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Bear shot in Soldotna neighborhood

Posted: September 9, 2011 - 2:31pm

SOLDOTNA — A police officer in Soldotna has shot and killed a large brown bear in a busy residential area after the animal charged him.

Police Chief John Lucking says Officer Victor Dillon spotted the bear crossing into a yard Thursday afternoon. Dillon thought it was likely an injured one that had been reported scavenging in the area for several days. The officer went looking for the bear on foot, armed with a shotgun. The next time he saw the bear it charged him, veering slightly as it approached, and he fired and killed it.

The chief says the bear likely was attracted by a fresh caribou head within a few feet of where the bear was shot. Lucking says someone apparently had just butchered the caribou and the smell and head attracted the bear.

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northernlights
220
Points
northernlights 09/10/11 - 06:33 am
0
0
bear killed

I am curious, was anything said to the person who left a caribou head out? Were there garbage cans full and with or without lids? I am curious about the caribou head, what the heck, he brought it all the way home to skin it out and left the remains outside. We just had a huge article about keeping your yard clean, etc to keep bears away. Now a bear is shot because of a caribou head. Was he fined, was he talked to about it? I have no problem at all with a bear being shot to protect life, I have a problem with careless people, basicaly leaving something like that outside is baiting bears, he should be fined. I would like to hear from the person his side of the story, why, and I do ask, why would you leave it outside? Are you new up here and dont realize bears are attracted to things like that? And, you dont read the do's and dont's?

Hmmm
4
Points
Hmmm 09/10/11 - 10:26 am
0
0
Always the same story

Always seems that when people screw up, the bear is the one that's punished. My children play in that neighborhood. It's no different then chumming the ocean as they swim. People should be more responsible with their carcass remains. Perhaps it should be against the law to butcher in the city limits without a license. It would make it a safer place to live.

roserph
2
Points
roserph 09/10/11 - 03:25 pm
0
0
OK Before you all get all self-righteous....

This bear was in my backyard two blocks away from where it was killed almost a month ago. The caribou head wasn't there then. Care to adjust your stories now?

Second, despite seeing large scat recently this animal had not been raiding trash cans.

The bear was NOT shot because of a caribou head. Nice to make assumptions and whine and cry about a dead bear though.

Always remember, if you ass/u/me you usually make an... well, you understand.

witchwitch
51
Points
witchwitch 09/10/11 - 10:15 pm
0
0
This is Alaska...

We have enough laws. There are laws against bear baiting and twenty five (or more) assorted flavors of negligence. Perhaps those who insinuate that the person be fined and questioned should let go of more of their tax dollars to fund a Homeland Security station in their neighborhood. If you are afraid perhaps you should move to a more civilized area, buy some electric fencing to hide behind and consider hiring some security guards for your protection.

Hunt
0
Points
Hunt 09/11/11 - 12:43 am
0
0
To many bears!!

This bear didn't come in to town because of a caribou head, obviously because he didn't eat it! To Northern lights, if you dont like seeing bears shot in town then you should help us get a regular brown bear season to control there population. We havent been able to hunt them in years. The 30 permits they give out on the Kenai dont do a damn thing to there population. Most the people that get them dont even go hunt for them. There has been a huge increase in DLP's in the last 5 years and it's not due to people having dog food on there porch or a caribou head in there yard. Brown bears have to be managed just the same as moose or any other animal, and there not being managed at all!! Instead they try and blame it on humans every time, it's a crock!
The reason there has been an increase in DLP's is beacause the Kenai Brown bears are way over populated due to our Fish and Game dept. not doing there job.
They made regulations on brown bears with no idea how many we had. Now look what has happend, we have hardly any moose left and way to many bears! There should be about 2-3 bears to every 30 -40 moose for a healthy population of both. Believe me thats not anywhere even close to what it is. It's more like 10 bears per 15 moose.
Instead of opening season on the bears before they get out of hand they try to regulate people and cut us back on our moose regulations. Now nobody can kill a moose to feed there family. Changing the regs may help the moose population a little bit but it's just going to supply the bears with more feed then anyrthing. If they dont do something soon you can take my word on this there will continue to be more DLP's and maulings and our moose population will continue to fall.

We all need to write letters to the fish and game commissioner in Juneau and explain to him whats going on here on the Kenai.
Our biologist or so called biologists obviously dont know what they are doing or we wouldn't be having this problem. There are to many bears and they are running out of moose to feed on is why they are in town.

Once a sow teaches her cubs to come into town and feed on garbage cause there is nothing else to eat, her cubs will continue to do so and get more brave as time goes on. Therefore you are going to have problems with them. Bears dont like people and they damn sure dont like being in town, but they have no choice because they are over populated now.

Dont get me wrong I like seeing brown bears and think there should be some around just as nature intended. However moose get killed by cars, hunting, and preditors. They dont have a fighting chance if we have no way to control the bear population.

In 07', 08', and 09' there were 40+ DLP's each summer on the penninsula. Thats 120+ bears in three years and many since then that were shot in self defense. Yet we still have a bear problem?? Doesnt that say something?? Hello!! Wake up people. To many bears!!!

Fish and Game should be held accountable for any maulings or deaths due to bear attacks in the future because they know this but wont do anything because they are spineless and dont want to deal with the politicts involved. We are the ones paying there salary every year and there not doing a damn thing to help us out.

KenaiJames
6
Points
KenaiJames 09/11/11 - 07:41 am
0
0
RE: Too Many Bears

I agree about too many bears. They have no fear of humans anymore. I have lived up here since the early 70s and have seen more brown bears in the last few years than I seen in the previous 25+ yrs. I live in the same neighborhood that I grew up in, and now it is a city designated Bear Problem Area. There are very few new places around my home and bears were never a problem when we had regular hunting season. We had trash, fish parts in Summer and moose parts in Fall and never, ever had a bear in them. Now we would get a fine or worse someone could get attacked if there was trash out in our neighborhood.
I wonder what northernlights would be saying if it was a defenseless child that the bears charged instead of an armed officer. The article mentioned that it might have been the wounded bear that had been frequenting the area, if so we all know how danderous they can be. Bottomline: Bears NEED to be taght to respect humans again.

AKMaineIac
14
Points
AKMaineIac 09/11/11 - 08:53 am
0
0
When bears forget...

Because they're bigger, and have teeth and claws, earlier in our existence the bear was THE apex predator and man was on the menu.

Then man invented the gun... changed everything. After a few generations, the bear finally figured out man was poison and stay away from him. Go inland, and generally if you see a bear it's just his big hairy behind headed into the bushes as fast as his legs will carry him. They don't walk into town in Central, or Circle Hot Springs, because they wouldn't walk out. End up decorating someone's living room wall.

I love to see bears, and am not especially scared of them. I respect what they can do, and don't particularly think anybody can predict their actions or say why they do things.

Fantzi05
5
Points
Fantzi05 09/11/11 - 09:15 am
0
0
Bears in the Neighborhood

Over the last 50 years I have been here, we have seen more and more hunting restrictions regarding bears on the Kenai. As more people move into this area and people are not allowed to hunt the bears as they were, the confrontrations will increase. Fish and Game does not have true counts on the bear population of bears on the Kenai. There are more bears here now that there were 50 to 100 years ago. Get used to it as long as they restrict the hunting. And to "Northerlights" comment, yes, we bring the heads home too.

akdeb1
0
Points
akdeb1 09/11/11 - 10:16 am
0
0
Bear shot in Soldotna Neighborhood

Just out of curiousity, where was the neighborhood??? I am out of town now & haven't heard the local news. I agree with the majority of the comments--there are too many bears
around. I'm glad that no one was injured. Thank-You.

fish4food
0
Points
fish4food 09/11/11 - 04:50 pm
0
0
Common sense is the answer here.

I have lived here on the peninsula since 1967 and have to agree with all those that have seen the increase in bears. We used to never see bears out in the wild let alone in town as we do now. Even during hunting season we did not see the amount of bears that we see now. Of course we new they were there because we seen the sign and we had to take our precautions to make sure our camp was secure and such. This was just common sense. Now it seems like you have to stand guard over your kill or it will be gone for sure. We lived on the outskirts of Kenai, not right in town, but we never had an issue with bears, brown or black. This was with us cleaning our fish, smoking fish, cleaning kills, hanging moose to age, having pets and farm animals, garbage barrels we took to the dump (or burned) or the many other reasons they say the bears are attracted to human areas. In my mind this is because there were not as many bears and the bears that there were, had a fear or a respect of humans. They had been taught by their mothers to fear humans. It seems to me that if the bears would not come in with all these attractants laying out for them in an rural area where there was a much smaller chance of being spotted or bothered, why in the heck would they come into a heavily populated area like the city to dig in garbage, get into a skinned caribou head, or someones smoker? The common sense answer is there are too many bears for the area and they have lost their fear of humans. Granted the human population has increased but there are many more square miles of uninhabited wild areas for them. With the human population increase of course we will see more bears because there are more eyes out there and there are more bears than ever. More bears that are not afraid of people at that. A smaller bear population, and I don't mean wipe them out, is easier to control. If sows with cubs are taught that humans are to be feared there are less chances we will have issues with them. This is not something that will happen overnight, just like the population increase, it is something somebody needs to start looking at real soon. Same thing with wolves and many other predatory animals. When they start loosing fear of humans and have a loss of food source, where are they going to go. I myself do not hunt the brown bear, I hunt4food as well and do not need a bear skin on my wall. I do eat black bears but don't have a skin on my wall. I do NOT take issue with anyone that does. If they want a skin, all the more to them. This is a perfect way of controlling the bear population. Issue plenty of permits. If too may bears are taken one year, cut back the next. Ask the old timers around here how to control them or how bear control used to be dealt with. Reading these comments it seems there is a common theme to them.

markh
0
Points
markh 09/14/11 - 07:23 am
0
0
Grizzly Bear

I think maybe we should remember who is crowding whom. The grizzlys were here long before anyone complaining about them being in their space.

AKMaineIac
14
Points
AKMaineIac 09/14/11 - 07:42 am
0
0
@ Grizzly Bear

People who feel like bears have the right of way over people should wear a special tie-dyed t-shirt so we can all tell when a bear is mauling them. That we, we can abstain from interfering in that special relationship between them and the bear.

Same as someone not liking guns for that matter. Or someone with their property peppered with "No Trespassing" signs. When I was on the volunteer fire department, we ALWAYS obeyed those signs. At least until the owner PERSONALLY gave us permission to go past them.

alaskan1
0
Points
alaskan1 09/14/11 - 11:55 am
0
0
It's Alaska

This is Alaska. There are bears. There will be bears in the City or out. I agree totally with keeping garbage and other things that attract bears cleaned up to prevent problems. I also agree in the destruction of an animal in defense of life. Bottom line, this is Alaska. Deal with it. If you don't like it move to another state!

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