Bear Tracking

Last night, I went out with the Bear Technicians in Cedar Grove, down in the bottom of King’s Canyon. They have two bears down there who have been running amok and finding their way into houses, the generally accepted retaliation against which is hazing, for which we have plenty of fun toys: water guns, sling shots, pepper spray, paintball guns loaded with pepper balls, shotguns with rubber slugs, and the neighborhood dogs. (Hazing the humans who left food out and their windows unlocked is not yet standard practice.) So, last night, we were tasked with tracking the two bears and making their lives slightly less pleasant than usual.

One we tracked for a few hours, but he ran away when approached with the shotgun. The other managed to ditch her radio collar and evade us.

I imagine we scared off a few tourists: cruising around with the driver pointing a spotlight out the window, the front passenger scanning with the nightvision goggles, and me in the back, holding an antenna out the window, working the telemetry, with the paintball gun sitting next to me.

We were unsuccessful in trapping or hazing (much) either of the two bears by 10:30P, so resorted to driving through the campgrounds looking for food violations, which amounts to spying on people with nightvision, followed by a raid of their camp.

I left to start my drive back up to the top of the canyon a little before midnight.