My Reply To Matt Dyer (Polar Bear Attack)

Posted in the Everson Forum

Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

#1 Aug 22, 2013
Here's my letter from August 6, 2013 (Portland Press Herald):

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

Jackson, WY

#2 Aug 22, 2013
Dyer's response:

Gun wouldn't have helped, bear attack survivor says

Being the victim of the recent polar bear attack in Newfoundland, I read Chris Deile's Aug. 6 letter with interest ("Non-lethal policy favors bears").

Contrary to Deile's suggestion, the fact my party was unarmed had no bearing on the attack. Even if I had had an AK-47 in my tent, I never would have had time to use it. I was saved by a lot of good luck and brave companions.

When the Torngat Park was created, I believe the Inuit requested that only they be able to carry firearms in the park. One can only assume they were concerned that hot-headed pistoleros would wind up decimating the bear population.

If you are afraid of venturing out in the wild (or to the movies or shopping center) without a gun, just please stay home.

Matt Dyer
Montreal General Hospital patient
Turner resident
Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

#3 Aug 22, 2013
My (hasty) response to Dyer's letter (just submitted August 22, 2013):

RE: Matt Dyer's response to my letter: Dyer completely evades the point. He states that even if he'd had an AK-47 in his tent, he would not have had time to use it (when attacked by the polar bear in Canada). That is why the armed Inuit guards are such a good idea, and one wonders why we don't have such an option in our National Parks, particularly Glacier N.P. which has the most bear attacks in the contiguous U.S. Strange that Canada parks officials advise people to hire armed Inuit guards, whereas U.S wildlife officials advise the public to rely on pepper spray (for just one example, see National Forest service "Be Bear Aware.org "). Because whenever there is a bear attack, U.S. wildlife officials always respond with firearms--not pepper spray. As for Dyers portraying the pro-firearm position as motivated by fear, that's a common ad hominem used by pro-pepper spray propagandists. Fact is, I hate guns--always have and still do. But it took a bear knocking me down and staring me in the face to realize pepper spray allowed that to happen whereas a firearm could have stopped the bear in its charge.
Chris Deile

Jackson, WY

#6 Aug 23, 2013
Resubmitted that letter above; hadn't cut/paste it to here but it went something like this:

RE: Matt Dyer's response to my letter: Dyer completely evades the point. He states that even if he'd had an AK-47 in his tent, he would not have had time to use it (when attacked by the polar bear in Canada). That is why the armed Inuit guards are such a good idea, and one wonders why such an option is not advised in our National Parks, particularly Glacier N.P. which has the most bear attacks in the contiguous U.S. Strange that Canada parks officials advise people to hire armed Inuit guards, whereas U.S wildlife officials advise the public to rely on pepper spray (for just one example, see National Forest service "Be Bear Aware.org "). Because whenever there is a bear attack, U.S. wildlife officials always respond with firearms--not pepper spray.

As for Dyers portraying the pro-firearm position as motivated by fear, that's a common ad hominem used by pro-pepper spray propagandists. Do wildlife officials choose firearms over pepper spray becasue they're afraid? Of course not. Me? I hate guns--always have and still do. But it took a bear knocking me down, growling and snarling in my face while waving its paw threateningly at my head to realize pepper spray allowed that to happen whereas a firearm could have stopped the bear in its charge.

I'm presently quite ill, but if trained would love to be a bear guard. Particularly if it would help protect a vulnerable family in a tent. If not a polar bear, imagine an 1100 pound Kodiak Island brown bear charging at 30mph....pepper spray or an electric fence will not stop it from making contact with you.
Laura Rosenberg

Revere, MA

#7 Aug 27, 2013
Hi Matt Dyer
It is usually never worthwhile to read comments on these things , but I'm glad I did because I got to read your comment!

Thank you for your funny and on point reply and for inspiring us to be strong and accepting and to live an adventure-filled and worthwhile life. All the best in your recovery! So glad your commmunity and the universe gets to keep you here on earth for many more years.

happy trails,
Laura Rosenberg

p.s. I'm very punctual now !! you would be so surprised and impressed :)

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Everson Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Hi! My Name Is Uncle Sam and I'm An Alcoholic Mar 16 Bruce Deile 6
Testing a topic (Feb '14) Mar 9 Nobody 2 Special 2
only sane people allowed here Mar 9 Nobody 2 Special 39
Review: Pros RV Repair ( The RV Roof Pros ) Mar 3 John Durham 1
Court Hearing Mar 2 Just Wondering 1
News Fatal gang stabbing in Whatcom County (Jan '12) Feb '15 Shadow Walker 4
News Why Is the FBI Harassing Activists in Cascadia? Feb '15 Cordwainer Trout 3
Everson Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Everson People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]