June 19, 2013

"A man doing yard work in Burnett County in northwestern Wisconsin was mauled by a black bear..."

So do we need to start worrying about bears? In Wisconsin?
The incident on Monday night started when Brown's dog tangled with the bear. Brown tried to intervene and was mauled.
I can't imagine getting into a dog-bear melee. There was a similar story a month ago that also began with a bear and a dog and the dog's man getting involved. That was the one where the man's wife came to the rescue with a shotgun and hit the bear with the gun, which she didn't know how to load.

Here's a poll (where you need to assume you have a dog):

If you had no weapon, would you fight a bear to try to save your dog?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

81 comments:

James Pawlak said...

You forgot to include the alternative: Yes, I am always armed with a gun.

Birkel said...

The prediacte "if I had no weapon" does not compute.

ricpic said...

Import wolves to threaten the bears and motorcyclists.

Baron Zemo said...

You forgot....

No Because I can always borrow another dog.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Further proof of global warming.

Bob Ellison said...

This is a sad story, and I don't mean to make light of it, but: how do "maul" and "bear" go together like "graft" and "corruption" Can't a bear just beat up a person, maybe eat some of him or her, and not get the "maul" rap?

YoungHegelian said...

@Exhelodrvr1,

Further proof of global warming.

Further proof that dogs and people are tasty, more likely.

Sorun said...

Yes, I'd try to save the dog. There's always some type of weapon -- something to throw or hit with. I wouldn't go in for hand-to-paw combat. That would be stupid.

traditionalguy said...

Humans are smarter than bears. But sacrificing your life for a dog is dumb. That is the dog's job.

cold pizza said...

This is why man invented poking things with sticks. -CP

Methadras said...

If you live in an area that has wildlife like this and you have no weapon of some kind. You're an idiot. I'd try to save my dog for sure. Sorry bear.

Icepick said...

See, if you watched The (American) Office, you'd know that you ALWAYS have to worry about bears.

Unless you live in Hawaii.

MadisonMan said...

There's no report on the dog. I assume it survived unscathed.

This was all part of the dog's plot to get back at its owner for too much dry food and not enough wet?

cold pizza said...

Have a plan. Act. 11-Year old boy saves younger sister from bear attack.
-CP

Icepick said...

Bob Ellison: Standing up against bum raps for bears!

cold pizza said...

Or just react. And take advantage of the flight reflex. -CP

Icepick said...

Have a plan. Act.

My plan is to stay the Hell indoors as much as possible. I'm acting on it right now!

YoungHegelian said...

@Professor Althouse,

It may be just me, but I'm seeing my comments post and then disappear.

It didn't seem to be that disagreeable of a post, but, hey, to paraphrase Leslie Gore "It's your party and you snub who you want to, snub who you want to".

Billy Oblivion said...

"If you had no weapon"

Then I've really, really fucked up, now haven't I?

Billy Oblivion said...

"If you had no weapon"

Then I've really, really fucked up, now haven't I?

TML said...

What about a Man-Bear-Pig melee? Would you tangle with that?

Unknown said...

Option not offered, but my answer...

IF I didn't have a weapon... I love my dog, but I have a child. My child having a parent is more important than having a dog.

That said, I have a gun, so I'd do my best to save the dog that doesn't risk my life.

DADvocate said...

Get ready for the bear invasion you Wisconsin pussies. Growing up in Knoxville, I encountered plenty of bears in the Smoky Mountains and occasionally one would wonder into town. They've been spotetd in my old neighborhood a couple of times.

You might try throwing something at the bear, but don't piss it off. I always threww to miss but scare it. Unless you have a gun, you don't have a chance. If the dog ain't smart enough to keep its distance from a bear, it don't deserve living.

Tank said...

A thing I know from experience.

Bears are not cute in person when there are no bars between them and you. They're large and fast and powerful.

No matter how much you love your dog, he's still just a dog. We're not talking about your first born.

Kevin said...

No but I'd jump down into the bear pit to save Brienne of Tarth because it's just freakin' cool and my complex character arc demands I do something noble at right about this point.

Tank said...

PS But I'd gladly shoot the bear to save my dog.

bagoh20 said...

You left out what is the most common truth.

I love my dog, I'm not strong, I'm not brave, but I'm also not the kind of creature that will just stand and watch as he gets killed after I took responsibility for his safety as he did for me by attacking that bear.

Character is what you show when no people are watching. Sometimes it can be dangerous.

I'm not saying I would dive in between them, but I would do what I could with some measure of safety. If I chose to run and hide, then what the hell is my life worth anyway? I'm just sucking up air here.

Now, if it was my cat, then I'd wish him good luck, and go back to watching "The View".

Fernandinande said...

"[The Black Bear is] no danger to humans at all, really; it tends to run away when surprised."

From that stupid Popsci "Bear Species, In Order Of Quality" article.

Icepick said...

No but I'd jump down into the bear pit to save Brienne of Tarth because it's just freakin' cool and my complex character arc demands I do something noble at right about this point.

It was a calculated risk: The people holding him were likely to save his one-handed self for fear of pissing off his father.

bagoh20 said...

"Humans are smarter than bears."

Without a link, I'm not convinced. In fact, I bet I can find more links that prove humans are dumber than bear scat on a dictionary.

Nomennovum said...

Ho-hum. Man-bear-dog.

Wake me up when there's a verified sighting of Manbearpig.

Christy said...

Just now a vid is making its way around Fbook of a hunter up in a blind and what looks to be a young black bear climbs up the tree to check him out. Sorry, don't know how to link it.

Nomennovum said...

Whoops. Tip of the hat to TML re Manbearpig.

JPS said...

bagoh20: Well said!

MadisonMan: "There's no report on the dog. I assume it survived unscathed."

That's what I was thinking.

A few years ago, my wife, our dog and I were walking along a hiking trail through the forest, near dusk. We came to a campsite near a stream, and a black bear came loping across our path, about twenty yards in front of us.

And our dog - who is a complete wimp and cringes when threatened by smaller dogs - took off after him. The dog is about 40 lbs, I'd put the bear around four times that.

They disappeared into the brush, which made a lot of noise. My wife started to go in for him, and I heartlessly put a hand on her shoulder to stop her. My reasoning was that he was either going to be fine, or she'd be too late.

Sure enough, after a few seconds too many he came trotting out, unscathed, extremely pleased with himself.

JPS said...

I'll add, though, I don't think our dog was defending us. I think he just wanted to play, and did.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'm hard-pressed to see a meaningful distinction between a dog and a spouse, in this hypo.

bagoh20 said...

OK, now what if the dog is Lassie, and she just signed a 5 year contract with Tarantino to do the new Cujo?

Kevin said...

A lot of commenters seem to assume that the dog is tangling with the bear because he is a dumb ass. I think it's more likely that the dog would be tangling with the bear to save YOU and/or your family.

That changes the calculation somewhat. On the one hand, it would be more cruel to abandon such a loyal friend to certain death without trying to save him. On the other hand, if he dies and you die too, then his sacrifice would have been in vain.

Tank said...

JPS said...

A few years ago, my wife, our dog and I were walking along a hiking trail through the forest, near dusk. We came to a campsite near a stream, and a black bear came loping across our path, about twenty yards in front of us.

And our dog - who is a complete wimp and cringes when threatened by smaller dogs - took off after him. The dog is about 40 lbs, I'd put the bear around four times that.



WTF ? Was it mini-bear? Bears weigh 160 like ... when they're born.

OK, if it's a 160 pound bear, he's only got five pounds on me. I might have to go after him just to prove I'm a man.

chrisnavin.com said...

Man, such dogged determination sounds unbearable,

Sorun said...

My wife and I once took on a bear to save a bag of our trash.

Baron Zemo said...

Your post are being deleted YoungHegelian because you keep making that boring argument that abortions are wrong for Bears.

Cut that shit out.

Robert Cook said...

"Further proof of global warming."

Your intended snark duly noted, this may or may not be true, but it may also simply be an indication of human encroachment on areas that are the bears' normal habitats. As more land is cleared for development, wildlife of all kind must flee into areas they have not previously commonly been found.

AprilApple said...

Even if I had a weapon, I don't know If I would actually be brave enough to use it in a dog on bear fight. I love my pets and would do anything for them, but there are limits.
(btw - took my first shooting lesson and wow was that freaky deaky. Not my cup of tea but I'm going to power through it anyway)

When you live near wilderness, there are risks. On rare occasions, bear and mountain lions eat pets and people.
I recall an instance where a hunter asked to enter private land to retrieve his dog. The hunter was allowed in. He found his dog dead and then shot the mountain lion that killed his dog. (then ran like heck because he wasn't sure if the shot was fatal)... Hunter later said of his dog - "well, at least he went out in a blaze of glory!".

Scott M said...

Let's be honest. Dog's have a cost ceiling.

Baron Zemo said...

We never could figure out where Brother Bear went wrong. He seemed like a normal little bear. Eating garbage out of the can. Licking himself because he could. Shitting in the woods. He did what bears do.

But the psychiatrists said it had something to do with his relationship with his mother. You see she was very tough on him. Very tough. She used to spank him all the time. Whenever he did something wrong she would pull down his pants and put him over her knee. She still did it when he was twenty. It was painful but strangely arousing for Brother Bear. It made him associate pleasure with pain. That was the reason why he ended up shooting brown haired woman on the hiking trails of Jellystone.

And why he kept trying to date Jewish Bears.

(Stan and Jan Berenstain "The Summer of Boo Boo", The E True Hollywood Story of the Berenstain Bears)

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

Wisconsin doesn't have many citizens so extant bears can pretty much wander around at will. Here in Florida, which is just overrun with people south of Orlando, bears and people interact all the time. In our backyards, pools, garbage cans, pic-ah-nic baskets on the highways, etc. Lots of bears everywhere.

JPS said...

Tank:

"WTF ? Was it mini-bear? Bears weigh 160 like ... when they're born."

Yeah, it was on the small side for a black bear. I'm guessing it was either a young fellow or a female.

I'd like to think I'd have come to our dog's aid if he'd sounded distressed. At the time I really felt sure he was going to come out fine. The bear seemed spooked by us - it just seemed to want to run away, which it did.

Astro said...

I'd tell my dog to leave the bear alone. Then I'd offer her a potato chip; that gets her attention every time.

madAsHell said...

btw - took my first shooting lesson and wow was that freaky deaky

yeah....meadehouse needs to go to the range, and then blog about it.

Icepick said...

Tank wrote: WTF ? Was it mini-bear? Bears weigh 160 like ... when they're born.

Black bear weight ranges, from the 100% reliable Wikipedia:

Adult males typically weigh between 57–250 kg (130–550 lb), while females weigh 33% less at 41–170 kg (90–370 lb).

So 160 pounds for a black bear wouldn't be abnormal.

Baron Zemo said...

I thought the black bears where the ones with the Obamaphones?

Icepick said...

Oh! And while I'm at it:

"Bears. Beats. Battlestar Galactica."

Icepick said...

I thought the black bears where the ones with the Obamaphones?

Only if they're hairy and gay.

YoungHegelian said...

@BZ,

Your post are being deleted YoungHegelian because you keep making that boring argument that abortions are wrong for Bears.

Oh, please, please, BZ, could you please bear with me & my boring ways just a little while longer?

I'd be much obliged, as they say in Queens.

edutcher said...

You don't go after the bear if you have a pistol (OK, GI .45 maybe). A rifle with some oomph (M-1 or better) is best.

Otherwise, you annoy the bear.

You can try to save the dog if you have no firearm, but you either try the Davy Crockett method (grin it down) or the Jim Bowie method (it's what's for dinner)

Tank said...

Well OK. Recalibrate.

At 160 pounds, (1) my daughter's dog (about 65 pound dopey Pit) could prolly take that bear and (2) I'd probably help if I could even without a weapon (although I'd sure look for one).

The several bears I've run into in the woods were NOT 160 pounds. I'd guess 300 pounds minimum - this was out at Grand Teton and in western NJ.

Bruce Hayden said...

When you live near wilderness, there are risks. On rare occasions, bear and mountain lions eat pets and people.

Much more mountain lion than bear. Bears may have a good top speed for a short distance, but they are not very agile, at least compared to dogs. Bears have been routinely hunted by dog for centuries - for example, very closely related to Norwegian Elk Hounds are their bear hounds. The Elk Hounds are apparently hunted in pair, while the Bear Hounds in 4s. They can apparently fairly successfully corner and control black bears by alternately nipping in when they go after the other dog, constantly distracting them. So, all most larger dogs need to do is dodge, which they are pretty good at, in order to evade bears. What we have here though is the dog protecting his pack/family, which is why he probably wasn't dodging as much.

Mountain lions are something else. Used to live in heavy woods and not a lot of houses around. We had some black bear, turkeys, no deer, and some mountain lion. When there was a mountain lion in the area, single dogs were not safe, but were fairly safe if there were two or more living together. Remember one time when one was coming through our yard every day at dusk. Dogs were being taken about 5 miles east of us (on Lookout Mountain for those who know the Denver area). Trackers couldn't track it when it took 50 lb dogs, but did when it took a 70-80 lb dog, followed it back to its lair (maybe a mile from us), and killed it. Same mountain lion. And, yes, I had a gun when I played with my kid out on the porch that summer.

I think that you just need to look at the difference in their success rates with deer to see the difference. On the side of the highway that we lived on, there were no deer, but mountain lions. On the other side, where my father lives, the deer are the menace, and mountain lions ruthlessly kept out. Black bears, on the other hand are apparently fairly poor at hunting deer, which is why they tend to concentrate on berries, etc., even when there are a lot of deer around.

The thing is though that while black bears tend to be fairly unnimble compared to much of the animal kingdom, there is one species that they are probably as nimble as, and that is us, and given their greater strength, claws, and teeth, we have traditionally been more prey than hunter when we interact with them, at least until we learned to make effective weapons.

MrCharlie2 said...

Dadvocate,

Apparently his dog didn't think the guy was smart enough to avoid the bear, so he decided to intervene

Fritz said...

"Humans are smarter than bears."

Without a link, I'm not convinced. In fact, I bet I can find more links that prove humans are dumber than bear scat on a dictionary.


Have you ever met a liberal bear? Me neither.

Bruce Hayden said...

I should add that I again live in the same sort of woods that I did west of Denver in the mountains. Heavy forests composed primarily of Ponderosa Pines, Douglas Firs, etc., but now in NW Montana. Deer are the menace, but we do have black bears though the yard on a fairly frequent basis. GF used to throw scraps out by the driveway a couple of years ago, until one spent a half an hour eating such maybe 20 feet from our bed. Still, one has been on our porch this summer a couple times. Yet, you can get within 20 feet of the deer, and I got a shot of a baby deer two weeks ago that had been hidden by its mother upon seeing me. I saw the two of them together, with the baby tottering along, then it disappeared and the mother started running around to distract me, so I figured I must have been almost on her baby, and was, so got photos from maybe a foot or two above it. Point there is that we have both bear and deer in close proximity, and they seem to coexist very well, with little, if any, deer predation by the bears. And, no one seems to worry about losing their dogs to the bears either.

Baron Zemo said...

Our life as a loving family was shattered when we got our first video cassette recorder. We didn't sit as a family and talk anymore. Instead we sat and stared at the TV. We would go to the Jellystone Blockbusters and rent movies. Everybody had their favorites.

Papa Bear would rent videos of "This Old House" and his favorite Westerns. He was a big Gabby Hayes fan. He said he looked like a Bear.

Sister Bear loved any movie with a Princess in it. "Snow White." "Sleeping Beauty." "The Princess Bride.""Rear Window."

Honey Bear liked Sesame Street and Bugs Bunny.

Brother Bear loved "Die Hard" and "Roadhouse." He was always trying to act like a bouncer at the campfire. He loved to kick Gentle Ben in the nuts.

But Mama Bear got weird. She was really into porn. Most of all she loved to rent "Taboo." She started to style her hair like Kay Parker. She tried to hang around with Aunt Peg when she came to visit the park. And one day when Brother Bear came home from school she decided to act on her forbidden desires and......well that was where it all went wrong.

(Stan and Jan Berenstain "The Summer of Boo Boo", The E True Hollywood Story of the Berenstain Bears)

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Humans killed bears for thousands of years before they invented firearms. The humans I mean. The bears have always supported gun control. Look where that got them - shiting in the woods, never shaving, and rarely bathing like common hippies.

Broomhandle said...

If either of my 12-pound dachshunds went after the bear, yes, they would have the full support of whichever of my firearms I could access. But I'm not going to wrassle a bear.

Baron Zemo said...

The Place: Jellystone Park. Visited by thousands every summer it is the jewel of the National Park System. Most people visit without a problem. But
some cause trouble with the wild life. Then I have to get involved.

My name is Smith. I am cop. I carry a badge. And a funny hat.

I was working the day watch out of Jellystone in the turned over garbage can division. The Captain is Dudley Dooright. My partner is Bill Gannon.

We got a call from the campground that there was an altercation. It seems that one of our bears got in a fight with a borrowed dog. When we arrived we saw that the fracas was still going on. We separated the parties. Bill took Gentle Ben aside. It was strange that he was involved because....well....he is Gentle. Then I spotted who the other parties were and I knew what happened. I had met them before. They were trouble.

He was dressed like a gardener with soiled knee pads and crocs and wore a planters hat. He had a dog with him. No I was not referring to his peroxided companion wearing the Venetian blind skirt. No her I knew. She had been picked up in the park for soliciting people to use her portal. No he had a borrowed dog. It was strange.

He never bought a dog. He just borrowed them.

Borrowing a dog is just borrowing trouble.

It seemed that Gentle Ben was a little inebriated. He got like that when he ate the fermenting elderberries. Plus he had found a bottle of Jack Daniels in the trash. So he decided to chat up this Saint Bernard. She was cute. Long hair. Tight buttocks. Long tongue. Gentle Ben was different from most bears. He liked to do it doggy style. But this pooch wasn't going for it. So a tussle ensued.

We managed to straighten it out. Both sides went their separate ways.

But I don't think we have heard the last of this.

Borrowing a dog is just borrowing trouble.

Browndog said...

Leave it to a poll, an exercise in academics, to ferret out logic in what would be an instinctive, split second course of action.

Rusty said...

How many times I got to tell you people?
Don't fuck with the wildlife.

Ann Althouse said...

"It may be just me, but I'm seeing my comments post and then disappear."

I didn't delete you and I don't see anything in the spam filter.

cold pizza said...

Thank you Bearon Zemo! -CP

Big Mike said...

I'd hope the dog could stay alive long enough for me to grab a rifle and remind the bear why they once upon a time developed a healthy respect for bipeds holding stick-like things.

YoungHegelian said...

@Prof. Althouse

I didn't delete you and I don't see anything in the spam filter.

Weird. A blogger hiccup, I guess.

Thank you for at least taking the time to look into it. I appreciate the concern.

ken in sc said...

In places where guns are not allowed, like state parks, I carry a large can of Alaska bear spray. I have only seen bears from a distance so maybe it keeps them away. We had a young black bear wander into down town Easley SC two years ago.

gadfly said...

Those of us who have lived directionally north of and outside the warm and safe environs of Mad City most likely have seen black bears. I personally saw two making their way through beautiful downtown Waupaca, pop. 6,069 - in the winter.

Michael Haz said...

There are bears in northern Wisconsin. They've been there since bears were invented. We've seen them ambling down railroad tracks, crossing roads, and until recently outlawed, at feeding stations set up in the back yards of bars and restaurants. There have been paw prints in the snow at my cabin, and piles of bear scat on one of the hiking trails we use.

There are also wolves in our 'hood, verified by trail cam videos captured by a neighbor who was actually watching his deer feeding station. And the occasional mountain lion.

We don't go walking or hiking with out a big pressurized bottle of bear spray on our hip or chest, and now have taken to carrying a mil spec Glock as well.

Michael Haz said...

Democrats are more voracious than Bears. Once they clamp onto your wallet, you're a goner. That's why when I am in Madison I usually wear Demo Camo - a Che shirt and a recall Walker hat.

YoungHegelian said...

There is at least one coyote that lives in Rock Creek Park, the Federal park that bisects pretty much the entire length of the District of Columbia. I've seen the critter twice myself.

And, no, it wasn't someone's poochie & no pyscho-active drugs were involved. The proof's right here.

creeley23 said...

Classic headline: Parents, son drown trying to save dog.

The dog nearly always survives.

Dale Light said...

Bears are a problem not just in the West. Twice we have encountered black bear on our property in east-central Pennsylvania. My wife used to enjoy walking in the woods, but won't go out alone any more. Coyotes are also a problem -- they kill cats, fox, and small dogs. What worries us most is that a couple living up the hill from us has three small children and the father raises bees.

Saint Croix said...

Okay, not bear related.

I had a dog once, Scout, 110 pound golden retriever. I was going on a canoe trip and I asked the canoe guy if I could bring my dog. He said sure.

Scout flipped our canoe over 50 times.

"Don't stand up, don't stand up, don't stand up, please God would you fucking SIT?!"

Splash.

I tried to be heartless and leave him out of the canoe to swim. And he's dog-paddling behind me, desperately following. And I'm the dummy who put him in the canoe in the first place. So I jump out of the canoe to rescue my dog.

And he promptly stands up and we flip over again.

As I lift that damn canoe over my head for the 50th time to get water out of it, I am completely exhausted. And my dog gives me a lick on the face.