Maine Newspaper Published My Letter

Posted in the Acme Forum

Chris Deile

Ketchum, ID

#2 Aug 6, 2013
Here's the version I submitted Thursday, Aug 1:

Letter to Portland, maine newspaper (where man attacked by bear is from):

To the Editor:

Regarding the Sierra Club hiker attacked while in his tent at 1:30am by a polar bear in Eastern Canada's Torngat Mountains when an electric fence failed to stop the bear: CBC News reported,"Parks Canada advises visitors of the park to hire an armed Inuit polar bear guard through the Nunatsiavut base camp set up in the park during their visit, but it is not required. Dyer's group did not hire a bear guard." ('Hiker Recovering in Montreal Hospital After Polar Bear Attack'; 7/27/2013)

Armed Inuit guards--an excellent idea by the way--were most likely not hired because the Sierra Club seeks non-lethal means of protection in a bear attack, most notably by advocating pepper spray for bear attacks.

Although the electric fence is a step in the right direction in trying to co-exist peacefully with bears, it and pepper spray are not enough to stop a charging bear. Particularly in the wee hours when bears tend to attack people in tents (remember Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hoshino experiencing a worse fate in Kamchatka, Russia when a bear attacked him in his tent at 4:30am, dragged him out of it and killed him).

Keith Benner and I were attacked by a brown bear in Alaska as pepper spray allowed a face to face encounter, risking mauling and death after the bear knocked me to the ground with a side-arm swipe to my chest. A .454 Casull or .338 rifle (I've since learned) could have stopped the bear in its charge instead of leaving our fate up to the bear ('A Can of Spray, A lot of Luck'; Anchorage Daily News; 9/29/96).

The Inuits must be shaking their heads at us foolish Americans.
Chris Deile

Ketchum, ID

#3 Aug 6, 2013
It's rated as the second most read opinion piece online at the Herald today, so that's good. It's a thought provoking subject.
Chris Deile

Ketchum, ID

#4 Aug 7, 2013
Post #1 (and #4) was removed. Topix is removing my posts for no reason.
Chris Deile

Ketchum, ID

#5 Aug 7, 2013
Re-posting:

Portland Press Herald (Maine); August 6:

Letters to the editor: Non-lethal policy favors the bears

Regarding Matthew Dyer, the Sierra Club hiker attacked while in his tent at 1:30 a.m. July 24 in eastern Canada's Torngat Mountains when an electric fence failed to stop a polar bear:

CBC News reported July 27, "Parks Canada advises visitors of the park to hire an armed Inuit polar bear guard .... Dyer's group did not hire a bear guard."

Armed Inuit guards -- an excellent idea, by the way -- were quite likely not hired because the Sierra Club seeks non-lethal means of protection in a bear attack, most notably by advocating pepper spray for bear attacks.

Although the electric fence and pepper spray are steps in the right direction in trying to co-exist peacefully with bears, they're not enough to stop a charging bear, particularly in the wee hours, when bears tend to attack people in tents.(Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hoshino experienced a worse fate than Dyer in Kamchatka, Russia, on Aug. 8, 1996, when a bear attacked him in his tent at 4:30 a.m., dragged him out of it and killed him.)

In September 1996, my friend Keith Benner and I were attacked by a brown bear in Alaska as pepper spray allowed a face-to-face encounter, risking mauling and death after the bear knocked me to the ground with a side-arm swipe to my chest.

A .454-caliber Casull or .338-caliber rifle (I've since learned) could have stopped the bear in its charge instead of leaving our fate up to the bear.(Our experience is described in the article "A Can of Spray, A Lot of Luck," in the Sept. 29, 1996, edition of the Anchorage Daily News.)

The Inuits must be shaking their heads.

Chris Deile
Anchorage, Alaska

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