Slim Randles' Home Country
A practical bear tip Ė Always carry a rifle!
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[June 28, 2017]
the bears are out now and will be until late fall, so maybe a bear
tip might be in order. As a guide and outfitter emeritus Ė and
emeritus is Latin for ďIím too danged old to pack moose meat out on
my backĒ Iíll talk a bit about olí ursus.
If youíre in dangerous bear country, some people
tell you to wear a little bell that tinkles, and the bear hears this
and says, ďOh, that must be a person, and Iíll bet itís a nice
person, too, so Iíll just amble off this way.Ē
Well, when Iím in thick cover that bears might inhabit, and Iím not
looking for one, I make a lot more noise than that!
One time Jim Kershner and I were going through some willow thickets
along a creek at the base of Mt. McKinley Ö which is a large frozen
rock that is now called Denali, and the salmon were running. I was
in the lead, and Jim was behind me, beating on a gold pan with a
rock. I looked down and saw a four-pound salmon flopping in the
trail in front of me. It had toothmarks about four inches apart.
And, it was on top of a bear track that measured 10 inches across. I
measured it later. Much later. A little guide translation here: A
10-inch-wide bear track means a nine-foot long bear. Well, Jim and I
went up one side of that creek and two big sows and a yearling went
up the other side. Then we sat there snorting at each other.
[to top of second
So is that bell a good idea?
Sure, if you donít have anything as loud as the London Philharmonic
But the bottom line is: if youíre out messing around in the same
country with grizzlies, or with black bears during small cub season
or a salmon run, you always ALWAYS carry a rifle. A .30-06 is a good
[Text from file received from
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