Monday, October 25, 2004

Don't kill bears

I went north with a friend to visit some other friends.

It was a wonderful get away to Central Yukon, a place very different from Southern Yukon home of the logcabin.

Everytime I've visited this little northern community there seems to be some Northern action. This time it involved the disappearance of a bow hunter who failed to meet his plane.

He was dropped off two weeks earlier to an area called Reid Lake, two elders we spoke to also refered to it as 'bad luck' lake. When he failed to meet the plane the RCMP flew in to do a small search. They found one days worth of food eaten, his tent, backpack, the rest of his food and his boat halfway down the lake. No bow.

The RCMP abandoned the mission due to bad weather. The friend we were staying with had another friend who was a friend of the bow hunter. This friend has his own plane and didn't think the weather was bad enough to abandon flying, particularly since their friend was missing. The friends went in.

The first time they went in they could barely go beyond the lake shore, the area was so wild with life. They found what the RCMP had left. Very little. (Which I find strange, what if the bow hunter had somehow made it back to his camp and all his food was gone?). They also noticed a grouping of ravens further into the woods. They saw three large moose that didn't seem intimidated by their presence and so they flew out.

The second time they went in they "buzzed" the area with the plane so they would have a little more time to explore without so much wildlife around. They also took a dog. They were able to do a little more exploring and wandered up the lake to where the hunters boat was tied. Here they made a grizzly discovery. They found the bow and a shredded balaclava. The bow was undisturbed. The bow hunter was hunted by a bear.

I was shocked to hear this. We did a little research on this bow hunter. Apparently he was a well seasoned outdoor guide and biologist. We found a photo of him and three friends proudly standing behind one of the most gorgeous and powerful kodiak bears I've ever seen. It lay limp.

Interestingly, three of the four friends in that photo are now dead.

We also heard the elders say that a bear can tell if you've killed another bear.

Don't kill bears.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an interesting story. I do believe that bears are very smart. Sad that these hunters are no longer with us but the hunters became the hunted. Kind of like gang warfare. I think I would like the Yukon if it weren't so cold. Got to go the sun is rising and I love that first glow. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

6:41 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I guess I won't be going hunting in the great white north - or anywhere else for that matter! What an interesting story and is it really true???? Heard about a young worker at Manning Park getting chased by a black bear a few weeks back. Had the fellow by the seat of his pants trying to drag him in the woods, but fortunately he was able to escape somehow and barely managed to get into an opened cabin - fortunately for him! As a result he has a sore butt and a story to tell!

7:44 p.m.  

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