Sigh. I’ve gotten quite a number of emails with incredibly wonderful and detailed advice about guns and dogs and all the blood and guts that goes along with all that. I’m remembering all the stories at “BEAR ARMS” shooting range the other day. I remember all the advice I got from an ex-black ops guy who hunts bears for six months of the year. I was going to put up a special post with all that info… and then… and then… I received this email from a young lady up in Canada. It’s had me laughing since I got it:
Dear Father George,
I’m from a smallish town in northern Ontario, where it’s not at all unlikely to have black bears wandering through our backyards. As well, I largely put myself through school by working as a fish & wildlife technician (and had a special interested in the management of large predators during my studies) and needed a bit of bear safety training as part of that.
I can only really think of two scenarios where firearms were necessary to maintain safety during human-bear encounters. The first, obviously, involved being on the crews that removed nuisance bears from people’s properties. The second involved one of the methods of estimating black bear populations, which involved hanging bait on trees along our bear lines and then returning a couple weeks later to check for activity – which isn’t really the safest activity in the world.
In general, though, it’s pretty easy to avoid black bear encounters (which I’m assuming are the only species your dealing with? ), even in bear country. Here are some tips you might find useful: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Bearwise/
Simply making sure your food is stored in sealed containers (and similarly safely disposing of garbage) would probably go a long way to avoiding any unwelcome visitors.
As well, you know, we actually had an old family friend who had a “pet bear” – I’ve attached a picture. It started when she decided to start feeding the bear ground beef and, as far as I know, grew to the point of feeding several bears. She was never attacked. Though, of course, trying to keep bears as pets is a really bad idea, and feeding them by hand is an even worse idea.
Still, there’s really not much to worry about, as long as bears are treated with respect.
Laughing and laughing and laughing out loud! So… O.K. I give up altogether. I’m going to go pick some flowers for the Immaculate Conception:
I’ve been trying to work on a couple of killer projects — for which I’ve been asking your prayers, thank you! — thinking that I might be on to something rather significant. You know, blood and guts everywhere. But then I’m brought back in line from thinking that it’s pretty jawdropping to have seen so much blood and guts, and not run away… even though I totally thank our Lord for that grace. You have to understand that from time to time I remember that there’s a young lady whose seen all the hell in the world, and was much, much braver than all of us guys put together: the Immaculate Conception. By her very purity, her clarity of vision, she saw ALL the hell unleashed on Calvary against her divine Son, our Lord, blood and guts everywhere, from the first man to the last. The greatest thing I can do in this short life is to pick some flowers for her, our Mother. I’m still laughing!