Friday, July 15, 2005

Tigers and Lions and Bears, Oh My!!

Ol' Hoss wanted to know why I don't talk about the grizzlies and unicorns. Well. I can't say I've seen any unicorns around here, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. As for other animals, we have lots! If you love to see wildlife, this is the place. If, like most people here, you like to eat wildlife, again, this is the place.
Just about everyone around here hunts. Moose is the most common, but caribou, mountain sheep, and the occasional bear are also packed into the freezer for winter. I haven't seen a lot of moose. I see caribou quite often, and occasionally bears. I once saw a wolf, crouching in a ditch, watching two cyclists at the rest stop a few feet away.
When I drove up here the first time to visit Hubby (back then he was just my boyfriend), I knew nothing about wild animals. I stopped every time I saw anything. Worse, I got out of the car. And even worse, I FED the animals. I threw a granola bar to a moose. I gave a banana to some sheep. I tossed stones at a bear when he wouldn't look at the camera. After I'd been here visiting for a few days, Hubby's dad heard these stories. The man just about exploded. Only stupid people, or tourists (those two groups often overlap) try to feed the animals. No one in their right mind gets out of the car near a bear. After he was done lecturing me, Dad made me promise, swear, and take an oath that on the way home I would use my brain, and stay away from the animals! He packed me a lunch, and repeated over and over "This food is not for bears. Whatever you don't eat, throw away. Do not feed ANYTHING."
Several years later, this same man ran out of his house in his sock feet, bellowing at a bear in the driveway. He didn't want the bear to go in the garage, where a moose was hanging to dry. So he threw chunks of firewood at the bear until he chased it away. I don't know why it's okay to chase bears away from a dead animal in your sock feet, but not okay to chuck stones at the bear so you can get a face shot. That's just one of the rules of the Yukon that I have yet to figure out.

7 comments:

OldHorsetailSnake said...

That's not hard to figure out: You're a girl, he's a man. A chauvinist, but a man. (Plus, he likes you.)

carol said...

Your bears sound more dangerous than our bears. We have black bears here (central Canada) who, on occasion, invade the town when there isn't enough food in the bush. It's been a few years since this has happened, but you learn to live with it. We certainly respect them and don't get them mad, but for the most part they're more afraid of us than we are of them.
The deer also roam freely close to town, but they are REALLY timid and are so anxious to get away from you they jump right in front of your car!!! Ouch!

Michelle said...

it must be one of those "do as I say, not as I do" rules. cute story! :)

J&J'sMom said...

Lions and tigers and bears...Oh My! It's a guy thing. Great story!!!

Raehan said...

I don't think the bears care a bit about his rules, do they? Funny.

tales north said...

Hey, My friend pulled a similar stunt on the way home from Haines a couple weeks ago. Got out of the car to take a pic of a huge grizz and hubbs accidentaly locked her out of the truck (automatic locks when you put it in gear) she says she damn near busted the door handle trying to get back in when the bear started walking towards her! As for the gravol and barf bucket Dani has been getting car sick since she started cutting her molars - I have no idea if the two are linked.

Carmi said...

The Law of the Land is an amazing thing - and easy to forget when we get everything we need at the supermarket. Thanks for bringing us back to reality. Great entry!