Thursday, October 14, 2010

The bear lady

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Sometimes life just ain't fair...




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42 comments:

Johnathan Wilson said...

They should have killed more of them instead of letting them go through a miserably winter and die slowly. Also this is just going to make her neighbor's lives miserable for a while.

Personally I have a bear tag and cant wait to fill it next month.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah Johnathan. I guess that I should have fleshed the story out a little bit, but we all know her. It's hard to convince people that it's wrong to feed wild animals. No good can ever come of it.

The sad thing is that people are now having to shoot bears that wouldn't have been a problem if she hadn't increased the population.

It seems strange that the maternal instinct kicks in stronger than common sense in some people. Just like cat ladies that feed cats. The cats are always unhealthy and ill cared for.

I put up a bird feeder on my bedroom porch, because my wife loves birds. We watched several generations of bird come to the feeder. It was clear that when the birds fledged that the parent birds would bring the babies to the feeder. It made me feel uncomfortable knowing that the birds were probably not learning how to feed themselves.

The side problem is the feeder started feeding all sorts of unintended animals at night. Coons, possum, skunks, and even a bobcat, that was probably trying to kill a coon or a possum, would show up and fight in the middle of the night. Then of course my dog would have to get into the middle of it.

When I painted the house I took down the bird feeder and it took two years before things started to settle back to normal. I figured out that Mother Nature could feed her own critters and I would be better off.

Johnathan Wilson said...

The bobcat made me wonder if there will be any mountain lion problems associated with the bear feeding. Im sure more than just bears came in to eat all that grain. I mean there must have been swarms of coons, deer, and possum easting there as well. and after the prey is gone from the feeding site the neighbors will find that their dogs and cats are disappearing in the night.

Anonymous said...

Lovely folks you all sound like.
You live in THEIR home, and complain when you see some.
7 Billion humans arent enough for you?
Thats the only species I know of that is 'overpopulating'
But hey, killin' feels soooo good, huh?
Sick.

spyrock said...

wow, a woman who breeds bears. i thought i was something because i know how to breed fish. i guess in case army get it on comes, it would be good to have people like noah who could repopulate the earth with various species of plants and animals. i have nothing against killing dear. i just sent ernie a picture of 3 bucks hanging up at spyrock around 1910. even when i went there in the 50's there was no electricity. they had their own garden, hogs, cattle, sheep, deer, etc. the supermarket was their back yard not a superwalmart.
its good those rangers aren't wasting their time harrasing the pot growers who are right in the middle of bud time. chasing bears on the tax payers dollar. what fun.

Anonymous said...

Spy, she wasn't breeding bears, she was feeding them. And I won't say what I think about that situation up the Dos Rios Road as I might tick some folks off.
And that photo of the bear, just want you to know that one wasn't showing off its ribs. It looked healthy and a long way from 400 pounds to boot.

Oregon

suzy blah blah said...

But hey, killin' feels soooo good, huh?

Exactly. Apparently they are fulfilling a psychopathic impulse that comes from too many childish romantic daydreams. In some circles their morals are so twisted that the killer is made out as the hero. Sick indeed.

Anonymous said...

Dang Suzy, I ain't no hero but have shot a few bears in my life. They are good eating, still have some roasts from last year.

Oregon

suzy blah blah said...

Dang Suzy, I ain't no hero but ...

You're my hero Oregon.

Anonymous said...

It's sad- very sad. The lady is obviously very lonely. Where were her kids in all of this? If my widowed mom lived under the conditions this lady did I'd sure as hell intervene. And you certainly don't have to be a wildlife biologist to understand that she sentenced those bears to death when she started feeding them. It's tragedy for her as well as the bears.

olmanriver said...

Ah, Oregon, you lucky fella. I think Gabby left the blogosphere because he knew he would never be able to compete with you for Suzy's regard, a man of few words, and some wisdom... he being so windy an' all.

The local bears had a great year west of Redway dining out on homestead cuisine for months, preditating on the prepared and naieve.
What is odd is that contrary to usual years, it mostly happened before the apple season, which usually triggers their neighborhood migrations.
There ought to be local options rather than the inept state system, where you call the trapper if you have a fresh trail and he tracks it or leaves a trap on site and comes back when you call in a catch. This year a lot of bears got educated in homestead plundering...I will be curious if that is the trend now, or whether it was because of the early departure from dens this year.
The one aggressive male that got taken out this year by locals was eaten and used righteously, no parts sold.

As much as I love seeing a bear every now and then, I would be pissed to have someone in the hood bringing them around regularly. She seems all heart, which I can appreciate, but not particularly considerate of the neighbors. The article says some neighbors are supporters, can't imagine it is most.
Reading that article, I went from ahhhh how sweet, to Oh No, how sad an outcome. Another story about good intentions gone awry?

Jonathan, do you use the bear lard? Ernie could use a bucket for his winter pies.

Let 'er rip with your comment Oregon you are holding back, you have seen the crap I blather her, can't be that bad! LOL.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to hold my tongue omr, I know these folks and have inside information so I will stay out of this. There is much more to this story that what was printed in the paper.

Oregon

o said...

here, not her.

o said...

Well I said you were wise.

suzy blah blah said...

This year a lot of bears got educated in homestead plundering...I will be curious if that is the trend now, or whether it was because of the early departure from dens this year.

They terrorized our neighborhood in June this year, way earlier than anyone had seen before. I spent two weeks alone last summer and wouldn't you know it, that was when the bear was on the prowl. One was on our porch tipping over trash containers, knocking over and breaking several mason jars of canned applesauce and tomato paste etc. The dang critter even dragged a couple of cases of soy-milk down a trail where it smashed them open, only to have the milk soak into the ground. Some of the neighbors got hit ever worse. This happened twice at our house and then one night I woke up at about 3am and went outside. I spotted a yearling sitting happily in the middle of the compost pile under a 3rd quarter moon.

A face-off with a bear is not Suzy's cup of tea. Believe me I wished Oregon was there right then to take care of the situation, but as it was I was all alone and had to yell at it and clap my hands real loud. Slowly the thing meandered over to where there was a hole in the fence, that we didn't know about, and slipped away. The next day my boyfriend returned home from the midwest and I told him about it. We fixed the hole in the fence and that was that.

olmariver said...

You have the best mountain lion stories Suzy, thanks for that bear one.

Ernie is off being "a minor hero" again. I hope he will accept that term.
I saw him going down the road in his yellow slicker, no helmet, hair streaming in the wind... five minutes ahead of the ambulance, and firetruck. He may not wish to own the "hero label" but 1st responders are up there in my esteem.

But back to bears.

Jon said...

Great article on what we do to our neighbors with good intentions.

So in 2005 the GAME WARDENS knew of the Bears and just let it slide. How wonderful. Had I have been the Bear Lady of Laytonville the Wardens would have been given constructive notice that they had 30 days to provide Immediate Stewardship of said Bears or remove them from the property.

Back in the 70's through to the mid 80's I volunteered my services to the local Wardens and Rangers whenever they needed help in tracking. Sometimes I would get a call in the middle of the night to go and investigate tracks just because the 2 Wardens assigned to my part of the State (south of Riverside all the way to the Colorado and all lands to the Mexican Border) were spread kind of thin. Although I was not a Volunteer Warden, calls still came in under the wire. Stopped doing this because of the hassles that the County Mounties and I would have. They wanted a real Paid by the State Warden. Yes sir, no Civilian could ever know more than a Warden or Ranger. The last time was for a Big Cat sighting. Got to the big little town about an hour after I got the call. When I arrived at the area about 30 County Mounties and Local Police officers were already Big Game Hunting and no less than 10 CHP Officers were on their way. One of the Field Command Big mucky muckys
had me escorted out of the area.

Three hours later when the Warden who had called me showed up and asked why was I handcuffed and locked in the back of a patrol car. Apologies to me were fast and sincere, then the Warden asked the Sheriff of the County to ask me what his men and everyone else was looking for as he had not had a chance to look over the Ground.

The Sheriff swallowed a little Crow and asked. About a 90 pound pig holed up about 20 yards form us, saw him when I first got here and thats what your dogs keep jumping and barking at. But no, you keep sending them down the river (Santa Ana). So Sheriff you know the range of the Beast so find it yourself. Took him and the Warden about 15 minutes before they tripped over the Little Pig, when they did I got back on my motorcycle and left. Never got another call.

p.s. Ernie...we are down to one Volunteer Fire Dept in my deck of the woods. I wonder why?

spyrock said...

so they caught bear laden up thar in laytonville terrorizing the neighborhood. what will mr rogers think. i could send my nephew jason up there. he gets a bear now and then. are the bears eating the crop up dos rios road. probably their fertilizer is what gives your pot its unique quality. take away the bearpoop and you have oregano.

Robin Shelley said...

Take away the bear shit & you have blackberry seeds, Spy. All good trackers know that.

Thank you, Oregon.

Johnathan Wilson said...

Just read this weeks Observer yesterday.

3 lions caught in 1 week right in town? Im starting to think that Gravier was feeding lions to!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah Johnathan, I heard. The lions don't eat cracked corn, but they sure eat the critters than do.

The people of Laytonville have a long history of feeding wild critters. I even know a Laytonvillian that had a pet 'possum. Can you imagine that?

olmanriver said...

Local history quiz: Which Branscomb shot 3 bears from one tree in December of 1900?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hint: Jane needed bearfat for her blackberry/apple pies.

Johnathan Wilson said...

Would that be Benjamin?

used this: http://branscombgenealogy.com/B11%20BenjaminFBranscomb.htm

Robin Shelley said...

I know of a former deputy sheriff in Laytonville who kept three bucks as "pets". He had to haul them away after one of them attacked (& soundly trounced!) me when I was a girl. I've advocated against feeding wild animals ever since.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to feed a wild animal to have problems. A guy was killed here a couple of days ago by a mountain goat that wasn't being fed.
I know what y'all are thinkin', "but he is so cute". For the ones that think like that should try taking a piece of meat away from a cute raccoon.

Oregon

olmanriver said...

Carpenter's 1900 History of Mendocino recorded that Branscomb 3 bear deed-- must have been late breaking news.
You got it Jonathan.

Your last grizzly kill in Mendocino question for Mr. Bowman is a good one.

Question for you Jonathan... do you know how far up Woodman canyon the Woodman ranch/homestead was? They left the valley by the early 1870's, so it might not be known.

Johnathan Wilson said...

I haven't a clue on that.

Robin Shelley said...

Anybody here ever seen a nutria?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Olmanriver
I've been there many times. But I was but I was a weeee lad. A fellow that my dad used to log with lived there. He died of lung cancer. Then there was his Lady that people called "The Rabbit Woman" because she raised and sold rabbits. She later married a man and moved to Whitethorn. If you need details for any reason, my mother probably knows. I think that a man by the name of Earl Abar lived out there at one time also(?) Bullshistory warning!

Robin
A nutria is the worlds largest rat, it lives in South America in a burrow next to a swamp or a pond. (I knew that! But looked it up anyway.)

You should tell me why you asked before it makes me crazy.

spyrock said...

sounds like that furry vengeance movie to me. what about jane woodall. if she had in ta fed those apes none of us would be here. sounds like the butterfly effect to me. i guess in this case, the bearpoop effect. all that good animal poop up there making your crop impotent. sounds like little red riding hood was faking it and kilt them 3 bars.
next thing you will tell me is that venizen is from bambies father's giveaway. all my relations. lalalalalalalala.

Anonymous said...

Robin, I have not seen a nutria but yes, there are some in Oregon. Do not feed.
I spent time at Lee Wilson's cabin in Woodman Canyon. Once gathering and marking cattle and another time for Thanksgiving. Turkey and pies cooked with the wood cook stove and deer backstrap and hotcakes for breakfast. Lee and his wife were there too.

Oregon

spyrock said...

I figured out that Mother Nature could feed her own critters and I would be better off.
this is actually what they tell you in a twelve step program. let go and let god. so you really do believe in a higher power. this applies to people too.
yet i find myself in an odd predicament. i'm supposed to babysit 4 dogs while my dove does a vision quest on top of a mountain in santa cruz. i'm sure there is going to be a bunch of instructions and they are buying the food. so are you telling me that i shouldn't feed the dogs. i'm thinking that if i don't, they might eat me. and then they have a ball and they want me to throw it all the time. this might hurt my rotater and i'm sure i would be better off not throwing. i mean where does one draw the line. i'm thinking about ditching the dogs and going surfing. then a shark might eat me. sounds like i could get eaten either way. so if you don't hear from me after this weekend, you will know what happened. the critters got me, just like they got all the others.

Robin Shelley said...

I had never heard of nutria & had to look it up, too, Ernie. A friend of mine in Eugene told me last night that "they are all over Eugene". Said she has 'coons & nutria on her porch every night. I remember when I had never seen a 'possum. Oh, Lord!

Robin Shelley said...

Jane Goodell is an anthropologist doing controlled & intelligent scientific research with support, purpose & end results. I don't believe she ever thought she was a chimpanzee.
Dian Fossey did some fascinating & enlightening research about gorillas but may have identified a little too strongly with her subjects. As I recall, her backers wanted her to leave Africa because they were afraid she was endangering herself & harming the gorilla's natural instincts. She was murdered before she could/would leave. Both women's work is interesting to read & Goodall is a wonderful speaker.
The so-called bear lady in Laytonville (whom I've known most of my life & have never heard referred to as "the bear lady") is neither an anthropologist or naturalist affiliated with any recognized scientific research projects or anything else of that nature. I'm sure she has made some interesting observations & has many stories to tell but there were no controls on her project or a continuation plan in place for when she is not able to do what she was doing. No one I know questions her love & concern for the animals but she does not seem to understand the harm she caused the bears or the danger she brought to the neighbors. What she admits doing goes beyond throwing a few scraps of food out in the backyard for the wild animals once in awhile. It's a sad, sad situation & I hope people will view it with compassion for the "bear lady" & the bears.

ernie said...

Obviously, the judge was wise and compassionate. He removed her from the situation without punishing her.


The nutria was brought here for it's fur.

Robin Shelley said...

I agree, Ernie, & praise the judge. Some people don't seem to understand the sheer magnitude of what Lynn was doing. The judge, thankfully, understands that this case is about more than feeding bears.

Sure hope the nutrias don't show up on my doorstep but, if they do, I'll probably skin every one of 'em!

Ross Sherburn said...

My wifes old Highschool friend lives in Eugene. Yep, many Nutria in that area!

Anonymous said...

In Ely, Minnesota is the North American Bear Center. Their purpose is to advance the long-term survival of bears by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans.

Remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection are now being occupied by people, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations.

The NABC is non-profit, led by 70 year old biologist Dr. Lynn Rogers who has studied black bears for 40 years.

http://www.bear.org/website/

Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/lily.the.black.bear?v=wall

Intro to the movie Bearwalker of the Northwoods by the BBC:
http://www.facebook.com/lily.the.black.bear?v=wall#!/video/video.php?v=110611292322091

Anonymous said...

Our family used to vacation in Ely many decades ago. Going to the local dump to watch the bears "foraging" was regular entertainment. As I recall we stayed in our cars, but some people would toss them bread loafs.
Thanks for those links.

Anonymous said...

What makes the bear/other wild animal feeding so dangerous in this case is that she allowed them to enter her home to feed. They grew up doing such, so the animals would certainly enter any house he chose to enter, for food in her absence. A couple of years ago some of these bears went to a construction site and ruined insulation and other costly materials. Small children lived near by!!! We all know that you don't get between a mother and her cubs....so when did it become alright for our nice lady to feed wild animals vs. children playing outside!?!?
Unfortunately, another person up Spy Rock her feeds a huge herd of deer up in the hills. These kind hearted people don't seem to realize who they are putting into jeopardy. Then when things get out of control and dangerous the animals have to be euthanised and hauled away to continue doing the same thing in another location, or put to death.
Lastly, a 300 lb bear was in my sister's yard in town a couple of weeks ago. The same week there were 3 mountain lions on the back road above town.(in town!!!)
On occassion mountain lion, but more occassionally bear have passed through our property. I'm all for the animals. It's just illegal to feed for reasons of safety, and the animals do not adapt to searching for their own food once the "kind" person is no longer around. So, yes, the people a couple of miles downhill from the nice lady are now paying the consequences. And, unfortunately the "kind" lady now lives on this end of the valley......great....she will not stop...she has a great family, she just prefers the animals..

Cousin

Anonymous said...

Thank you cousin.

Oregon