions of risk and responsibility. That to be helpless and needful of being looked after by someone stronger and more capable than you represents a finished and noble state for most people.

      Witness the words of Linsay Jones in the Chronicle Herald piece, describing the conditions under which she will consider making any future forays into the woods:
      “Never in my life,” Jones said. “If I have someone with me who’s an experienced shooter, and has killed bears before, and has a gun, then maybe I’ll think about it. But not for a very, very, very long time. I’m not willing to take that chance again.”

      So instead of seeking an understanding of how and why her own ignorance may have contributed the what was, undoubtedly, a hugely traumatic event for her, Ms. Jones settles on an ongoing need to be guarded with lethal force by someone, “… who’s an experienced shooter, and has killed bears before, and has a gun ….”

      In the Wild, and by that I mean everywhere, there will occasionally arise a necessity to end an encounter with another living thing through the application of lethal force, but particularly when the other participant in the encounter is a wild animal, the likelihood of it coming to blows at all, let alone life ending ones, is minimal. The magic comes from knowing who else lives where you’re going, understanding how they live, and learning how not to act like a disrespectful interloper or a food source.

      As an aside of no small consequence, if these two had been followed into the woods by one or more human predators with the kind of outcome in mind such ones tend toward, the total lack of situational awareness, zero preparation, and nonsensical choices with respect to accessorizing for the occasion would have ended the chase long before they made it to the cabin. And all the pursuer would need is a pair of cheap, well laced sneakers.

  2. David Young says:

    Well “Stupid is as stupid does”. I can’t say I’d expect much better from people who go out to paint art on the trees, as if their own additions could somehow improve on nature.

    Randy hit the nail on the head. Know where you’re going and how to avoid trouble, prepare for the worst, and take responsability for yourself and your actions.

  3. Well you're wrong about this I'm afraid. A black bear calmly following women down a trail for an extended time is something to be very, very afraid of. That's the classic scenario of a black bear predatory attack. Smaller woman, large black bear, and a seemingly calm but persistent approach. They were right to be terrified.

    • Randy says:

      Thank you for your comment Greg, but you seem to have missed my point. A Black Bear IS a predator, and as such, EVERYTHING it does is as a predator would do. Its attention can get attracted, and therefore its predatory stalking behaviours brought to the fore, more easily when the object of its attention behaves in an attention getting manner. Screaming and running in the face of bruin or canine sets you up for a virtual guarantee of pursuit.

      As to this being , “… the classic scenario of a black bear predatory attack ….”, I must take opposition to that; first on the grounds that such an assertion is dangerously simplistic, and secondly because an “attack” is only an attack if there is an actual attack. I still maintain that the behaviour of the two women involved was a major factor in the way this played out because it kept the Bear’s interest for over an hour during which it was, at times, at a distance of no more than, “… three or four feet …” according to the only human witnesses.

      The women were barefoot, terrified, bleeding, and exhausted by the time their run to the cabin was half way through. This begs the question that, if this was in fact an exclusively predatory pursuit, what in hell was the Bear waiting for? If the descriptions provided by the two women are to be taken at face value, then it had ample opportunity to take at least one of them at any number of points between first encounter and their entering the cabin.

      In truth, a Black Bear in August is acutely aware that it is on borrowed time to gain the body fat necessary to survive hibernation, and attack statistics indicate that the predatory side of the Black Bear is most often expressed at this time of year. Measured against this, an hour long ambling shuffle in trail of two running, screaming women speaks more to a waste of energy to satisfy curiosity rather than appetite.

      Was it trying to make up its mind whether to attack or not? Which one to attack? We’ll never know, but we do know that it didn’t attack, and I take you again back to the original point – there is no surprise inherent in that a Bear acts like a Bear, and those who would share the same forest with that tribe need to study their neighbours and stop acting like this is Narnia.

  4. They should have had my cat with them. She scares bears away. Haha.

  5. Randy L. Whynacht says:

    With all due respect Mr. Henrikson, you're saying I'm wrong about something I never said. It was never about who was or should have been afraid of what, but rather about how much trouble can ensue from the actions of uneducated, unprepared people in Bear country. If the two women involved HADN'T been afraid, that would have been even more idiotic, but their default setting was running and screaming their way right out of the worst footwear they could have chosen – unarguably the BEST thing they could have done to catch and hold the interest of a top tier predator.

    I'd ask that you do me the honour of rereading my article with this in mind, and while you're at it, clicking on the embedded supporting links throughout. I've also replied at greater length to your comment, and you might also find that informative.

    I sense that you and I might be on the same wavelength, if not the same channel. In the end, Bears will be Bears, but the same can't always be said of Humans, the behaviour of which can be equally affected as much by what is imagined as by what IS.

  6. Randy L. Whynacht I object to the Monday morning quarterbacking of an incident that could have gone much worse if these women hadn't gotten out of there. The idea that you should stand still and make noise applies to curious brown bear, not predatory black bear. And you're wrong about that black bear's behavior being normal. I've run into dozens of black bear over the years, and am very familiar with their habits. They don't follow people like that unless they're after food. Mr. Boudreau was correct.

  7. Randy L. Whynacht says:

    I'm curious as to where, in your mind, the line is drawn between "Monday morning quarterbacking" and simple, rational evaluation of available evidence in the light of witness testimony, known participants, and incident outcomes.

    OK Mr. Henrikson, obviously I've given you too much credit because you are clearly hell bent on objecting to issues that were never a part of my argument. At NO point did I make ANY reference, neither by direct statement nor by implication, that these two women should not have "… gotten out of there." I did not advocate that they should, "… stand still and make noise …", and I still stand by my statement that there was nothing surprising in the behaviour of the Black Bear in this case. You may disagree with me Mr. Henrikson, but that doesn't fit the definition of "wrong".

    I am curious about the situations in which you have, "… run into dozens of black bear over the years …" and specifically how those alleged encounters have made you, "… very familiar with their habits." As a validation of superiority of argument, such a statement, absent qualifying details, is meaningless to the same degree that one might claim to be an expert on aviation safety because he has lived twenty years under the primary approach route of a major airport, and in that time witnessed three crashes. Speaking as one who has some small degree of demonstrated competence in the field of animal aggression and predatory response, I too have shared the same patch of the Earth with Black Bears on many more than one occasion, and will agree that they are mostly inclined to give me wide berth; as I will them, to a degree that is appropriate to the situation and our mutual reasons for being there in the first place. I've never been pursued at any speed, but then I don't act like something that needs to be chased down and eaten. This comes from knowledge, understanding, and personal preparation on my part, none of which is rocket science and both can, and indeed MUST, be learned by everyone who would go where Bears live.

    This brings us to your final point – that Black Bears, "… don't follow people like that unless they're after food." You at least agree with me in this because – and I'll say it again since you obviously missed it the first two times – EVERYTHING these women did was virtually guaranteed to attract and hold the attention of a predator – bruin or canine. Bear (any species), Coyote, Wolf, and even a domestic Dog; ANY of those would have been attracted to pursue these women. But the one thing that takes this out of the realm of an attack is that the Bear NEVER attacked. I mention this again because, as seems the norm, you missed that point as well.

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