Sunday, October 05, 2008
Bears by the Road
This fall on the streets of Kodiak there seem to be bears everywhere - wandering through neighborhoods, hanging out in the KANA parking lot, lurking behind McDonalds, wandering through Abercrombie, Everywhere. And every day there have been bears by the road out at Bells Flats chasing spawned out salmon in Russian and Sargent Creek. Anyone who wants to see a bear just has to drive on out to Bells Flats. Look for the cars parked by the road and all the people with their cameras. They are photographing the bears.
I gather that this year we had a poor pink salmon run and the bears are coming into town for food. The great thing is that people who don't usually get to see a bear have had a chance to - the bad thing is that some idiot hunter will shoot the bears by the road on the first day of bear season. Not that I am against shooting bears - it's just that these bears are so small and so habituated to humans. It seems more like killing than hunting. And it will give all hunters some serious bad PR. I bet it will be some 20 year-old, new to Alaska, who has just purchased a semi-automatic cannon of some sort, and just has to shoot his first bear.
Anyway - these are the photos I took of the bears driving back from the rifle range with Mike Pfeffer. The bears were hanging out under the bridge directly beneath the road. As Mike put it, 'This year with bears, Kodiak is living up to its reputation'. The bears under the bridge were tiny - I was looking around for their mother. Patrick