Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why We Have Guns Out Here

People in the city often are ignorant of the need for firearms out here on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains.  2011 was unusual for us because it is the first full year in memory that we have not seen bears in our backyard, although we did have one pile of droppings early in the summer so we know they're around.  Consider this story dated Sept. 20, 2010:  "These two gentlemen were calling elk in the Saddle Hills south of Woking, Alberta, when this big grizzly slipped in on the caller. The shooter spotted the bear about 8 yards from the caller, and dropped him with 5 shots from his .338 Winchester Magnum.  Farmers in the area knew about the bear but weren’t able to track it, even after it had killed 3 horses, 5 cows, 13 sheep, and a pen full of chickens on several different homesteads in the area.  Fish and Wildlife officers had bear traps set up in the area but noticed on surveillance videos that whenever he would enter a trap, his hump would hit the top of the culvert, slowing him enough that the trap door would whack him on the head before he was all the way in.  This bear weighed in just under 1300 pounds, and would have stood almost 12 feet tall on its hind legs."  A bear that kills horses, and too big for a bear trap!  The picture shows his "island-sized" paw.