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Re: [pct-l] bear manners

Dear bj,

Do you know if the bear strategy in Yellowstone NP of the rangers shooting
bears with rubber bullets every time they see them, is still being
practiced?  When I visited YNP about ten years ago they had effectively
solved their several decade old bear problem by outfitting all of the NP
rangers with rubber bullet loaded guns.  Every time they saw a bear they
shot it, which caused no permanent damage only a lot of pain.  In a very
short time all of the bears associated the smell and sight of people with
pain and avoided interaction at all cost.  

This is surely controversial in that it throws the painful solution back
onto the bears instead of us, who have caused the problem to begin with.
However, as has been pointed out in this discussion, the worst bear problem
areas are those where bears are not hunted.  Where they are hunted they
similarly associate people with pain and avoid them.  I experienced this
twice on my thru hike in '77 where I encountered bears who upon smelling me
hightailed it the other direction as though fearful for their lives.

In the NPs the bears cannot be hunted but some form of behavior
modification of humans or bears is needed.  Considering how stupid us
humans can be, the solution, I suggest, may have to come at the expense of
the bears, unfortunately.  

I'm headed to around Kennedy Meadows this coming weekend.  Anyone have any
trouble with bears around here recently?

IMHO and with my best regards,

Greg "Strider" Hummel
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