The right to arm bears

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
A couple of months ago Congress approved firearms being in National Parks. Well it’s happened. At Denali Park in Alaska, 2 backpackers met up with a grizzly. The man pulled out his.45 caliber semi-automatic pistol when they heard a noise coming from the brush. 


When the bear emerged from the thicket and ran toward the other hiker, he fired nine rounds in its general direction. The bear stopped, turned, and walked back into the brush, where it quickly disappeared from view. They told the authorities and late in the afternoon rangers found the dead bear. This is the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of the park. At Yosemite there have been 41 bear incidents so far this year with damages totaling $10,000.  One bear has been killed by a car. Last year 26 bit the big one from high velocity impacts. Slow down when driving and while hiking wear bells and try anti-bear spray not lead slinging.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.” – Simon & Garfunkle

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


11 Responses to “The right to arm bears”

  1. Jim Says:

    Grizzly bears are alot different then black bears. Black bears you are told to make alot of noise and they will run off. Grizzly bears you are told to play dead and not make eye contact. Yosemite would be a much different place to backpack if their were grizzly bears.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      The only person ever killed by wildlife at Yosemite was a 7-yr old boy who was gored by a deer. There were grizzlies there unitl 1922. So about 60 years of whites tramping around and no one killed by a grizzly. It just seems to me we do not need to pack heat to enjoy the outdoors. Don’t go somewhere that you might need to bring a gun to protect yourself.

      The new standard gear = a bear cannister and an AK-47?

  2. andy Says:


  3. John Lauer Says:

    Since the WHITE European-descended people arrived in the mid 1800s. Indians had been around 1000s of years. I noticed the squirrels in Yosemite are overly friendly.

  4. Don Cade Says:

    With the proper preparation this incident could have been avoided. Seeing that these men knew there was a potential threat indicated that they knew this could have possibly happened. With only 23 attacks having occured in Denali the likelyhood of these men being the 24th was slim, but you never know. The real crux of the issue is the right to pack heat. The fact is with proper preparation and awareness this should never be an issue. Bells and spray are a deterrant against bears, but there are mountain lions, and though attacks are rare they are not nonexistant. With all of this being said, there is no substitute for awareness and preparation.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Well said, Don.

      Risk in life makes it worth living. Otherwise stay at home and watch it all on DVD. Another benefit to using trekking poles is that I have some measure of a weapon if I get into situation. An attacking Mt Lion could be fended off, a rattling snake pushed aside and a man-eating squirrel held a bay.

      The squirrels are so friendly because well meaning vistors feed them. So when we leave in the fall they don’t have stuff stored up and they go hungry. Sigh.

      All this is in the “Leave no Trace” spirit.

  5. andy Says:

    Oh I see, only “whites” ever fed a squirrel. Gimme a break.

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      Where are you going with this?

      My point was that since records were kep i.e. when the Causcasions of Euro descent came upon the valley in 1851, no one had been killed by a bear. That’s all. No racial ovetones on my part. Yes, morons of every color feed the critters.


  6. andy Says:

    Peace. The record keeping aspect explains it. Thanks
    I’m not sure how we got to squirrels 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: