Have you ever heard a bear roar? I had not until tonight. And it is a tremendous sound.
There are poachers out tonight, there dogs hollering, and they found a bear right across the river, right by our house, and the fight that ensued could be heard clearly from our deck. And it was frightening.
Yes, I’ve called the game warden. Andrew even hopped in his car and talked to the guys. “Ya huntin’?” he asks, as if it excites him, too.
And they’re stupid with excitement. “Yeah, yeah! A sow and a cub just run through here!” they answer.
“Huh. That’s funny. Bear season’s not for another week.”
“Yeah. Uh. We’re just runnin’ the dogs,” one says.
While Andrew’s gone I hear a gunshot reverberates through the valley. Yeah, right.
I call my friend who works for the Forest Service. She tells me that yes, I should call. And so I do. The game warden calls me back. Talks to Andrew, who has returned, and gets a description on the trucks. The warden is headed out this way, and I can still hear the bear dogs off in the distance. I hope he finds the motherf*ckers and slams them.
In my mind, hunting is only ethical if you:
a. follow the rules
b. take no more than you can eat (and actually eat it)
c. keep the balance of power even, so there’s a sporting chance.
Otherwise, it’s just an excuse to kill something.
Later, after the dogs moved off, Andrew stood on our deck and listened carefully to the scrubby overgrown field next to our house. He heard the snort of a bear. We hope it was the sow, and her cub.