Polar Bear Mauls Sierra Club Hiker in Canada

Posted in the Hope Forum

Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#1 Jul 31, 2013
Anchorage Daily News

Hiker recovering in Montreal hospital after polar bear attack

Man in stable condition after mauling in northern Labrador park

CBC News

Posted: Jul 27, 2013 10:03 AM CT

Last Updated: Jul 27, 2013 10:01 AM CT

A hiker was attacked by a polar bear in Torngat Mountains National Park on Wednesday morning.(Parks Canada)

Polar bear attack injures hiker in Labrador park

A man who was part of a hiking group touring a remote national park in northern Labrador is recovering in a Montreal hospital after a polar bear attacked him.

Matt Dyer, a prominent legal aid lawyer from Maine, was with seven other people as part of a Sierra Club hiking trip to Torngat Mountains National Park when he was attacked by the bear.
torngat mountains, nl
Peter Deering, with Parks Canada, said the bear managed to pass a portable electrical fence and drag Dyer from his tent at around 1:30 a.m. AT.

Dyer was mauled by the bear, but was dropped after the other group members fired flares to scare the bear off.

Jeanne Wells, Dyer's wife, said in a statement that she's grateful for the help he's received.

"My husband is in critical but stable condition, he is a strong man and he is making improvements every day," she said. "My husband has received incredible care in Canada and at the Montreal General Hospital; I believe that's why he is still alive."

No one else in the group was injured.

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.

Deering said this is an issue Parks Canada is currently looking at.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#2 Jul 31, 2013
Baers often attack people in tents during the wee hours. Stealth; premeditated.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#3 Jul 31, 2013
This is front page news material but was hidden in a side bar on ADN online today (7/31/2013), two days after the article appeared.

Sierra Club advocates pepper spray for bear attacks, which probably explains in large part why they were opposed to hiring the armed Inuit guards.

The electric fence is a step in the right direction in trying to co-exist peacefully with bears, but it and pepper spray are not enough to stop a charging bear.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#4 Jul 31, 2013
Letter just submitted to ADN:

To the Editor:

The Anchorage Daily News reported online (7/31/2013) that a Sierra Club hiker is in critical condition after being mauled by a polar bear in Eastern Canada's Torngat Mountains. The article explained an electric fence failed to prevent the bear from attacking the man in a tent around 1:30am. And that, "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."

They didn't hire armed Inuit guards most likely because the Sierra Club advocates pepper spray for defense in 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 Michio Hoshino, et al). This should have been front page news.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#5 Jul 31, 2013
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

Vancouver, WA

#6 Aug 1, 2013
Had to cut it down under 175 words for ADN:

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:
Canada Parks recommends visitors hire armed Inuit guards, but the group chose not to hire them. Quite likely 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).

The Inuits must be shaking their heads.
Chris Deile

Vancouver, WA

#7 Aug 1, 2013
Re-submitted to Portland newspaper the short version and then this slight revision of the longer (it allows 300 words this longer version should still be acceptable at 283):

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....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 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 (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.
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

#10 Sep 26, 2013
The hiker responded to my letter and said if you'e afraid to go into the woods (or the mall, etc.) w/out a gun you shouldn't go.

But that was ad hominem. U.S. wildlife officials respond to bear attacks w/firearms--not pepper spray--and hey do not make that decision based on fear but by better logic.
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

#11 Sep 27, 2013
Compare the opening lines of today's bear story in the Idaho Falls Post Register w/the story I submitted to them last week ('A Can of Spray, A Lot of Luck'; Anchorage Daily News; 9/29/96) suggesting the Register do a story warning people bear spray is not enough to stop a charging bear.

They didn't show any interest in doing so, instead now this article appears; here is the opening line:

"Archery hunter Jeff Frazier was silently making his way up a trail near Henry's Lake on Sept. 11 when movement in the darkness stopped him in his tracks.

Looking closer, he could barely make out two grizzly bears right in front of him.

Frazier reached for his bear spray and slowly backed away. The bears stayed put.

Then he realized they were cubs and mama bear wasn't moving."....
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

#12 Sep 27, 2013
Opening lines of ADN 'A Can of Spray, A Lot of Luck':

"Moving quickly along the trail through the fast-darkening forest,
Chris Deile heard a deep woof that made his blood run cold.Less than
an hour earlier, he and fishing buddy Keith Benner of Anchorage had
watched two brown bears grab a salmon from the Kenai River and depart
along this trail."....
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

#13 Sep 27, 2013
'Neighbors speak out about bear shooting' is the title of that Idaho Falls Post Register article today (9/27/2013)

The 9/12/2013 City Council meeting wherein I spoke about the bear spry not being enough to stop the bear that attacked us, etc.--my comments were left out of the video. That's why I went to the Post Register newspaper. Yet read their article today and it promotes the use of bear spray.
Chris Deile

Idaho Falls, ID

#14 Sep 28, 2013
Quite the coincidence that article--'Neighbors Speak Out About Bear Shooting'--would appear when I was looking for the Post Register to publish an article warning the public bear spray is not enough to stop a charging bear. The entire article is written in the same style as 'A Can of Spray, A Lot of Luck'. It's promoting pepper spray brought to mind Noam Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'.

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.

Hope Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Geologic guidebook commemorates 50th anniversar... 51 min 4 years ago 1
Rare visit from Interior secretary, top politic... Feb 28 Kerry 1
Way bett er than christian mingle and free!! (Sep '13) Sep '13 Rex Colucci 1
HB - regroup (Oct '12) Feb '13 JER29 34
How Many Refrigerators Does It Take to Store a ... (Sep '12) Sep '12 professor oak 1
rebel blues.MP4 (Apr '12) Apr '12 gbo 1
OPINION: Finding an exit from the Native Dark Age (Jan '11) Jan '11 Topsy-Turvy Weather 1
Hope Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Hope People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]

NFL Latest News

Updated 9:15 pm PST