Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Write Way to Disarm Bears

This week we saw a black bear in the wild while driving through Shenandoah National Park. It was a moment of wonder and something my husband had hoped to experience his whole life. For five minutes, we all stared at a beast from the safety of our car before it lumbered into the foliage. It was amazing how silently such a large creature could move and more stunning how quickly it could vanish from view.

The state I live in decided that up to 500 bears may be killed to curb overpopulation and prevent excessive encounters between bears and humans. This license to kill bruins only exists within Maryland, so the park where we saw our Smokey won't be affected. Given the amount of readily available food, including possibly awestruck tourists that stop to snap pictures on Skyline Drive, I'm betting that bear won't get too much wanderlust. If he's smart, he'll stay put such that anyone who takes a shot at him is committing a federal offense.

For the remaining wandering bears out there in Maryland, they still don't have too much to worry about if it's me. While any of the 350 million Americans could exercise their rights and try to bag one of these stray bears in the Free State, most of us should refrain. Shooting anything outside of a video game is much harder in real life. I remember shooting clay pigeons at a range with my Dad. It was the first and only time I've ever held/shot a gun. (I was 17). Given my score, I wouldn't trust me with a red rider or a water gun, much less an actual thing that could hurt someone.

For me, the pen shall always be mightier than the sword or whatever form of weaponry that requires hand/eye coordination one chooses. If it comes to self defense, I would probably be best served by a blunt instrument like a bat, but I wouldn't want to go toe to toe with a creature that has claws, teeth and at least 250 pounds on me if all I'm packing is a Louisville slugger.

Then again, remembering how I fare at the plate, perhaps I'll just eviscerate the bear in fiction. I'll write about the beast and it will wind up on the internet. Then, the piece will go viral. He'll be embarrassed permanently and thus unable to score with the lady bears in his vicinity. As a result, the bear population will be reduced without the need for unnecessary violence.

That'll learn him.

Now, I can concentrate on fixing the overpopulation of deer.


Aussie Therese said...

No bears here in Australia. Are they very dangerous? I would imagine if you shot the bear in the wrong spot that it could turn pretty ugly pretty quickly.

SherryTex said...

Checking the camp literature:

Bears are wild creatures that we are best left leaving alone. They are very strong, very heavy and very capable of shredding a camp to find food.

They aren't vicious, but they aren't afraid of us and that makes them creatures we ought to be respectfully cautious around. This isn't Winnie the Pooh, Smokey or Yogi.

MightyMom said...


good luck with that!

I'll keep my .38 handy...not to hunt bear with (as that would be a stoooooopid choice) but rather to scare him off and alert authorities that a crazed Texan is shooting up thier state!


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