Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

"Boris, how are we going to steal car from moose and squirrel?" - Natasha, The Bullwinkle Show



Guess who's coming for brunch?

Above is yet another moose.

At this time of year, they show up a bit closer to settled areas, looking for food. The ones pictured above are eating some sort of viney thing that grew next to the house last summer. I guess that makes my place the salad bar for today.

The Mrs. took this picture. As it was, she put the dogs out, and they took three steps out, turned around and trotted right back inside. That’s unusual, since it’s morning and normally their internal bodily systems have, shall we say, pressured up.

The Mrs. didn’t think much of it, until she went back into our bedroom and ran the shade up. She was standing staring back at a moose not six inches from her, though separated by a triple pane of glass. It was a cow moose, and it had a calf moose with it.

She then opened the door and snapped a digital picture of the moose in action. And, no, she didn’t let The Boy out, since the moose were stalking our house all day, kinda like a renegade satanic motorcycle gang from a 1970’s made for TV movie starring Robert Wagner. Perhaps they were waiting for more vine to grow. Eventually, the moose left, and our big doofus dog waited until they were out of earshot. Then she barked, as if saying, “Yeah, that’s what I’m sayin’. Come on back if you want a piece of me.” The dog is pretty tough when the moose are a mile away.

But, the above story shows a reasonable, rational way to deal with a wild animal. The moose are not our pets, we don’t feed them, we don’t let our young out near them, and we don’t taunt them when they can hear us. Those moose have a wicked sense of vengeance.

But moose have nothing on grizzly bears. I’ve been waiting for Grizzly Man to show up in the video store, but to my surprise, Discovery Channel picked it up and showed it last weekend. It was like watching a train wreck – you just can’t turn away. In truth, had I not known that the story was a real one, I would have thought I was watching “The Blair Bear Project.”

The movie, appropriately, starts with the death of Timothy Treadwell. Mr. Treadwell was the guy who became Grizzly Chow® after living thirteen summers with various groups of grizzly bears down south. By down south, I mean south of Fairbanks. Oh, I guess that means most places. In this case, he was down south of Anchorage on the island of Kodiak.

I think the movie was fairly well balanced. If you thought Mr. Treadwell was a tireless defender of the bears, or if you believe him to be an utterly gibbering idiot that shouldn’t have been allowed to play with sharp objects, your belief won’t change after watching the movie.

I hadn’t made up my mind, but I’m leaning more towards the gibbering idiot side. As The Mrs. put it, “You don’t go hunting grizzly with a camera.”

As a friend of mine put it, “Down in Kodiak, if you go bear hunting, chances are the bear is hunting you at the same time.”

Yup. I think the fundamental thing Mr. Treadwell missed was that these weren’t critters who would break out into “The Bare Necessities” and then help him along his way. Grizzly bears are wild. If they’re hungry, they don’t really care if you love them. They’re not big furry people: that would be Roseanne, not a bear. Bears will eat you. Mr. Treadwell always left before the bears got too frenzied in preparing to hibernate, until that last year.

Perhaps the greatest disservice Mr. Treadwell did was to the bear themselves. I know it’s hard to imagine anything that could make a ten foot tall, 1100 pound critter with claws and fangs more scary, but there is: they’re comfy around humans, which makes them more dangerous. They should fear us, we should fear them. Breaking that rule makes it more likely that more people may get injured, and more of Mr. Treadwell’s bears will be killed.

Oh, and if you go to a costume party in Alaska, don’t pick the bear suit. Or, the moose suit in September. And avoid the Blair Bear.

10 Comments:

Blogger Coldfoot said...

http://www.youtube.com/w/Grizzly-Bear-Man?v=TFq2CM2Pd2g

Spoof on the Bear Man movie. It lasts about 10 minutes, but don't you dare turn it off until you see the second interview with the bush pilot.

12:24 PM  
Blogger John said...

I saw that one before I saw Grizzly Man. The best part were where they took actual lines from the film . . .

1:17 PM  
Blogger SusanE said...

"oh he's such a big bear, oh such a big big bear". Personally I go with the gibbering idiot version. Honestly, I think the guy suffered from mental illness and I agree that he's done the bears a great disservice. A bear that is used to people, is a dangerous bear.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

You have a bunch of sissy dogs :) I also watch the Discovery Channel and see wolves attacking moose -- one to distract and two to jump on the moose neck. The dogs need to be enrolled in military school.

5:27 AM  
Blogger John said...

susane,
Agreed. I hear that they're going to do a re-make, and he'll be played by Owen Wilson, but instead of bears, he'll be fighting to save lint.

I might have that all wrong . . .

woof,
My dogs are BIG sissies. Now, as for the moose, I'd like to have the moose for me . . . in September . . .

10:25 AM  
Blogger Garry said...

This Grizzly Man film sounds awful, but if it comes onto the telly here, I'll have to watch it now. He sounds like a prize dick.

How about this: shoot a moose, butcher it and eat it - and make the dogs watch the whole thing; don't let them have a single morsel - in fact starve them for a week. That should help them harbour some bad feeling to the moose.

My brother in law's dog would always bite me - but he get burgled one day and the little bastard did nothing, was found cowering beneath the bed.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Joann said...

I am glad I saw your name on "Truck Driver Journal Blog Vlog." You will be a good visit.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Penny Pressed said...

I am beyond jealous of your moose sightings. When we were in New Hampshire, I waited every day to see a moose, but no dice. Guess I'll just have to get my passport in order and head to Alaska.

(And great. Now I'm going to be talking like Natasha, dahling, for the rest of the day. My family thanks you.)

11:23 AM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Once again the surfing illiterate misidentified a Pleasure Point Night Fighter. Usually found only in Santa Cruz County's Pleasure Point surfing area, it sometimes migrates to parts unknown after drinking a concoction known locally as Tequila. A positive identification can always be confirmed after hearing it's plainsong cry: "Pack Your Trash!" Learn more at: http://www.packyourtrash.com.html

As you can see in your photo, the red eyes are a dead giveaway. PPNF's are always hungover and irritable. And what you think is your summer vine are actually dried seaweed hanging from it's maw, which PPNF's gnaw on between barbeques to stave off sobriety. The knobby knees form after hours spent paddling longboards in search of rideable waves unpopulated by non-locals (aka: San Joseians).

Although PPNF's delicate habitat is threated by the Silicon Valley Neorich (SVN), and the PPNF are an endanged species (the drunken idiots are impotent due to overconsumption of said Tequila and god in infinite wisdom allows for the extinction of cretinoids), the species stuggles on in oblivion.

11:48 AM  
Blogger John said...

garry,
I couldn't turn away . . . I started watching at 10PM and stayed up to 1AM to finish it . . .

My dogs are just sissies. They'd cry. Probably join your BIL's dog under the bed.

joann,
Thanks for stopping on by! Liked your stuff on XL.

penny,
Vhat? Iss dat problem?

I think the New Hampshire Moose hang out with the Rotary Club . . .

brotherbill,
Okay, I'd pay big money to see one of these drunk on a surf board.

1:15 PM  

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