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[pct-l] Bear Problems

Dear PCTL,

I visited Yellowstone NP several years ago, in fact, the year after the big
fires there.  We saw the often mentioned incredible numbers of wildlife
with one notable exception, bears.  We didn't see one in several days of
visit.  I asked a ranger about this and he said that "We remove all of the
garbage from the park everyday and every ranger carries one of these:" as
he pulled his revolver from its holster and showed me that it was loaded
with rubber bullets.  He said every time a ranger sees a bear he shoots it
with a rubber bullet that stings the hell out of the bear but does no real
physical damage.  The result is that all the bears in the park have gone
back to acting like most bears outside of NP where they are hunted, that
is, they fear man and one smell of man sends them running the opposite
direction.  This has reduced the former bear problem in Yellowstone to
nearly zero: no packs being torn up, no cars being broken into, no food
being stolen from backpackers.  

Why doesn't every NP adopt this strategy?  Have animals rights activists
stopped this due to cruelty charges?  If so, what about the cruelty to
bears that are reliant on unnatural sources of food?  

I have never had any problems with bears outside of the area of influence
of the NPs because the bears fear man due to hunting.  I ran into two bears
in near proximity on my PCT thru hike and both turned and ran at the first
wiff of my smell.  Now I know I smelled pretty bad as all thru hikers do
but I don't think they would have run away in Yosemite and environs.

Anybody know why Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia Ntl Parks have not
adopted the "rubber bullet" strategy?

Greg "Strider" Hummel
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