Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lions and Tigers and Yes Bears Too!

Remember earlier this week I posted about my camping trip to the George Washington National Forest? We have been taking trips and visiting that particular campground in the forest since 1990. I have posted several times about loving camping trips, but being scared of the wild animals that can potentially kill me. I am not afraid to go camping well maybe sort of a little bit but I have a lot of respect when in the woods.

Years ago while taking a hike we spotted a bobcat. At night you can hear the bays of the coyotes up the hill when the sun goes down. There have always been the signs about the bears posted there. Although we have never seen a bear, we respect that those woods is their home. The Black Bear is also our state animal so that
is a big hint that no doubt they are there. I don't even have to go camping to hear about bears. On occasion they are spotted around the town I live in as close as downtown. I'm not sure if you've ever eaten bear meat before. I won't tell you they taste like chicken because they don't but they are pretty tasty.

Camping and fishing isn't the only thing to do. The George Washington National Forest in Hardy County, WV is filled with trails to hike. All part of the Appalachian Trail. We have walked several of the trails before. When camping however we always take precautions like
  • Locking food inside our truck at night. I purchase a three pack of the pine tree air fresheners with the most perfumed scent (nothing fruity smelling though) to hang in the truck. I figured wild animals would smell the perfume before the food. 
  • We keep our campsite well lit, even at night. We have 10 lanterns that get lit. Five of them stay lit through the night. Wild animals don't really like a lot of light. 
  • We keep a campfire going through the night. We bank it before hitting the sleeping bags and get up twice in the night to add more wood. The smoke from a fire can help keep wild animals at bay.
While there last week we did have a camper tell us that the day before we arrived that a camper had tied his food in the trees which wasn't a real smart thing to do since bears can and do climb trees.  Anyway a bear had went up the tree and got their food. Those campers packed up and left which I really can't blame them. Hearing about it, put me on high alert so when we went in for ice I picked up four more packs of the air fresheners. Trust and believe I did! I hung four in the tent and put more in the truck. I also hung two in the outhouse because Lord knows that thing needed something!

On Thursday the 21st I was caught off guard when a news story came on the local TV about a man and his dog who had been attacked by a bear earlier in the day in the same part of the forest that we just came home from. Bear Attacks Man and His Dog In The George Washington National Forest
Bear attack in Hardy Co, WV
(Frederick County Virginia Sheriff's Office)
pic credit: RESQ WV

On 8/21/2014 at 1:08 pm, the Frederick County Communications Center received a 911 call from a person located at Richards Fruit Market located at 6410 Middle Road stating that a person had driven into the business parking lot area seeking medical attention for himself and his dog due to injuries sustained from a bear attack.
The injured person is identified as Steven Krichbaum, 59 of Staunton, Virginia. Krichbaum was visiting the wooded area of the George Washington National Forest located in the Hardy County, West Virginia side of Route 55. As Krichbaum and his dog were walking in the woods, he came upon a black bear and two cubs. The black bear in response to Krichbaum and his dog’s presence, responded by attacking them. Krichbaum and his dog attempted to fend off the attack and were subsequently injured. Both Krichbaum and his dog was able to make their way to his parked vehicle and drive to Richards Fruit Market in an attempt to get medical assistance from their injuries.

Krichbaum was transported via rescue squad to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment and Krichbaums dog was transported by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control unit to a local emergency animal hospital. The current condition of both Krichbaum and his dog are unknown at this time.

Now last night I read the headlines that the Bear and Cubs are being looked for to be euthanized. Here is the response from WV authorities:
 West Virginia Officials Seek to Catch and Euthanize Bears In Attack While I am sorry the guy and his dog got hurt, I can't understand why they are going to kill them. One official is even said to say, 
"He acknowledged that the bear was provoked and just protecting her cubs, but the department does not want bears learning unacceptable behavior. We generally don’t want bears that have attacked people to be out,” 
What? I am scratching my head and wondering
Exactly what bears would they prefer having? The bear was in the woods (their home). She didn't come into town with her cubs and attack people there. Protecting her cubs is her natural instinct and happened in her own habitat. I really don't understand why they want to euthanize the mama and her cubs. 

Resources for this post:
Story WHAG Hagerstown
Police Statement: RESQ WV 
Story Winchester Star
Pic credit RESQ WV 

8 comments:

  1. But bears are adorable. Love your highlighted line about what the animal should and shouldn't learn.

    Hugs and chocolate!

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  2. JoeH Thank you Joe! I am just really saddened that they are going to do this. :(

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  3. Shelly- I'm laughing at the adorable part! We've never hunted bear but have friends that do. So, Yep they are adorable and they go with about any of the fixin's. Taters and gravy and some green beans and corn and some biscuits!!! :) I'm just saddened that our officials are going to euthanize them for acting like bears should act. :/

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  4. I can see both sides, but lean to your side. We recently had a cougar sighting about ten miles from here, which is still so rare that our DNR won't admit that it really happened. Thankfully, we've run into nothing more ferocious than a fox- but we can tell you what the fox says!

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  5. Because people are asphalts, as we say in front of our kids (they think it's hilarious).

    CA's state animal is a bear, the California Grizzly, which was hunted to extinction.

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  6. CW WOW on the cougar sighting. We have mountain lions and had reports early this year that big cats were responsible for killing some farm animals. On the cougar in your town I would think they would try to tranquilize and take it to another location. I hear ya on the sly fox. Hilarious on what the fox said. :)

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  7. Andrew I am going to have to remember your word asphalt for times when the grandkiddies are around! WOW on the bears in CA likely due to poaching.

    In WV the Rules and Regs on hunting bear is 4 pages long and really strict. The daily bag is 1. You cannot kill a bear with cub/cubs. Should you hunt and get one you have to take them in for field tagging. You also have to remove, bag and bring separately their teeth and if it is a female her uterus.
    The penalties if you are caught not abiding by the law pertaining to bears are very very strict.

    Yes there are those who don't follow the laws, but its not really worth losing privileges over.

    We've never hunted bear, but we have talked about it. By the time you drug it out of the woods, got it up on your vehicle, hung it to bleed it is going to be a lot of work then the removing the teeth and the uterus is just a lil more extra work

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