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Thread: Retiree welcomes neighborhood bears

  1. #1
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Exclamation Retiree welcomes neighborhood bears

    Curious to what your thoughts were on the linked ADN story. The next Treadwell? Maybe not, does anyone know any more about this guy?
    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/wildl...-8697579c.html

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    Member summitx's Avatar
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    Smile

    Can we do drop offs there

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    Default bear scat

    I predict that someday Charlie Vandergaw will be reincarnated as bear scat.:eek:

    I also predict the killing of all those fed bears now that the story is out.

    Anybody for a drop hunt in the Yetna/Susitna river basins?:D

    jedi

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    Personnally I think the guy has a few screws loose, but hey, each to there own.

    Definitly a target rich environment. I do like the pic of the bear standing on its hind legs with the 2 girls. its just cool.

  5. #5

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    This is absolutely intolerable. Is it possible to train bears with food? Yes, of course. But (I thought) we learned a long time ago that it's a very bad idea. What's going to happen when this jerk dies or gets killed? Lots of dead bears and maybe worse.

    He's a psychotic menace and the fact that Wildlife Enforcement does NOTHING about it while hounding the rest of us for keeping so much as a pack of ramen in camp is pretty disgusting. I guess it's one law for us, and another for this joker. I wish my family had deep roots so I could break F&G laws with impunity.

    He blames Treadwell for making it seem insane for someone to want to touch and play with bears.
    You know, I pretty much had that one on the "insane" list long before Treadwell.
    Last edited by Cosmoline; 04-15-2007 at 07:57.

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    Moderator David Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Bear whisperer?

    The Anchorage Daily News this morning reports a story by Craig Medred about a retired Anchorage school teacher, Charlie Vandergaw, who has become a "bear whisperer" at his Alexander Creek homestead.

    "Far from the bear-viewing spectacle of Katmai National Park, and farther still from the hype that made a celebrity of the late Timothy Treadwell, a retired Anchorage science teacher has quietly transformed himself into what Treadwell only dreamed of being: a true bear whisperer.
    What goes on each summer at Vandergaw's remote homestead is so far from the ordinary as to be almost unbelievable. Visitors tell of him petting black and brown bears, playing with grizzly cubs while sows stand by, sitting on bears and teaching them tricks. His own photographs show even more. They capture him easing to within feet of breeding grizzlies and nursing an injured brown bear."


    Medred writes that Vandergaw conditioned the bears using food. Vandergaw is apparently not alone in this; the article mentions several others around North America who are currently or have done similar things with bears.


    David
    Last edited by David Johnson; 04-15-2007 at 08:37.
    David M Johnson
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  7. #7
    Mark
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    A year or so ago a former co-worker sent us a photo of himself standing among several black bears and petting one of them. He stated that he was at a friend's cabin, and that friend had habituated the bears to the point of petting them. He also stated that he had even done so with grizzlies.

    We accused this guy of doctoring up a photo. None of us could believe someone could be so stupid.

    Apparently, we were wrong. Timothy Treadwell isn't the only idiot out there.

    Isn't intentionally feeding bears illegal?

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    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    It cant be a good idea getting that close to bear,someday someone is going to get hurt

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    I'm ready to head out there with some Old Roy and some Gravy. :D

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    A caption on a photo from the story says Vandergaw cautions others NOT to do what he has done.
    YEA RIGHT!
    By his actions, and by allowing others to visit and cavort with the bears, he IS encouraging others to do the same. Someone could do this on the edge of Anch. if they could keep it quiet.
    He also apparently initially refused to allow reporters on his property. Yet he allows individuals, or groups to come and stand close to bears. I wonder if he charges for this? Possibly accepts, even encourages, donations.
    I wonder how many teenage kids would view his place and then think they could feed bears?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Me concern would be if he can'y get out there for any reason, hospitalization, weather, etc and rhe bears don't get fed. The bears will expect food from the next human they see and won't be happy when they don't get it.
    Or someone will read it and think if they put a little food out, they too can go pet a cub or ride on the back of a bear.
    the troopers and/or fish and game should have put a stop to this a long time ago.

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    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    Me concern would be if he can'y get out there for any reason, hospitalization, weather, etc and rhe bears don't get fed. The bears will expect food from the next human they see and won't be happy when they don't get it.
    Or someone will read it and think if they put a little food out, they too can go pet a cub or ride on the back of a bear.
    the troopers and/or fish and game should have put a stop to this a long time ago.
    Exactly,someone will get in trouble becuase of him.God forbid

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    "Vandergraw reportedly recently received a large tattoo that runs across his forehead and reads, 'BEAR SCAT,' along with a red heart, dripping blood, with an arrow through it. The newer tattoo compliments the one on his arm that reads, 'My Mom's Gonna' Miss Me When I'm Gone.' ...."

    (Just kidding... sorta')

    ruffle

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    Don't worry, y'all. The bears are his friends. They wouldn't hurt him. Roy Horn did the same thing with his white tiger, and it worked out fine.

    Barron

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    Default I wonder...

    if we all could go out there & set up bait stations just outside his property limits & help eradicate teh problem...:D

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Hmmm...

    I think I understand the sentiment, and it's hard to argue with the guy's success rate. On the other hand, the last guy we know that tried this ended up petting one from the inside...

    "Their paws and their claws will not hurt me..."

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    Default One has to wonder as well...

    if he has caused an unatural balance of predator to prey ratios in that part of the ecosystem, with his feeding, & if he has, has it led to a decline in moose numbers?

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    ....the fact that Wildlife Enforcement does NOTHING about it while hounding the rest of us for keeping so much as a pack of ramen in camp is pretty disgusting. I guess it's one law for us, and another for this joker.....
    Ditto Treadwell.

    While he played his games on one side of Katmai National Park (in violation of the rules, and with full knowledge of the park staff), visitors to Brooks Camp were required to go to "bear school" to learn how to walk around.

    I sent a number of proposals to legislators and the Board of Game both after Treadwell got ate. They were roundly ignored or rejected. I have copies of everything.

    I doubt the Anchorage Gaily News would be interested in any of it unless this guy gets ate.......

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    Member summitx's Avatar
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    I see fish & game has been out there a few times and has only cited him once, you leave your garbarge or bird feeder out in Eagle river and you will be getting a ticket? I still think it would be a good area for a drop off hunt, any lakes or air strips near by

  20. #20
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    So it seems everyone was pretty much thinking what I was. You mess with mother nature too long and sooner or later is going to bite ya (literally in this case, I guess). Tending to injured grizzlies and playing with cubs and having their sow nearby is downright foolish. And remember, after all the "success" Treadwell had with close incounters with these bruins, it only took one old, grouchy, hungry bear to prove everyone right.

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