Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tug of War

We don’t often see bears in Northern New Hampshire.

So when my son, my wife and I spotted a good-sized black bear lumbering down an old bypassed section of Route 302 in Twin Mountain at dusk, we drove to the other end hoping to get a better look.

When we got there, we found a bicycle tourist setting up a small tent on a grassy area next to the bypassed road. We pulled up to warn him about the bear. As soon as we rolled down the car window, the bear came out of the woods behind the man and started pulling his bicycle into the bushes to get at the food in the saddlebags.

We were safe inside the car, but the man began a tug of war with the bear. We told him to let go of the bicycle and get in the car, but he yelled back at us, "That bike cost me twelve-hundred bucks and it's got all my special food." We again advised him to get in the car, and again he refused. When the bear roared and lunged at him, the man finally let go of the bicycle.

The bear pulled the bike into the bushes and began tearing at the saddlebags. The cyclist started yelling and making threatening gestures at the bear. We warned him that wasn't a smart thing to do since he was only eight or ten feet away from a full-grown bear, but he wouldn't listen.

Suddenly the bear roared and charged at him. The man ran behind our car, and the bear fortunately turned back to the bike.

We called the police. While we waited for them to come, the cyclist stood next to the car ranting about his bike and his special food. The bear was busy shredding the saddlebags and their contents.

When the police arrived, the officer told us the game warden was on his way with a tranquilizer gun and asked us to leave. We drove away wondering what would have happened had we not come along.

1 comment:

  1. How can you argue with a bear? They're critters you just don't want to piss off. In all my years of living in New England I've never seen a wild bear. I think I'd like to-from a safe distance of course.