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November 25, 2007

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT: “Really, the only thing worse than killing a bear is explaining why you didn’t kill the bear that killed a 3-year-old child.” It's a David Baron problem. I've had some thoughts on this before.

UPDATE: Okay, this passage is too good not to quote:

A little later, we were in the woods above the field when we encountered a bear grazing along a path. It looked up at us and licked its mouth, a long strand of saliva dripping nearly to the ground. We were 20 feet away — in Homstol’s opinion, too close for comfort — so she whispered to turn and walk slowly toward the field. This we did, and when I looked back, the bear was 15 feet behind us, frozen in place. Once again, we walked toward the field, and when I turned again, the bear had closed the gap — it was 10 feet off, still making eye contact, still caught in that strange stop-motion pose. Like an image raised in a microscope, the bear kept getting closer and closer, though we never once saw it move. When I asked Homstol what that behavior meant, she said, walking swiftly toward her truck, “I have no idea, and I don’t want to stick around to find out.”

I think I have some idea.

ANOTHER UPDATE: So this guy was attacked by a bear while deer hunting. But why didn't he -- or one of the other hunters -- you know, shoot it? The story doesn't say.

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