Man vs. Bear — The Debate.

 

Here in Oregon, a rancher recently shot and killed a black bear that was hunting his cattle. The bear made the news, as it hit a record-breaking (for this area) size of 490 pounds. That is a lot of black bear, which is the smallest and most widespread of the species in North America. Of course, the real fun of this article is the comments section. As could be expected, the arguments boil down to city environmentalists versus country conservationists.

For us city folk, the arguments come down to three points:

1.  The bear was just doing what bears do, hunting for food.

2.  We’re the trespassers on the bears’ natural habitat.

3.  It’s just mean to kill bears for little reason.

I’ll see if I can refute my fellow city folk’s arguments.

Yes, the bear was just doing what it does. However, bears like to go for easy meals and will frequent an area where they know they can get them. Once this bear decided that he’d found the world’s best beef buffet, he would have stuck around until he’d eaten his fill. This being early spring, that could be a while. Bears are large animals and there’s little deterring them.

Point two is essentially a reference to “urban sprawl,” which is essentially a popular myth. The contiguous United States is only 5% developed, and the bar to be considered “developed” is set pretty low. Even the most urban states of New Jersey and Rhode Island are only 33% developed. Here in the West, we are on the very low end of development. We’re hardly expanding into the bears’ turf. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s not as dramatic as the “urban sprawl” narrative would indicate. Moreover, this took place in rural southern Oregon on long-established ranch land. 

If anything, bears move in on our turf. A couple of decades ago, Oregon voters made it more difficult to hunt black bears. The ads run by environmental interests showed dramatic, heart-rending pictures of scared bears being hunted. Urban and suburban Oregon rushed to vote in favor of the limitations. Of course, if the bears are hunted, they will breed and increase in numbers. Bears are very territorial animals. They don’t like to share their hunting grounds with other bears too much. The more bears there are, the more they will spread out in search of their own hunting ground — which can mean human areas.

You can say what you want about trophy hunting, but the last point is very subjective. It also ignores all the objective costs in losing cattle to a hungry bear. One cow can have a value somewhere between an old used car and a brand new automobile. Imagine if someone came by your house and destroyed your VW Bug one night, then came back to sniff around your Prius. You are probably going to do something about it.

Finally, despite everything that Disney taught you, Bears aren’t human. They don’t reason. They don’t discuss the issues with you.

They are kind of like Progressives.

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  1. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Counterpoint from Bear: RAAAAAAAAAAR!

    • #1
  2. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Liberal arguments are unBEARable.

    • #2
  3. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Frank Soto:

    Liberal arguments are unBEARable.

     They should paws to consider their points.

    • #3
  4. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    C. U. Douglas:

    The bear made the news as it hit a record-breaking (for this area) size of four hundred and ninety pounds. That is a lot of black bear, which is the smallest and most widespread of the species in North America. 

    I can BEARly believe this.

    • #4
  5. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    These whiny city slickers are just going to have to grin and BEAR it.

    • #5
  6. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Frank Soto:

    These whiny city slickers are just going to have to grin and BEAR it.

    So what’s the most common male bear’s pick-up line in bear singles bars?

    “What’s ursine?”

    • #6
  7. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Frank once again proves that he is actually 10 cents’ alter-ego.  Not that there was ever much doubt.

    • #7
  8. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Ryan M:

    Frank once again proves that he is actually 10 cents’ alter-ego. Not that there was ever much doubt.

     I figure if I make the puns, there is no reason for him to hang around anymore.

    • #8
  9. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Frank Soto:

    Ryan M:

    Frank once again proves that he is actually 10 cents’ alter-ego. Not that there was ever much doubt.

    I figure if I make the puns, there is no reason for him to hang around anymore.

     Besides, someone has to pick up the slack when he’s not around: bear any burdens, forage for new material …

    • #9
  10. user_1029039 Inactive
    user_1029039
    @JasonRudert

    Next discussion:
    Hibernation is Not a Sin

    • #10
  11. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    If this bear was a liberal politician  this would be a pander bear. It’s personal assistant would be a blackbeary.

    • #11
  12. Lord Humungus Inactive
    Lord Humungus
    @LordHumungus

    Black Bears are dumpster divers. Just big raccoons really. Seagulls without the charm. As their populations grow, our sweet sweet garbage grows ever more tempting. Perhaps the lefties count on the stench of their soiled pants to safeguard them against the hungry bruins, but….they do not know their bears.

    Makes ya wanna fight for your right to bear arms duzzinit?

    • #12
  13. user_1029039 Inactive
    user_1029039
    @JasonRudert

    It’s imBEARative that we not CAVE in to this bullying of our livestock.

    • #13
  14. flownover Inactive
    flownover
    @flownover

    If that bear was responsible for driving the price of beef up , he better warn his cousins of the coming fury . There are plenty of bears and not enough farmers. Go farmers !

    • #14
  15. douglaswatt25@yahoo.com Moderator
    douglaswatt25@yahoo.com
    @DougWatt

    I have hunted for deer in both eastern Oregon and western Oregon. Oregon has both black bear and a pretty healthy mountain lion population. Now I have heard people say that these two animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. In the case of a big cat that’s nonsense. In the case of the bear it might run or it might attack depending how badly it wants to protect its’ food source or if it decides the vegan diet is getting dull. To a mountain lion you are either prey or a competitor. The mountain lion is a patient stalker and they will stalk a human being. Bears will stalk a human being as well but they have one disadvantage, they stink. They can remain hidden in the brush or trees but with a bear you at least know it’s there. Now some urbanites have a desire to be one with bear or the lion and it is possible, unfortunately it will probably be in bite sized digestible chunks.

    • #15
  16. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Doug Watt:

    I have hunted for deer in both eastern Oregon and western Oregon. Oregon has both black bear and a pretty healthy mountain lion population. Now I have heard people say that these two animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. In the case of a big cat that’s nonsense. In the case of the bear it might run or it might attack depending how badly it wants to protect its’ food source or if it decides the vegan diet is getting dull. To a mountain lion you are either prey or a competitor. The mountain lion is a patient stalker and they will stalk a human being. Bears will stalk a human being as well but they have one disadvantage, they stink. They can remain hidden in the brush or trees but with a bear you at least know it’s there. Now some urbanites have a desire to be one with bear or the lion and it is possible, unfortunately it will probably be in bite sized digestible chunks.

     Bears, Lions, go Steelers

    • #16
  17. douglaswatt25@yahoo.com Moderator
    douglaswatt25@yahoo.com
    @DougWatt

    PHCheese:

    Doug Watt:

    I have hunted for deer in both eastern Oregon and western Oregon. Oregon has both black bear and a pretty healthy mountain lion population. Now I have heard people say that these two animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. In the case of a big cat that’s nonsense. In the case of the bear it might run or it might attack depending how badly it wants to protect its’ food source or if it decides the vegan diet is getting dull. To a mountain lion you are either prey or a competitor. The mountain lion is a patient stalker and they will stalk a human being. Bears will stalk a human being as well but they have one disadvantage, they stink. They can remain hidden in the brush or trees but with a bear you at least know it’s there. Now some urbanites have a desire to be one with bear or the lion and it is possible, unfortunately it will probably be in bite sized digestible chunks.

    Bears, Lions, go Steelers

    Those bears and lions give up huge yardage in digestible chunks. 

    • #17
  18. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Has anyone seen Al Gore lately…and are we sure it’s just a bear?

    • #18
  19. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Doug Watt:

    PHCheese:

    Doug Watt:

    I have hunted for deer in both eastern Oregon and western Oregon. Oregon has both black bear and a pretty healthy mountain lion population. . In the case of the bear it might run or it might attack depending how badly it wants to protect its’ food source or if it decides the vegan diet is getting dull. To a mountain lion you are either prey or a competitor. The mountain lion is a patient stalker and they will stalk a human being. Bears will stalk a human being as well but they have one disadvantage, they stink. They can remain hidden in the brush or trees but with a bear you at least know it’s there. Now some urbanites have a desire to be one with bear or the lion and it is possible, unfortunately it will probably be in bite sized digestible chunks.

    Bears, Lions, go Steelers

    Those bears and lions give up huge yardage in digestible chunks.

    The Panthers too! Watch out for the Rams at the latrine, keep an Eagle eye for those Seahawks. We could do this all day.

    • #19
  20. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    I appreciate this perspective, C.U.:
    Point two is essentially a reference to “urban sprawl,” which is essentially a popular myth. The contiguous United States is only 5% developed, and the bar to be considered “developed” is set pretty low. Even the most urban states of New Jersey and Rhode Island are only 33% developed. Here in the West, we are on the very low end of development. We’re hardly expanding into the bears’ turf. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s not as dramatic as the “urban sprawl” narrative would indicate. Moreover, this took place in rural southern Oregon on long-established ranch land. 

    Question: Could bearspray be an occasional alternative to a bullet? With bearspray, bears become conditioned to stay away from people–and I’m sure they teach their cubs, too.

    • #20
  21. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    How do those libruls think that bear got to be 490 pounds??! HINT: It wasn’t arugula and juniper berries.

    They don’t mind limiting the red meat intake of school children, but the rancher’s supposed to lay out an all-beef 24-hour buffet for bears? C’mon.

    • #21
  22. user_49770 Inactive
    user_49770
    @wilberforge

    What is missing here is an understanding of bear behaviours. Black bears are unlike others, and the only choice is to fight or run, better to be  armed. Simply put, they see you as munchies.

    A Black Bear of this size gives pause. The Disney thinking of some reflects a complete dissconnect from the the reality of the food chain.

    For what it’s worth, Lefties need to spend more time in the Woods.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    ’nuff said.

    • #23
  24. Mark Belling Fan Member
    Mark Belling Fan
    @MBF

    White man shoots black bear and gets away with it? Typical racist American justice system.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    wilber forge: A Black Bear of this size gives pause. The Disney thinking of some reflects a complete dissconnect from the the reality of the food chain. For what it’s worth, Lefties need to spend more time in the Woods.

    If the average black bear eats one Progressive per week, what do we have?  A definite shortage of bears.

    • #25
  26. user_7742 Inactive
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Bear with me here (grrr)…this bear’s repeating (grrr, grrr, grrr).

    • #26
  27. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    The enviro argument here is so ursinine.

    • #27
  28. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    sawatdeeka:

    Question: Could bearspray be an occasional alternative to a bullet? With bearspray, bears become conditioned to stay away from people–and I’m sure they teach their cubs, too.

    Good question. I am not sure. Is it worth investigating? Certainly. However, I suspect that in the immediate term it would not be effective. Perhaps over time.

    And if it doesn’t work for some bears, then we would still have to resort to the original method.

    • #28
  29. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Doug Watt:

    I have hunted for deer in both eastern Oregon and western Oregon. Oregon has both black bear and a pretty healthy mountain lion population. Now I have heard people say that these two animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. In the case of a big cat that’s nonsense. In the case of the bear it might run or it might attack depending how badly it wants to protect its’ food source or if it decides the vegan diet is getting dull. To a mountain lion you are either prey or a competitor. The mountain lion is a patient stalker and they will stalk a human being. Bears will stalk a human being as well but they have one disadvantage, they stink. They can remain hidden in the brush or trees but with a bear you at least know it’s there. Now some urbanites have a desire to be one with bear or the lion and it is possible, unfortunately it will probably be in bite sized digestible chunks.

     Cougar are a problem. Occasionally there’s a report of a cougar attack in the surrounding suburbs.

    • #29
  30. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    wilber forge: For what it’s worth, Lefties need to spend more time in the Woods.

     And if the bears (or cougars) get them, that’s a feature, not a bug.

    Seawriter

    • #30
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