© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.
Bear Hunting Stories
Cornered to Death: A rancher described a disheartening early June morning incident in a high country pasture checked by his brother. Two bears team-worked an elk herd toward the fence corner. The cows circled trying to locate an escape route for their young. The females finally jumped over the fence to safety, abandoning their babies for their own survival and the instinctive survival of the species. The bears lurched in to bat, claw, and break young backs. Then the bruins ambled away from the eleven dead calves. It was just another morning sport challenge. Retired Federal Game warden Terry Gross related to me that some human hunters also enter a mental state of wanton slaughter. They see one animal fall or stumble, and instantly keep firing at other animals in primitive mental disorientation, out of reasoning control, and having no empathy for animal life. They mentally converted to thinking they were shooting at mere targets instead of living things. Bears Habitually Comb Sloppy Camping Areas : A camper using an illegal encampment site outside of Durango Colorado. He was in his tent eating sunflower seeds when a bear dragged dragged him out, mauled, chased him down as he fled to be again mauled. Friends with their dogs assisted in driving the bear to bay. However, the defiant bear sat at the edge of a parking lot watching medics and police helping the victim. It turns out that homeless people had been using the illegal camp area for quite some time. The bear had became habituated to foraging for food, and had grown overly familiar with people. Always check out a potential camp site for garbage and food wrapper litter evidence before you set up camp. This is especially important to hunters. Previous hunters may have hung game nearby, or even dragged game to camp leaving a long scent trail to be followed by predators. [The photo shows an intelligent bear checking out a bear trap, and deciding the chicken bait was not worth the risk. Michigan Dept. Resources.] Junk Food Not Good for Bears (and You Too): Colorado does not permit baiting of bears. This permitted research into the effects of scrounged junk food on the health of bears. Jonathan Pauli, University of Wisconsin, checked diets of hundreds of black bears across Colorado. He identified bears that ate high-calorie foods derived from corn and cane sugars using blood samples to extract carbon-13 concentrations. Carbon-13 is higher in processed sugars than natural sugars. Study results strongly suggest that bears scavenging people foods may ingest up to 30% of their diet from processed foods. Graduate student Rebecca Kirby extended the study to see the impact of diet on bear hibernation, gestation and procreation. The thirty junk food bears in this study hibernated shorter periods. That is not good. Active bears deplete winter energy fat reserves sooner. There is another problems for the bears. Bear physiology is unique, because during hibernation the bear system compensates for aging sort of stopping it (see pages on bear). Studies of other smaller mammals also suggest that hibernation may slow down aging. Genes enter the picture here. As mammals age, the snippets of cell gene chromosome ends called telomere shorten over time. Bears in the hibernation study had shortened telomeres, while free ranging bears (not scavengers) appear not have shortened hibernation. [The study must be statistically enlarged, because few free-range bears could be blood sampled.] Telomere researcher Jay Shay (U. Texas, SW Medical Center/Dallas) wonders if the connection between bear if human food, hibernation, and premature cell aging may be correct. So where does this leave us humans? With a conundrum to think about! Is junk food not only a path to diabetes, lethargy, incapacitation and premature aging? Eat well and keep moving!
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page for for permission to republish article excerpts.