The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

It’s different doing field work in the north (1)

Reason #1: Bears.

I know I talk about bears a lot, but this is seriously the biggest (no pun intended…or maybe it is) hazard when working in the north.  My field assistant is on a canoe trip for two weeks, and all my leads for a replacement had led…nowhere.

So what, jeeeeze, just go do the work solo, ya big baby,” I hear you saying.

Oh, how I would love nothing more. 

The reality is, grizzly bears are freaking everywhere, and they kill people, or else seriously injure them.  There was another bear sighting last night, by the river. 

The beautiful Coppermine river...which is crawling with !@#$% bears.

Without a second set of eyes attached to a person holding a rifle, you seriously can’t get any. work. done.  out on the land.  So I’ve been starting to feel a little frantic; I’ve got major trap collections scheduled for tomorrow.  So I posted “help wanted” flyers in the two local grocery stores, and even found a “buy and sell” on Facebook.   Well, it worked.  I just got a phone call from a local hunter who has monitor experience. 

Thank GAWD.  Hopefully he’ll be able to help me out until my regular guy gets back, or maybe be able to help me find a replacement.

2 responses to “It’s different doing field work in the north (1)

  1. Ruth Fitzpatrick June 29, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    You’re being very smart about the bears – don’t let anybody tell you differently! They are indeed a huge threat, and should most definitely be taken seriously. So far this year, we’ve had well over 5 maulings – and they’ve only been awake for about a month!

    On the other side of that coin, however = I’ve lived up north for well over 35 years and am an avid hiker – yet I’ve only seen perhaps three bears in the wild, and thankfully all of them have been “over there”

    I work here at the zoo and get to come quite close to the bears (me on one side of the fence; they on the other) and I simply do not know how it is that anybody can survive a bear attack. Those things are MASSIVE and downright SCARY!

    I love them!

  2. TGIQ June 29, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    That’s the thing, Ruth…1/2 of me would LOVE to see a bear, they’re such fantastic animals. But the other 1/2 would probably pee its pants if it saw one (unless it was “over there”, as in, across the river)! I know the odds of actually getting hurt are slim, but it’s one thing I don’t want to mess around with!

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