|Click to enlarge.|
On the 19th I combined a scout camera photo of a young bear with a bear-in-the-trash incident (same bear?) to make a blog post that tried to hit the "cute zone."
I should probably just leave "cute" alone. As for the bear, he is dead.
About 7:20 yesterday morning (the 22nd) as I was dressing to take Fisher for his walk, I heard a gun shot. I wanted to believe that it was something else.
We took our walk, came home, and Fisher, out on the veranda, alerted to something. I looked where he was looking, and there up in a big pine tree was a bear with blood on his side.
I called the sheriff's dispatcher and asked for a wildlife person. In about five minutes, one of the area district wildlife managers (what Colorado calls a game warden) called back. Twenty minutes later he was here, slipping his rifle from the scabbard behind the truck seat.
|The warden moves for a clear shot at the wounded bear.|
What had happened was this:
We have new neighbors, the kind who having moved from a town to a five-acre lot in the woods, think that they are now deep in the Alaskan bush and must defend themselves against all dangers.
They are well-armed and have four-wheel-drive vehicles, but they did not know where their well water came from until I told them.
Right away, the guy pissed off us and some other neighbors by target-shooting his fave AR-platform .308 rifle from his front yard and also sending .22 bullets zinging across a Forest Service road where someone else was walking (or so told us — and him).
Yesterday morning, he saw a bear in his dumpster, let his dog out, the bear swatted at the dog, and he shot it.
But "Mr. Tactical" did not kill it. He let it walk away, wounded. It came onto our property, climbed a tree, and suffered for over an hour until I saw it and called for the game warden.
Then his wife comes over to where the bear is lying, all "ohmygod there's a three-month-old baby in the house and the bear was around the house and I have baby chicks inside and we love animals because we have a dog and a canary!" Et cetera.
And then M. referred to her husband as a "murderer," and things threatened to become very un-neighborly indeed.
The warden stayed calm and reminded her (and Mr. Tactical when he finally showed up, standing back at a distance) that they could have called for an evaluation of the situation, maybe even a live-trap to remove the bear.
Shooting the bear just for poking into the garbage is flat illegal. But he did not cite them, because he was just over the line into another DWM's territory, and any law-enforcement action will be up to her. Naturally we are hoping that she gets his attention with a hefty fine.
At least these people are only renting, so maybe they will move on.
By ten o'clock, the incident was over — but the day was not. There was more to come.