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Old June 18, 2007, 12:18 PM   #1
Manedwolf
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11 year old dragged out of tent by bear...

This is WHY carry in parks is important, and WHY you sleep well-armed when camping.

Quote:
Bear Kills 11-Year-Old After Dragging Boy From Tent

Monday, June 18, 2007

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — An 11-year-old boy was attacked and killed by a black bear as he slept in a tent with his family, police said.

The boy, sleeping alone in a section of the large tent, screamed before he was dragged away in his sleeping bag Sunday night in a canyon about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, said sheriff's Lt. Dennis Harris.

The boy's body was found about 400 yards from the tent in the direction of another campsite where a bear sighting had been reported earlier in the weekend, Harris said.

Wildlife officers searching for the animal near the campground shot and wounded a bear Monday morning.

"Whether or not the bear was involved in the attack, we won't know that until we can kill the bear," said Mark Hadley, a spokesman for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

American Fork Canyon is a popular camping destination. Harris said the family was camping about 2 miles up a dirt road from a popular campground.
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Old June 18, 2007, 01:23 PM   #2
Don H
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Unfortunately, in this incident the presense of a gun would not have mattered since the boy had already been dragged off out of sight by the time an adult woke and investigated. More detail in this story:

Quote:
Courtney Orton Reporting

An 11-year-old boy is killed by a black bear overnight as he slept in a tent with his family in American Fork Canyon. This morning authorities are searching for the bear.

The boy was asleep inside a tent he was sharing with his family at the Timpooneke Camp area, about 10 miles up the canyon.

The boy, his mother, stepfather and a 6-year-old brother were sleeping in a large tent with several sections, and the 11-year-old was in a section of the tent by himself.

Around 11 p.m. family members heard a scream and a loud commotion. They found the tent ripped open, and the boy and his sleeping bag gone.



"The stepfather did hear the boy screaming. He immediately got up, ran out and tried to find out what was going on. The campground host, which is right down below us, went down to the mouth of the canyon to contact dispatch," explained Lt. Dennis Harris of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Harris said the family was camping about two miles up a dirt road from the campground.

Initially authorities closed the road in the canyon and questioned motorists, thinking the boy could have been abducted. But then they found a trail of clothing and blood leading to the boy's body.

Harris said the body was found about 400 yards from the tent in the direction of another campsite, where a bear sighting had been reported earlier in the weekend.



Crews are using dogs to search for the bear this morning. The state Division of Wildlife Resources says crews are focusing on one area.

Authorities think it's the same bear that was spotted early Sunday morning. They spent about six hours searching for the bear, but with no luck. The search continues this morning, and they say if they find the bear, they will put it down.

"In 28 years of law enforcement this is the first bear attack that I know of in Utah County," Harris said.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=1363845
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Old June 18, 2007, 01:25 PM   #3
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True, this might not have helped, then...but it's a good argument for carry in all national parks. Because it CAN happen.
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Old June 18, 2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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Predatory Black Bear attacks are a scary thing... Not to be gouhlish but do they know if the body showed signs of having been fed on? That could go a long way in explaining what they are really looking for (behaviour wise).
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Old June 19, 2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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Musketeer, . . . the latest news report stated that after they had put the suspect bear down, . . . they found undisputed evidence that it was the one.

They also mentioned that for the protection of the family, . . . no details were being given at that time. Sounds like the bear partially ate the boy.

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Old June 19, 2007, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
True, this might not have helped, then...but it's a good argument for carry in all national parks.
The argument that attacks can and do happen is a good reason for carry, but this incident is not a good argument for carry specifically because having a gun would not have changed the outcome in any manner. It is sort of like saying that a car crash where the car crashed into a bridge support at 100 miles an hour, killing the occupants, is a good reason for seatbelts because crashes can happen.

It would be completely different if the one of the adults actually witnessed the incident and could do nothing about it otherwise. That would be a better example substantiating the need for allowed carry. It would be completely different if in the story an adult was armed, say illegally, and managed to save the child. That would substantiate the argument that guns can be used effectively to stop such attacks and save lives.

Since the attack happened and none of the adults saw anything, then they obviously could not have intervened with a firearm and so this is not a good example to use to justify the argument that we need guns in the parks for protection.

Stephen Hererra's book on grizzly and black bear incidents has quite a number of examples where firearms could have been used to save people, incidents where firearms were used to save people, and several where firearms would not have worked out had they been present and even a couple of where firearms were present, but were not able to be used.

Based on his study on bear attacks (of all types and that occur for various reasons), this sort of through the tent attack quite likely resulted due to less than adequate camp cleanliness. It is likely that the bear was habituated to human food and/or to human presence.

The fact that the bear dragged the child such a distance is most likely because the bear had the intent to feed on the child. Bears acting defensively don't drag their victims long distances. Instead, they tend to engage them in place and the victim remains fairly close, if not right at the original attack location. When bears do drag off humans, as noted in the book, the distances are usually much shorter than 400 feet. Of course, it may be a lot easier for the bear to drag a child 400 feet than to drag an adult human and most of the described attacks were on adults.

Now, whether or not the bear had intended on preying on humans upon entry into the tent is uncertain since the behavior prior to the attack was not witnessed. The bear very well may have been after food brought along by the campers that it believed were in the tent, either because it smelled such food coming from the tent or smelled such food and knew from prior experience that there may be food in the tent.

As he notes, nothing is 100% and he did provide a couple of examples where campers were attacked in, or around their tents in spite of having meticulous campsites and having taken precautions. However, such events are very rare compared to those where the people simply screwed up and made themselves attractive to the local bears.
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Old June 20, 2007, 01:21 AM   #7
BillCA
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I've camped in bear country a few times and have been fortunate that we've not had a serious bear problem.

Remember to -
* Store food in sturdy containers
* Clean cookware thoroughly, immediately after use
* Dispose of waste food products in trash cans or place away from sleeping areas.
* Keep all food on the far side of the campsite away from sleeping areas.
* Never bring food into the tent.
* Avoid tents with open bottoms whenever possible.
* Keep sleeping bags unzipped to mid-thigh to allow fast exit if necessary.
* Keep weapons, including knives, where you can grab them quickly in the dark.

A friend keeps all his beer and coke cans in a single plastic bag that he hangs about 3-4 feet off the ground. He says bears often recognize the bags and tear them open first. The noise of the cans may frighten them off but it's an alarm for him too.
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Old June 20, 2007, 08:13 AM   #8
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I can assure you that the source of this horrific tragedy is ignorant a-hole people either feeding the bears or leaving food in/around the campgrounds so that the bears then a) get used to people and b) associate the existence of people with food and ultimately c) associate people as food.

This poor kid and his family paid the price for someone else's ignorance...probably a lot of people.

Very sad indeed,
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Old June 20, 2007, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
I can assure you that the source of this horrific tragedy is ignorant a-hole people
That is very likely the primary cause. At the same time predatory black bear attacks are real. Not all the animals responsible for these attacks were conditioned by man to equate people with food. Sometimes it is a sick or injured animal looking for easier game (often the case with man eating cats) other times they just don't know.

These are large and dangerous enough predators without people treating them like Yogi and Boo Boo.
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Old June 20, 2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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From my experiences in Alaska and from reading about bear attacks the following can be assumed to be correct: (although not cast in stone)

When a grizzly attacks, it is normally a territorial attack. You are in his territory, or you have food he wants or she is defending her cubs. In this case lie down and endure the mauling. Which can be quite severe. Unless you have a huge gun. No pistol will stop a grizzly, even a .460 S&W or a .500 S&W. It might kill one but not in time to save you.

When a black bear attacks he is looking for lunch. Fight with everything you have. I know of a woman who was doing research in AK and was attacked by a blackie. The bear ate both of her arms although she did survive. Another case was in Wasilla when a blackie chased a woman and her husband to the top of their house. The man went for help, and the bear climbed the house and ate the woman. Blackies are not as hard to stop as Grizzlies, shoot the hell out of them.
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Old June 20, 2007, 02:30 PM   #11
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Here's how I would handle a bear...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dspAa9NQ-c
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Old June 20, 2007, 03:39 PM   #12
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That is a sad tale. My prayers are going out to the family in this time of need.
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Old June 20, 2007, 08:13 PM   #13
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For all the Black bear in the US attacks are so very rare. Its a terrible tragedy to say the least. Here in northern MN the bear are thick and i have no fear of them at all. i do respect them but not fear them in any way. I do carry when i can but i am not worried when i dont. Yes they can kill you but you are 1000000 times more likely to die in your car on the way there than by a bear. Take simple precautions. dont corner one or mess with the cubs. dont store food in the tent and you are good to go. we just go a few yards away from the tents to eat and cook and have never had a problem. I have chased them out of camp several times with a canoe paddle. i dont know what i will do if one stops and turns around but it has not happened yet.
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Old June 20, 2007, 10:20 PM   #14
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It's not ifthe gun would have saved this particular boy, but at least the father would have had the option, the chance, if he had confronted the bear he would have had the means to stop the bear from going any farther.

I feel, National Park or no, in any camping situation a gun should be available for immediate use. A simple 12 guage, even a cheep Maverick 88, with slugs, would do the deed. Even a can of 'Bear Guard' pepper spray would have been better than shouting.
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Old June 20, 2007, 11:11 PM   #15
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Also worth noting with bear attacks...

Grizzlies often act agressive when before they attack. If caught in the open, back away from the bear, speaking loudly but calmly. Back away slowly, but do not turn your back to the bear until you've put considerable distance between the two of you. Somtimes it helps to spead your arms to make yourself look bigger.

Black bears will act agressive if its a territorial dispute. React the same way as you would for a grizzly, but if you must escape, avoid climbing. Blacks can climb too.

But shoud a wild black bear aproach you acting calm or even freindly, his intentions are to EAT you. Escape however you can. If you have a gun, shoot it if the bear follows when you try backing away.

When in bear county, carry a can of bear spray. Its stronger than the OC spray you cary for SD, and this stuff DOES work. If you dont know the correct vital area of a bear to shoot, the spray may even work better than a handgun. Contrary to popular beleif, headshots on attacking bears often dont work... If you compare a bear skull to the size of a live bears head, you'll notice the skull is alot smaller. A bears head is mostly fur and muscle. If you cant shoot it between the eyes, you'll most likely only make it really mad.

With attacking bears, the best place to shoot is right below the head, into the body cavity. If you get into the body, you'll most likely hit heart or lungs. The shot will be fatal, but it could take a while. (We've all seen lung-shot deer run 100 yards. Imagine what a slow to die bear could do to you in the last miniute or so it has to live?) Just because you have the newest biggest hand-cannon on the market doesnt make you safe in bear country. Carry the spray.
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Old June 20, 2007, 11:26 PM   #16
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I'm curious whether the boy snuck food into the tent.
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Old June 21, 2007, 07:03 AM   #17
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He didn't even have to sneak food into his tent. He could have been wearing clothing or had clothing in the tent was worn while cooking and the smelled impregnated into the clothing.

As noted, bear attacks are fairly rare. More folks are killed each year by domestic dogs or lightning or drown in bathtubs than killed by bears. Plus, not all bear kills are for purposes of dining.

The notion that when a black bear attacks, he is looking for lunch is not accurate. They are involved with aggressive behavior for reasons other than dining on people and this is well documented. With that said, there is a fairly high percentage of black bear kills that are dining-related compared to grizzlies maybe, but as for the attacks in general, they can be for a variety of reasons.
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Old June 21, 2007, 07:33 AM   #18
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I always like the statistics game... It is coorect that the chances of being attacked by a bear are very small, just like the chances of being attacked by a shark. Of course they include people who live in Utah and never go into the ocean in the shark statistic just like they include city dwellers who never go into bear inhabitted woods in the bear attack statistic...

Once you put yourself into the animal's habitat your chances of having a dangerous encounter increase dramatically.
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Old June 22, 2007, 12:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
When a grizzly attacks, it is normally a territorial attack. You are in his territory, or you have food he wants or she is defending her cubs.
Last month's issue of American Hunter(or perhaps the issue before that) had an article on this. A study found that this traditional view isn't entirely accurate. Bears were found to be more aggressive than anticipated. I wish I could provide additional details but some womenfolk don't understand the necessity of keeping old NRA magazines, so that issue appears to have been trashed.
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Old June 22, 2007, 01:50 PM   #20
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They are bears....they are wild animals.

I doubt that they consult the biology texbooks and Bear Psychology Today before attacking. They attack when they attack and that's it.

I think it can be territorial or food related. I also think it could be that he just happened across you in the woods, was frustrated because Mrs. Bear wasn't putting out, and killed you out of sexual frustration alone.

Given that this group was apparently attacked while the bear was on the way to the big campground nearby (the kid was dragged out of the tent that direction), these people probably were unfortunate to set up their tent in/alongside a bear path used by this bear. Bears often use the same trails in/out of an area as long as they don't sense danger on them. Wrong place wrong time, I think. I would expect that there was open/improperly stored food in one of these campgrounds.

Sad.

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Old June 22, 2007, 02:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
It's not ifthe gun would have saved this particular boy, but at least the father would have had the option, the chance, if he had confronted the bear he would have had the means to stop the bear from going any farther.
There was no legal barrier to the boy's family having as many guns as they wished at their National Forest campsite (provided that they were not prohibited from possessing firearms as felons, etc.).
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Old June 22, 2007, 06:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Once you put yourself into the animal's habitat your chances of having a dangerous encounter increase dramatically.
And as simple as that sounds, it is a very profound statement. Herrera's book went into details of various attacks, noting that for every attack, there are hundreds or thousands of non-injurious aggressions by bears to humans, such as charges with no contact, growling, etc., and even more encounters that simply result in humans and bears going about their business with no result.

As a rule, very few people are attacked by bears in areas where bears don't live.

Quote:
I doubt that they consult the biology texbooks and Bear Psychology Today before attacking. They attack when they attack and that's it.
This is also profound. We don't do a good job of predicting bear attacks, but we often find there to be several factors involved that bear attacks have in common, such as habituation to humans and human food although not all bears habituated to humans and human food will attack people.
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Old June 24, 2007, 01:46 PM   #23
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For large bear attacks/charges, you are better off with spray than a hand gun, regardless of caliber (the gun or yours )Bear Spray vs. Bullets
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Old June 24, 2007, 11:42 PM   #24
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If they found indisputable evidence in the stomach of the killed black bear which proves that it was the one who killed the kid, then fine.

But BEFORE they killed that bear, in the initial reports, how did they know it was a black bear which did it, or even that it was a bear?
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Old June 25, 2007, 07:45 AM   #25
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How do they know it was a bear?

As opposed to being a mountain lion or wolf? Tracks and/or hair are probably the easiest determiners. The ripping open of a tent and hauling away of the kid is not a common behavior of the other larger carnivores, though big cats often do haul off kills.

How do they know which bear? That is more iffy, but often the bear involved will remain in the immediate area of the kill and attempt to return to the carcass. There is a higher likelihood that the first bear or two at the carcass area is going to be the culprit. Granted, kills can attract other bears and so the system is not perfect.
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