Sunday, March 18, 2007

How to hunt bears DNR-style

My Large Mammal seminar class took a field trip today, and got a lesson in hunting bears from the DNR... Considering that I've never seen a bear in the wild before (and no, seeing a Pooh Bear in the wild doesn't count), I was pretty excited. Here's what we learned!

Step 1: Listen for your bear's radio collar signal.

Step 2: When the signal gets strong, try to pick out the den... I swear it's in there!

Step 3: After verifying that there is a bear in there, get your dart gun ready...

Step 4: .... and make Mrs. Bear nice and sleepy...

Step 5: After going to pull out Mrs. Bear and discovering that she's actually Momma Bear, get two more tranquilizers ready for her two yearling cubs. Tranq the babies, wait 10 minutes, re-tranq stubborn awake baby, wait 10 more minutes, and begin extracting bears!

Step 6: Measure stuff!

Step 7: Put a radio collar on Baby Girl Bear so we can see where she goes after Momma kicks her out this spring...

Step 8: Take the obligatory cute bear photo

Step 9: .... and slide everyone snugly back into their den for the last few weeks of hibernation!

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