Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Problem Bear


My final project with Carrick Design was called Muskoka Bay. The golf course was carved out of 250 acres of bush and rock with the golf course is strung out over 11 kilometers. The surveyor laid in centerlines for the holes by clearing a 5 wide meter opening from tee to green. This brought the first bear sighting of the project – from a distance.

The next stage was for Doug Carrick and me to go out and flag out the trees for removal and the trees to be preserved. The tree cutters established paths between holes for access and once again the bear was sighted – on one of the paths. The cutters dropped the trees that were flagged out and the Skidder team followed them in picking up the trees and taking them to the burn piles. After a while the bear found the tree cutters coolers and enjoyed a nice meal. The cutters tied their coolers in the trees, so after a while our frustrated and brazen bear approached the cutters looking for food. Initially they would light up firecrackers to scare the bear away – usually quite effective - but after a few weeks it would not even turn after a firecracker was let off. We now had a problem bear.

The bear took to looking through the parking area for food after finding a meal one day and this caused chaos. When one of the workers was followed right into his truck – everyone was scared – even the tree clearing crew that were used to bears. We all walked in and out of the site from the same location and using the same trails and it unnerved all of us.

At this point one of the site supervisors had enough and took to carrying a shotgun to scare the bear away from the cutters. He wasn’t the only one to carry a gun on the site in the end. The skidder team and cutters worked closer together since the bear didn’t like the skidders – food or no food. The concern became the individuals walking the trails or the site.

Our role throughout was to go out into the areas - to be cleared - where only the centre lines were cut so we could flag the full clearing widths along with all the key trees to keep. For perspective – this was thick bush – we yelled back and forth to see where each of us was using a flash of orange jackets for a quick location. With the bear clearly unafraid of humans, the supervisor thought we needed to carry a gun for our safety. Doug was reluctant and chose to stick with his large can of Pepper Spray.

I had one too but always thought that once the bear was close enough to use effectively use the pepper spray – it was more likely he would be scared of by the smell from you shitting your pants – than the pepper spray. The joke on the site was it was better to walk in pairs with someone you could outrun - or if you were the slow one, the trick was to trip the other guy first and then run away.

Anyway, I carried a shotgun with me for nearly a year – particularly during the times that I was out there by myself when Doug was away or elsewhere on site. There was nothing more upsetting and nerve-racking than the couple of times that I could clearly smell the bear nearby – kind of like extremely foul breath or almost like rotting meat. It was most nervous I have ever been – safety off the gun – and hearing noises everywhere. Imagine your heart beating 100 beats a minute and unable to get reception on your phone – all the while wondering why I chose this line of work.

It would be a perfect ending to say I’m writing this in front of the fire with my feet out on my bear skin rug, but the truth is someone else ended up having to kill the bear as it began to venture into town looking for easy food.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

And I thought carpal tunnel syndrome was a nasty work related hazzard.

Andrew keep up the good work. I know I'll be checking in from time to time.

Charles

dennis said...

Great story and a fun read, especially about the joke on site with respect to running from the bear. Nice insight to your line of work and what can be a part of it, good and bad.

Philip said...

Wow. Talk about occupational hazard.

A coyote following me for 6 holes doesn't seem so bad now.

May the rest of your projects not have that type of excitement.

Anonymous said...

wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -

Anonymous said...

eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -

Anonymous said...

maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -

Anonymous said...

secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -

Anonymous said...

conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -
easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -

Anonymous said...

green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -

Anonymous said...

questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -

Anonymous said...

xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
credit secrets bible -
destroy hemorrhoids -
dirty talking guide -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dvd copy pro -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -

Anonymous said...

eczema free forever -
end your tinnitus -
error nuker -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
forex candlesticks made easy -
forex killer -
forex megadroid -
get rid of your cellulite -
g money pro -
google shadow -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov resources -
health biz in a box -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hybrid water power -
i software tv -
joyful tomato -
keyword spy pro -
kingdom of pets -
macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -

Anonymous said...

meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
mole wart removal -
muscle gaining secrets -
natural cure for yeast infection -
paid surveys etc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
public records pro -
quick article pro -
quick income blueprint -
quit smoking today -
ranking loophole -
reg clean -
reg defense -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rig worker -
rocket chinese -
rocket french -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -
save the marriage -
site builder elite -
six figure yearly 2009 -
sleep tracks -