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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Encountering a Grizzly Bear

Our first evening in Jasper was uneventful until my wife and a friend went for an evening stroll around the lake.  The friend's husband and I were admiring fabulous art in a shop in the lodge where were staying.  We were to catch up with our wives later.  When attempting to meet up with our wives, I called my wife on her cell phone to find out where she was.  A very excited spouse answers the phone telling me about the grizzly bear being chased by a female game warden that she is seeing run across an area just ahead of her.

By the time I catch up with her, she is talking to the game warden who is trying to keep two grizzly bears and a sow and her cubs away from the adjacent golf course.  The bears have found that the grass on the golf course is the greenest since it's the equivalent to early spring there.  That is one tough game warden even with a sidearm and a shot gun around her shoulder.

So, the next morning I head out for a walk around the lake.  As I am walking, in the same bear sighting area from the night before, I ran into a young man running.  He stopped to ask if I saw a bear on the path that I just exited.  I said not this morning, but there was one last night in the area.   He said that he was told by some hikers that they had seen a bear on the trail that I had just come from.  He ran along that trail very quickly back to the Lodge.  I continued along the trail that was taking me further into the woods and away from the lake.  I thought to myself this is pretty dumb-- there is a bear in the area and I am out here alone.  I turned around and started back.  I got back to the trail where the bear was sighted minutes earlier and on the trail was a steaming pile of scat (bear feces).  I made a very quick exit from the trail.  So, thank goodness, I missed the bear and only got to see its scat.

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