Massachusetts man facing charges after shooting bear in self-defense in his yard

posted at 10:01 pm on April 8, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Reason:

Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, Massachusetts, faces criminal charges after encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting the damned thing to avoid being mauled or eaten. Specifically, as noted at Reason 24/7, he’s charged with “illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a firearm.” All of these charges, once translated from Massachusetts to American, seem to stack up to outrage that Ahlstrand didn’t make his yard completely inhospitable to animals that are rarely seen in the area, and then investigated a suspicious noise with a weapon in hand rather than cower under the bed. Worst of all, he actually defended himself when he encountered danger.

The baiting charge, as J.D. Tucille notes, comes from the fact that Ahlstrand had a large barrel of birdseed in his yard, even though it was not meant to bait a bear, and bears are rarely seen in the area.

The police account, with a hint of contempt for a 76-year-old having the temerity to defend himself:

Chief Sluckis said the bear is believed to have been attracted to a 50-gallon drum of birdseed Mr. Ahlstrand had in his backyard. He said Mr. Ahlstrand told police he heard a noise outside and felt in fear of his life.

“He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear,” Chief Sluckis said. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

There’s that indomitable spirit of ’76 embodied. Hide in your house at all costs, people, “dial 911 and then curl into a fetal position whenever they hear a curious noise.”

Via CBS Boston, a 300-400-lb bear began chasing him before he went inside to get his gun.

The feds dropped charges filed against an Idaho man in 2011 for a similar “crime,” amidst public protest and urging by the governor of Idaho. Jeremy Hill’s children were playing in his yard when a grizzly bear showed up. Yelling to warn his children, but unable to confirm they were all out of the bear’s range, Hill grabbed his daughter’s shotgun to protect the family. He then immediately reported his “crime” to the state wildlife authorities. This is the government’s take on that:

Although hunting of grizzlies is generally prohibited under the Endangered Species Act, the law allows the animals to be killed if they are a threat to human life.

Federal prosecutors said in a statement that wildlife investigators were unable to pinpoint where the Hill children were when three grizzlies appeared about 40 yards from the family home. When the bears neared a pig pen, Hill fired the first of three rounds at the closest of the bruins, according to statements by the government and by Hill.

“By the time Mr. Hill fired the final shot, he was aware that all of his children and his wife were inside of their house,” according to the prosecutors’ statement.

Hill said he fired the third and fatal shot because he thought “it would be very dangerous to leave the bear wounded, possibly posing a threat to others.”

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Comment pages: 1 2

Geraldo said the bear was wearing a hoodie.

vcferlita on April 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Ahh, so this was a black bear? That is going to get messy.

MikeA on April 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

A few more contradictions, he says he was stocking his birdfeeder Friday night, the cops say they were called at 12:19 P.M. that would be noonish.

For what it’s worth, the newspaper report gives his address and he has a few hundred acres of wood behind his house.

halfbaked on April 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

For what it’s worth, the newspaper report gives his address and he has a few hundred acres of wood behind his house.

halfbaked on April 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Impossible! Nonpartisan told us he was a mere few steps from his house!

Resist We Much on April 8, 2013 at 11:13 PM

Can an elderly Massachusetts man be arrested for shooting a bear in self defense?

Does a bear Massachusetts legislator sh!t in the woods on his electorate?

Glenn Jericho on April 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

MelonCollie on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 8, 2013 at 10:55 PM


From the link (parts in bold are in bold in the original):

■ Normal trail noise should alert bears to your presence and prompt them to move without being noticed. However, if you see a bear, keep your distance. Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking or making other sounds.

How about pushing one of the HotAir trolls towards it? Would their screaming like a stuck pig qualify?

■ If a bear does not immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be encouraging it to stay. Remove any sight or smell of foods. Place food items inside a vehicle or building. Occupy a vehicle or building until the bear wanders away.

OK, so the troll(s) would have to be bagged then, right?

■ Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.

I am going to let the bagged troll(s) stand their ground while I slowly back away.

PolAgnostic on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

partisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Congratulations. You have taken the final step from being a rational person to be being prey. I dub thee: preyisan.

nobar on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

I thought this guy was in his backyard, which would mean his house is steps away.

Anon 7 on April 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Define “backyard”.

Unless you’re a Democrat City Dweller you would know that some of us have backyards that extend many, many feet “out back”. Even in Massachusetts, which has many high-priced executive suburban properties featuring large acreage.

Del Dolemonte on April 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Geraldo said the bear was wearing a hoodie.

vcferlita on April 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Ahh, so this was a black bear? That is going to get messy.

MikeA on April 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

He was carrying a pot of honey and a pay day candy bar, huh?

RovesChins on April 8, 2013 at 11:22 PM

For what it’s worth, the newspaper report gives his address and he has a few hundred acres of wood behind his house.

halfbaked on April 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Shocking! That means his “backyard” could be a thousand feet back at least. “Steps away from the house”, you say?

Del Dolemonte on April 8, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Dad, why are you changing shoes? You’ll never outrun that bear!

- nonpartisan, jr.

rogerb on April 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM

“Son, I don’t have to outrun that bear. I just have to outrun you…”
-noparts

Yoop on April 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

I thought this guy was in his backyard, which would mean his house is steps away.

Anon 7 on April 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

My backyard is 4 acres. That’s a lot of steps away.

ButterflyDragon on April 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Hill said he fired the third and fatal shot because he thought “it would be very dangerous to leave the bear wounded, possibly posing a threat to others.”

That’s an understatement.

In an ideal world, you call for a veterinarian to come out to your house and nurse the bear back to health, ignoring the danger of a wounded bear possibly coming after you or others, or running off and becoming a menace to livestock and children because it’s wounded too badly to hunt.

In the real world, if you’ve injured a bear more than a little, you finish it off. It’s safer for everyone, and more merciful for the bear

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

■ Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.

PolAgnostic on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

At first I thought you were kidding with your post. Went to the link. So who does mrs ziffel sue when the fukker wasn’t “bluffing”? Couldn’t a person just puke or crap on the bear or even scream for mamma?

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

■ Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.

PolAgnostic on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

At first I thought you were kidding with your post. Went to the link. So who does mrs ziffel sue when the fukker wasn’t “bluffing”? Couldn’t a person just puke or crap on the bear or even scream for mamma?

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Note to self: Never play poker with a black bear.

RovesChins on April 9, 2013 at 12:05 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Your French, right?

chemman on April 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Welcome to liberal paradise, before long Ahlstrand will wish he just let the bear eat him.

Speakup on April 9, 2013 at 12:14 AM

At first I thought you were kidding with your post. Went to the link. So who does mrs ziffel sue when the fukker wasn’t “bluffing”? Couldn’t a person just puke or crap on the bear or even scream for mamma?

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

.
I am certain that in Massachusetts, vomiting would get you charged with “baiting” the bear …

… and crapping, if done in ANY woodland type setting will probably result in a ‘work action’ by AUBBA (Amalgamated Union of Black Bears of America) since their contract gives them exclusive rights to “sh1tting in the woods”

… and “screaming for mama” has a long, empirical record of being completely ineffective as a defense and just annoys the bear.

My wife says if you have enough insurance it wouldn’t be necessary for Mrs. Ziffel to sue anyone.

PolAgnostic on April 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Glenn Jericho on April 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM
chemman on April 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

LOLZ!

ted c on April 9, 2013 at 12:20 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Your French, right?

chemman on April 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

I bet that is one reason (among many) why the former mrs. nonpartisan split the sheets.

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2013 at 12:21 AM

Oui

dirtengineer on April 9, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

MelonCollie on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

And as someone taught me 40 years ago down South while working construction where I first heard that phrase,

“If you’re burying an atheist, don’t say a prayer – the dead SOB doesn’t deserve it and God doesn’t need the distraction.”

PolAgnostic on April 9, 2013 at 12:26 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

When you run, do you flap your arms? I heard if you do it vigorously enough you might get enough lift to make it to a tree branch, like a chicken….shit.

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2013 at 1:08 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Careful you don’t get one of your high heels caught in your skirt hem. You could trip and get an awful bruise. Or even a scrape.

Don’t worry about the bear. They never chase anyone. Too roly-poly.

Solaratov on April 9, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Don’t report it. Don’t talk about it. You might as well play Russian roulette as talk to the bureaucrats.

claudius on April 9, 2013 at 1:30 AM

■ If a bear does not immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be encouraging it to stay. Remove any sight or smell of foods. Place food items inside a vehicle or building. Occupy a vehicle or building until the bear wanders away.

■ Black bears will sometimes “bluff charge” when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.

Or just throw some food to him to keep him happy while you take a good aim with your 44 on some part of his central nervous system.

claudius on April 9, 2013 at 1:41 AM

“He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear,” Chief Sluckis said. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

.
( E X P L E T I V E S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S )
.

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

.
Apparently Chief Sluckis believes common citizens should all be as much of a candy-ass, as you are.

listens2glenn on April 9, 2013 at 1:56 AM

Bears are fury and cuddly and oppressed and have rights. So go to jail mean old white man. Or just die already. Because, cuddly.
/

Kenosha Kid on April 9, 2013 at 2:11 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

-
I read most of the comments and the overwhelming majority wanna watch you run from a bear…

RalphyBoy on April 9, 2013 at 2:23 AM

It can take hours for a bear to eat a few people and some are just seeking a better life for themselves and their families.*

Couldn’t he have waited for the police?

He could have tossed the bear one of his kids or maybe a neighbor to keep it busy till the cops got there.

Or maybe tossed a few people in a line to give the bear a “pathway to givingtheslip” and back to the wild.

* Mum, the bear is eating me!’: Frantic final phone calls of woman, 19, eaten alive by brown bear and its three cubs

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026914/Mum-bear-eating–Final-phone-calls-woman-19-eaten-alive-brown-bear-cubs.html#ixzz2Pwi5TUKO
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

IlikedAUH2O on April 9, 2013 at 2:42 AM

always follow the 3S principle.

Shoot
Shovel
Shut up

contacting any authorities just gives them an excuse to make your life miserable.

warhorse_03826 on April 9, 2013 at 4:32 AM

I can see it now..
“[caller]…there is a bear that looks like he is up to no good”

“[911]..is it polar, brown or black?”

“[caller]..I think he’s black”

NBC will do their own editing…

Electrongod on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

This goes into HA lore.I can recall this and smile late at night in the ReEd camp.

docflash on April 9, 2013 at 6:10 AM

We have reached the point where we practice the right to arm bears instead of the right to bear arms.

Happy Nomad on April 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM

I can see it now..
“[caller]…there is a bear that looks like he is up to no good”

“[911]..is it polar, brown or black?”

“[caller]..I think he’s black”

NBC will do their own editing…

Electrongod on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Okay, that’s downright funny.

Happy Nomad on April 9, 2013 at 7:08 AM

he has a few hundred acres of wood behind his house

That’s his real crime; daring to own property that ought to be in the hands of the omnipotent state.

Say, since it was about birdseed and which equal species has a right to it–shouldn’t this all be under the heading of “Food Fight?”

Don L on April 9, 2013 at 7:09 AM

My what an awful crime against petanity. He treated the bear like he was a dangerous trespasser when he should have known he was just an undocumented pet.

Basilsbest on April 9, 2013 at 7:19 AM

For what it’s worth, the newspaper report gives his address and he has a few hundred acres of wood behind his house.

halfbaked on April 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

His house is next to hundred acre wood? Did Mr. Ahlstrand just kill Pooh?

Happy Nomad on April 9, 2013 at 7:23 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

I bet you’re a real good runner by now…..

dmacleo on April 9, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Welcome to Agenda 21 and the regulations that will lead to ‘rewilding’ the country… the planet.

You are to be disarmed against wild animals, wild humans, wild government and any other thing that can threaten your life and well being. You are no longer a citizen, nor a subject, just prey.

Soon only wildmen will be protected, and the best place to be then is to claim to civilization that respects human liberty and human rights: you will get the wildman designation in no time. Luckily you are known to be violent, hostile and there are regulations set up to help protect your predation. Unless its against government, of course, but by the time these tyrants figure that out, they will be to late.

ajacksonian on April 9, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Naturally. The North eastern Yankee nanny state believes it’s the human’s obligation to just let the bear kill him.

wildcat72 on April 9, 2013 at 7:54 AM

I’d think a “baiting” charge would require evidence of intent.

It’s garbage night tonight for me. Could be charged with baiting tomorrow.

forest on April 9, 2013 at 7:57 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

You don’t know much about bears, do you?

Curtiss on April 8, 2013 at 10:20 PM

This reminds me of our Angus bulls. Almost 2000 lbs, they seem very slow to move & seem very gentle & sweet most of the time.
But they can move like lightening & turn on a dime in an instant.
IT is clear pu$$ypants here has never been around large animals before.
Especially of the wild variety.
One does not run from a bear. One does not let a bear f@ck with oneself & do nothing about it.
Especially one habituated to humans, which this one probably was.
Baiting with birdseed? That is hilarious. The bear is just looking for something, anything.
And since the guy had wooded acres behind him home, I don’t blame him for shooting it.

I do thank you nonpartisanpu$$ypants for the huge laugh you gave me. I really needed it.
You should come out sometime to our ranch during calving. While we’re tagging calves, I wanna see you outrun a pi$$ed off mamma cow.

Badger40 on April 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM

His house is next to hundred acre wood? Did Mr. Ahlstrand just kill Pooh?

Happy Nomad on April 9, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Yes, apparently Christopher Robin’s real estate investments did remarkably well, in spite of the housing crash.

VelvetElvis on April 9, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Chief Sluskis is an utter moron.

Many years ago we were on vacation in a cabin just outside Yosemite. We had finished cooking breakfast an hour before, when a large black bear literally smashed through the kitchen door looking for food. No warning, no sniffing around, just right through the door, like it was paper. We had no gun and ended up in the last bedroom, pushing furniture against the door. The bear demolished the kitchen, looking for food, as well as clawing open the refrigerator.

The NP ranger said a famished bear would eat anything including people, and were impossible to stop when they were that hungry in the spring after hibernation, unless you had a rifle. They can smell bacon cooking from over a mile away, and will follow the scent.

Next time, Richard Ahlstrand should just allow the bear to give him a small flesh wound to the upper arm, to prove that the bear struck first…… what could go wrong with that plan??

ursa5000 on April 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Welcome to Agenda 21 and the regulations that will lead to ‘rewilding’ the country… the planet.

ajacksonian on April 9, 2013 at 7:46 AM

And amazingly enough there are still officials out there who deny it exists.
Agenda 21 has been around for YEARS. And when you bring it up, most people:
1. Have no fracking clue
2. Think you’re just a conspiracy theorist

Well if we consider the efforts of organizations like the UN trying to destroy the sovereignty of countries, like the US, with their ‘treaties’ etc. It is not hard to understand this is another one of those globalization efforts to undermine sovereignty & grasp power.
All of the garbage about it is UnConstitutional. But since those voted into office do not consider the Constitution the law of the land anymore, it is up to the people to hold them accountable.
Perhaps this will happen more vigorously as more are affected.
I sincerely hope so bcs this $hit’s getting ridiculous.

The femal game warden around here a few years back went ape $hit bcs someone had dropped off some HAY bales cut locally for the starving deer so they wouldn’t run amok through town & depradate rancher’s hay supplies. It has ALWAYS been done.
She said that deer couldn’t eat hay bcs it would kill them.
These are the kinds of people that have been put in charge.
Here is some more heartbreaking news that shows you how stupid govt officials can be & how they RUIN lives.

I live ~30 miles roughly north of this area.
The day they lit that prescribed burn, which I know are necessary, it was like 72 degrees, very low humidity, & the wind had come up pretty fast.
I smelled it on the wind that day & knew it wasn’t good.
About 12 ranch families were affected. ONe family we know of, older couple, is selling out their herd (something that took their whole lives to build & you cannot buy that back) bcs they have no feed, no pasture.
SD & we here in ND are in another drought. It’s worse down there. Horrible. Like it was here a few years back.
These POS f@ckers screw with our lives & property & then they ask us just to sit back and take it.
Serious changes need to happen before I can call this place America again. And it’s pu$$ytards like ‘non’partisan here are the kinds that are put in charge of telling us to stop taking care of ourselves & let these mortards do it for us.

Badger40 on April 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Sometimes I get the distinct impression the Pilgrims, and the rest of us for that matter, would have been better off if the Mayflower had docked off the coast of Florida instead of Massachusetts.

pilamaye on April 9, 2013 at 8:52 AM

So the feds are right on prosecuting people for shooting bears in self-defense, yet strangely don’t care to prosecute convicted felons for using firearms in a subsequent crime (mandatory 5 years WHEN actually prosecuted).

Yeah, that sounds about right. Go after the low hanging independent fruit. I’m much more concerned about 76 year old bear killers than I am gang bangers.

Mr Galt on April 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Run Forest!!!!!!!!!!Run!

antipc on April 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

If Obama had a bear as a pet, it would look like the dead bear…

RedSoxNation on April 9, 2013 at 9:23 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Run Forest!!!!!!!!!!Run!

antipc on April 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

At least he could have used one of those non-lethal skeet shotguns on it!

slickwillie2001 on April 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Blow your whistle, use the call box, if that doesn’t work piss yourself and vomit on yourself. For heavens sake don’t shoot them. Resistance is futile.
(Bear protection advice from the University of Colorado)

Kuffar on April 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Shoot-Shovel-Shut up.

MikeA on April 8, 2013 at 10:37 PM

I live in MA and that’s what I tell my family. We have coyotes in the yard all the time, I’ve even been chased into the house by one. Last year a black bear was seen about a mile from my house. I border woods and if I have to shoot any of the fauna it will quickly get dragged into the woods as fast as I can just in case the cops show up. I doubt they would because there is generally gun fire several time a night from all different directions but, one never knows. I would never ever call the police. The one and only time I dealt with the Animal Control Officer she threatened to fine and arrest me. I found a stay cat in my yard that was injured and brought it to the town shelter. After a major screaming match with her I told her any other strays I find in my yard will be pushing up daisies from that point on.

Dr. Frank Enstine on April 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Yeah, that sounds about right. Go after the low hanging independent fruit. I’m much more concerned about 76 year old bear killers than I am gang bangers.

Mr Galt on April 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

76 year old bear killers pose no danger to the cops or anyone else. Easy pickings and gets the cops, state and wildlife concerned folks lots of PR for doing their jobs.

Dr. Frank Enstine on April 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM

There was no danger here at all.

http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/grizzly-bear-warning.jpg

Rather than shooting the bear, he should have used the bells.

unclesmrgol on April 9, 2013 at 9:47 AM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

See? We aren’t as bad as you make us out to be. You aren’t running away.

unclesmrgol on April 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM

slickwillie2001 on April 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Heh, maybe a taser. It could also double as a replacement for his rubber duckie.

antipc on April 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

is that the situation? I thought this guy was in his backyard, which would mean his house is steps away.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

It all depends on what your backyard looks like.

And how much you like your house.

http://www.dsconstructiontahoe.com/tahoe-black-bear-damage-repairs-and-deterrents.html

unclesmrgol on April 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Congratulations. You have taken the final step from being a rational person to be being prey. I dub thee: preyisan.

nobar on April 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

You didn’t do it right. It’s “I dub thee: Dame Preyisan.”

Nutstuyu on April 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM

is that the situation? I thought this guy was in his backyard, which would mean his house is steps away.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Yup, just like the Newtown police were steps away from the school. Sure, it might have been 153,782 steps, but still just steps away.

Nutstuyu on April 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

If Obama had a bear as a pet, it would look like the dead bear…

RedSoxNation on April 9, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Hmmm, Obama…bear…beard…coincidence?

Nutstuyu on April 9, 2013 at 10:02 AM

This is why I advocate re-introducing wolves and bears in the urban centers. Guys like Mr. Ahlstrand will survive. Guys like the police chief and partisan will be chlorinated from the gene pool.

Dr. Frank Enstine on April 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Too bad the animal control officer can’t be dragged into the woods…. Seriously, though, if you invest in a deep freeze, some of those critters would be better hidden in a stew or as jerky.

GWB on April 9, 2013 at 10:05 AM

http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations/cmr/cmr_300.htm#3021

Above is some interesting data. No apparent laws allowing taking of predatory bears.

However there is this, indicating that baiting laws indicate an intent to hunt the bear.

Baiting means the placement, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of any bait or other substance so as to constitute for bears a lure or attraction to areas where hunters are attempting to take them.

Here’s another interesting Massachusetts website:

http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/facts/mammals/bear/black_bear_problem_faq.htm#prob10

Here’s the money statement:

Predatory black bears seldom give explicit signs of aggression and intent. The bear typically approaches during the daytime, sometimes slowly circling the person, and then rushing in for the attack. Predatory attacks usually continue until the bear is deterred, the person escapes, or the bear gains its prey. If the bear is not deterred by noise or throwing of objects and escape is impossible, your only option may be to fight back with any available means. Adults as well as young children have successfully fought back and deterred potentially lethal bear attacks.

So, from a California site, we have that bears commonly damage and enter homes, and from the Massachusetts site, we have the State of Massachusetts telling you that you can fight back “with any available means” if a bear attacks you.

unclesmrgol on April 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM

So if you fear for your life, call the police. And wait.

And wait some more.

And if you live in a rural area, wait some more.

hawksruleva on April 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

The one and only time I dealt with the Animal Control Officer she threatened to fine and arrest me. I found a stay cat in my yard that was injured and brought it to the town shelter. After a major screaming match with her I told her any other strays I find in my yard will be pushing up daisies from that point on.

Dr. Frank Enstine on April 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Even in North Dakota this crap happens. If you accidentally kill a mother rabbit bcs you ran over her with your hay machine & save the baby bunnies from dying to release them into the ‘wild’ when they’re old enough, you’re a criminal.
A local guy here years ago saved a baby coon bcs mother was dead by getting run over by him. The same female game warden I mentioned above hear him tell about it in the bar & fervently worked to get him prosecuted.
I’ve saved baby bunnies. I’m a criminal for doing it.
Our society is so sick twisted & moronic I cannot believe we have to put up with this insane $hit.
Saw the warden on the road by the house the other day. She sits sometimes with binoculars & spies on us & others on our property.
But yet, crickets about the permanent tree stand put up illegally on the state land lease we have.

Badger40 on April 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM

So if you fear for your life, call the police. And wait.

hawksruleva on April 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

You might wait the entire rest of your life.

GWB on April 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I live out in the country, I deal with black bears regularly, and I’ve never had to shoot one. A warning shot to scare them off has always been more than enough. This guy had a 50 gallon barrel of bird seed in his yard? Was it an open barrel? He went inside to get his gun and back out? Says the bear chased him? It sounds suspicious to me, the bear would have run a 76 year old man down in no time. I’ve come across a female with cubs, she huffed and stomped her paws as a warning to me, I just walked away and went inside. So I’d like to hear more about this story as something stinks here.

Hammerhead on April 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

from the Massachusetts site, we have the State of Massachusetts telling you that you can fight back “with any available means” if a bear attacks you.

Yes, but it doesn’t tell you that you can injure or kill the bear. Obviously you are supposed to use the same leftist recommendations given to potential rape victims in fending off an attacker.

hawkeye54 on April 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

We have reached the point where we practice the right to arm bears instead of the right to bear arms.

Happy Nomad on April 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM

ah, close enough =D

Sachiko on April 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM

On Reddit front page today, is an AMA (Ask me anything) featuring the responses of an older woman in California who survived an attack by a predatory black bear – pounced her out of nowhere when she was working on her ranch. He was eating her face when she got mad about her mode of death, and thumbed the bear in his piggy eye, and drove for help with half her face hanging off.

SarahW on April 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I just walked away and went inside. So I’d like to hear more about this story as something stinks here.

Hammerhead on April 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Maybe. The bear might have had previous altercations with other people & realized humans were not a threat to it.
Here in ND coyotes are scared $hitless of people. We have coyote hunts & keep the populations well culled.
And yet there are people who say a coyote chased them?
I do have a hard time believing that. But an individual animal does not always fit the stereotype of the population.
Just like humans.
So in the end, who are any of us to judge a 70something yo man who’s got a barrel of birdseed in the backyard & a bear comes into his yard to investigate?
I would be surprised if this man was trying to lure the bear there on purpose just to kill it.

Badger40 on April 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Hammerhead on April 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Hey, maybe you and the other schmuck could have a race.

katy the mean old lady on April 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

From the linked article:

Chief Sluckis said Environmental Police Officer Daniel Reeves, who is investigating the shooting with Auburn Police Officer Jason Miglionico, determined the bear was female.

“After looking at the bear and the area, he stated that he was concerned there may be cubs waiting in the woods,” Chief Sluckis said.

Chief Sluckis said this time of year bears are likely with cubs.

Black bears are usually not agressive toward humans, EXCEPT mother bears who are extremely protective of their cubs. The bear shot by Richard Ahlstrand WAS female (according to the police chief) in the season for bearing cubs, and may have become aggressive if it thought Ahlstrand or his family was a threat to her cubs.

What would the police be doing if Ahlstrand or one of his family members had been mauled by the bear?

Steve Z on April 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

nonpartisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

So you can outrun a bear?

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/black-bear/basic-bear-facts/168-quick-black-bear-facts.html

Running Speed: Lean bears can exceed 30 mph. Can run uphill, downhill, or on level ground.

I wonder who is that fast…

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1283999-usain-bolt-mph-breaking-down-amazing-speed-from-olympic-sprinter

Bolt covered the course from a standing start at 23.35 miles per hour. However, he dashed from the 60m to the 80m mark in 1.61 seconds, approximately 27.79 mph.

So you’re faster than Usain Bolt… is that your argument?
Because he’s not faster than a bear, and you think you would be… right?

Why do I suspect you’re not faster than Olympic sprinters?

But don’t worry; the police will arrive in time to ID your corpse. That’s all you can hope for; right?

gekkobear on April 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Geraldo said the bear was wearing a hoodie.

vcferlita on April 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Puhahahaha!

jawkneemusic on April 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Had Mr Ahlstrand just put the bear in his car, drive off a bridge… he would be elected Senator to the Great State of Mass.

Odie1941 on April 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Along the east coast states, seeing an adult black bear in the woods is less dangerous than seeing a black bear cub. This is especially dangerous to young children, who might be tempted to “pet the little teddy bear” without recognizing the danger from the mother bear.

If an unarmed adult, or child old enough to know better, sees a bear cub, the best response is to look in the direction away from the cub, to make sure that the person is not between the cub and its mother. This position would make the person bear bait, and might get the person arrested in Massachusetts, if the mother bear doesn’t attack the person first.

If the person sees the mother bear, then he/she should walk away from the line between the mother and the cub, so that the mother bear does not perceive the person as a threat to the cub. The person SHOULD NOT run (which would attract the mother bear’s attention) unless there is bear-proof shelter (such as a house or car) within a short distance.

Steve Z on April 9, 2013 at 2:09 PM

If Obama had a bear, it would be named Tryavon

J_Crater on April 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I expect nothing less from the home of Barney Frank, and John-Iserved in Vietnam-Kerry…………. Stupid liberals.

ultracon on April 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Geraldo said the bear was wearing a hoodie.

vcferlita on April 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Ahh, so this was a black bear? That is going to get messy.

MikeA on April 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

So he had a barrel of Skittles and Snapple?

If princess barry could father a bear. . . . .

jdkchem on April 9, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

MelonCollie on April 8, 2013

Exactly.

JackM on April 9, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Let’s just be grateful the “black” bear was attracted to a bunch of bird seed, and not to a plate of fried chicken, or a nice juicy watermellon.

JackM on April 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I live out in the country, I deal with black bears regularly, and I’ve never had to shoot one. A warning shot to scare them off has always been more than enough. This guy had a 50 gallon barrel of bird seed in his yard? Was it an open barrel? He went inside to get his gun and back out? Says the bear chased him? It sounds suspicious to me, the bear would have run a 76 year old man down in no time. I’ve come across a female with cubs, she huffed and stomped her paws as a warning to me, I just walked away and went inside. So I’d like to hear more about this story as something stinks here.

Hammerhead on April 9, 2013

Who cares, it’s just a stupid bear.

JackM on April 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM

The racist filled his bird feeder with Skittles.

ardenenoch on April 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

And to think it was in Masschusetts where armed men first shot at the British.

Thank you dead Ted Kennedy.

JackM on April 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

He should be charged, charged for living in Massachusetts.

Krammer on April 9, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Now you know the reason Ted Kennedy was continuously elected. There’s something wrong with the people there.

mixplix on April 9, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Now you know the reason Ted Kennedy was continuously elected. There’s something wrong with the people there.

mixplix on April 9, 2013 at 5:18 PM

They don’t call it Taxachussets because it rhymes.

MelonCollie on April 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Massachusetts man facing charges after shooting bear in self-defense in his yard

Probably lives a lib community that bans bulldogs…

Bears in Yard?? = reason # 3,415,682 you should own a bulldog. :D

BigSven on April 10, 2013 at 12:21 PM

generally if I’m fearing for my life of something, I run away from it…not try to agitate it.

partisan on April 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

That’s why you shoot to kill, champ.

Won’t the lib eco-freaks spin this as being his fault for encroaching on the bear’s habitat?

cmsciulli on April 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

We’ve become a collecion of pussies. Most large carnivores finding my back yard are going to get shot.

StevC on April 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

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