Scouts killing bear
Richard C. Ickler (icklerr@DELTANET.COM)
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 14:56:20 -0700
There doesn't appear to be a lot of information available on this incident.
The LA Times and the Long Beach Press-Telegram only had small stories on it.
The Times article said that two adult leaders each threw a stone in the
direction where they thought they heard a bear and found the dead bear the
next morning. The Press-Telegram article says that one boy threw a stone at
a bear and the rest of the troop joined in. In both cases the troop leaders
say that it was accidental and they were only following the recommendations
of the Park Service pamphlet on bears. In the Times article the leaders
said that bears had been wandering in and out of camp all night.
The bear problem is EXTREME in Yosemite this year. A group from our troop a
week and a half ago also had a bear break into their car for a Rubbermaid
tote which had Mt. Dew in it. They were at the same campground. The bear
apparently broke open and drank a dozen cans and then peed in the car before
it left. My wife also heard a report about the relative of a co-worker
whose Honda Civic's hatchback was broken open like a pop-top can for an ice
chest. It sounds like Yosemite needs to do what Yellowstone did about 10-20
years ago. They captured all of the bears they could around the villages
and campgrounds and took the bears back to the backcountry. They then
agressively chased away or killed all of the bears which wandered back.
That pretty well took care of their bear problems for a number of years. I
haven't heard of any major problems since.
The bear problem does not appear to be as bad elsewhere. My sons and I were
in the Golden Trout Wilderness area of Inyo National Forest (on the eastern
border of Sequoia) last week. They said that there were bears in the area
but no precautions had been taken to secure the trash. There was also no
agressive effort to get hikers to take bear precautions though there were
signs showing how to bear bag properly. A month ago we went to the San
Gorgonio Wilderness area in the San Bernadino National Forest. We bear
bagged but other people did not with no incidents. I know there are bears
in the area because our scout camp is about 1 mile from the trailhead and
they have a bear who regularly visits.
Richard C. Ickler
Scoutmaster, Troop 14
Long Beach, CA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City