Best way to deal with a black bear??


June 10, 2013, 09:32 AM
I live in western NC. Have a house where the windows are low to the ground...lower than most houses anyway. We have had a black bear come by here getting into the garbage, getting into my pick up, chasing off 2 dogs we were actually watching for a relative. I read here a fellow killed a bear with a .22 when it stood up on it's hind legs...I am assuming it bled out as it was found 150yds away. A friend who hunts a lot out west said to use a .22 and gut shoot him so he bleeds out and dies in the woods. Then he said if I use one of my larger caliber hand guns to make sure I get a head shot or should shot. Well he's black and it's hard to see him in the dark. I know cause he was little more than an arms length away from our kitchen window one night. He is almost as tall as the hood of the truck when he is on all 4's...he's bigger than I expected. So is a .22 wise to use? I asked my friend if a .22 would go through hair and hide. He said it would. I asked about a .22 magnum and he said that would go through it. I always thought if I shot a bear with a small caliber, it would only piss him off. It would not take much effort to get into our house...he can almost look into our kitchen now. I did open our door to scare him off and he just stared at me for about 1 min then left. I know he is getting into the neighbors garbage as well. Then I read where if they keep coming around they lose their fear of man...this one didn't seem to be too timid. Any wise words from those who know more would be appreciated!

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June 10, 2013, 09:49 AM
Don't shoot him w/ a .22 and there're probably no need to shoot at all. Best advice is to stop feeding him, whether intently or not.

Close the garage if possible. Remove anything he would view as food (dog food, bird seed, trash, ...). This situation (assuming legal to shoot at your local) would be the one time to take Joe B's advice and let a blast of bird shot up in the air when he comes around. Also, spot lighting him will run him off too. You could take a trip to TN or SC and pick up some fireworks to scare him with.

When I lived there, I had some issues w/ a bear getting into trash. I got a metal 55gal drum w/ the locking ring to keep the trash and secured it w/ chains to a post that I drove into the ground. When the dogs would start barking (hounds in lots) I would step out on the porch and shoot some bird shot a couple times or shine him w/ a spotlight from the door. He went from coming around about every night to leaving in about two weeks.

Edit: You do need something bigger than a .22 if he gets in your house. Shotgun w/ buckshot or something around .357 in a pistol. If he feels cornered (like in your house) you're better off to leave than shot him w/ a .22.

June 10, 2013, 10:50 AM
Around here the game dept. traps them and puts them in the Ocala NF so you don't have to deal with it for about a week until he comes back. Even if they return many times, the game dept. here won't 'dispose' of them as far as I'm told.

June 10, 2013, 10:56 AM
Same here pretty much. Game warden won't relocate them since they just come back. I'll try the shotgun thing. I read on NC Wildlife that scaring them is temporary. But I'll try it anyway, maybe then the neighbors will do something about their trash too after hearing the shotgun. That's what NCwildlife said...ALL the neighbors have to take care of their trash, otherwise the bear comes around again.

June 10, 2013, 10:58 AM
Intentionally gut shooting an animal to let it bleed out could land you in jail, and rightfully so. That has to be the worst, most unethical advice I have ever heard from a "hunter".

Contact your Department of Wildlife and see what help or resources they can provide. Like MtnCreek said, your best bet is to take away his reason for coming around. Take away his food source and he will go somewhere else. Now if he does get in your house there is nothing wrong with defending yourself with say a 12ga, 357 or the like.

Even if the neighbors don't clean up if you take away the reasons for him to come by your place he will.

June 10, 2013, 11:45 AM
A fed bear is a dead bear. Once they learn they can get food from garbage cans there isn't much you can do. They also train the young to do the same. Call your local game dept. They will likely trap, tag and relocate the animal. If it is a repeat offender they will likely kill it. They may kill it anyway because relocation rarely works. They just find a way back to other humans.

Sav .250
June 10, 2013, 12:48 PM
"..................use a .22 and gut shoot him so he bleeds out in the woods." Your friend is one miserable creep!!! Gut shooting anything thing on purpose is disgusting.

June 10, 2013, 10:48 PM
Find new friends

Trying to intentionally slow kill any animal is about as lowlife of advice as it gets. I moved to a place with bear problems years ago, keep your garbage secure and they will go elsewhere for food.

June 11, 2013, 07:49 AM
ChasMack - I too live in WNC. If you limit the bear's access to food on your property he'll quickly learn there's nothing of interest at your house. If your neighbors won't do the same that's their problem. Bears have to be the single most unjustified danger around here in the mountains. A sow killed a women in the Smokies back in the 90's and other than that there's virtually no reports of attacks on humans in the last 100 years. I am a forester so I spend more time than most in the woods. Over the years I bet I've seen close to 100 bears in the wild and many more around neighborhoods and have never seen one that was aggressive.

A wounded bear would be many, many times more dangerous than a bear left alone.

June 11, 2013, 10:39 AM
A sow killed a women in the Smokies back in the 90's and other than that there's virtually no reports of attacks on humans in the last 100 years.

There have been numerous attacks within 100 miles of that incident within the last 10 years, including a small child killed just outside the park near the Georgia line. Another bear was taken down by SMNP rangers just 2 years ago after it bit a hiker near Mt. Leconte.

These are incidents just from SE Tennessee and N Georgia within the last few years. I'm aware of many more incidents where bears got into campsites and destroyed tents, packs etc. One bear learned how to sneak up behind hikers and pull off packs for food. No injuries, so the incidents were kept quite. Do a google search and you will find dozens of incidents nation wide where people have been attacked by black bear.

Generally they are after the food you are carrying, not you. But injuries and sometimes death happen.

A little more than 100 miles away but in Gerogia

Not a bear attack, but what happens when bears learn how to get food from humans.

The incident in the OP is clearly caused by the neighbor not doing what is right. In bear country there are usually laws requiring food, trash etc., be stored properly. No bird feeders etc. If you do not follow the law, you could, and should be prosecuted.

Art Eatman
June 11, 2013, 12:11 PM
Don't get all exercised over the "gut shoot" remark. I've heard that more than once in other contexts, said with a grin. A lot of folks will say whatever bubbles up from imagination. It's just a smart-mouth one-liner.

June 11, 2013, 12:57 PM
Just ask him "hey, what are ya doin there?" After some introspection, he'll realize, "what AM I doing here?" and simply walk away..


June 11, 2013, 04:21 PM
jmr, thanks for the links. Funny thing is none of those made it in the news in our area and we're only a couple of hours from Gatlinburg.

Lloyd Smale
June 13, 2013, 07:40 AM
you should give the game warden at least a chance to deal with it any way they want too.

June 13, 2013, 08:06 AM
If you live in Black Bear country, you have to deal with....Black Bears. Many of us live in closer proximity to Blackies than we ever know. They generally are not a big threat and tend to shy from human intervention. Most of the time folks invite them with accessible garbage and/or table scraps left outside for dogs. Shooting one just cause they are there will get you in trouble. Even considering gut shooting one with a .22 shows one has no idea what they are dealing with. Get rid of the food source and then if the bear still persists, call your local warden. At least if the bear needs to be put down it will be done by someone who can do it humanely.

June 13, 2013, 08:17 AM
Only had 2 bear give me trouble. The second one I shot with plastic buckshot in the rear from about 35-40 feet. He never came the idea from a show about how they handle em in Vail

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2

June 14, 2013, 03:53 PM
We can't even legally do that. The Florida black bear got classified as a threatened subspecies so no harassment is allowed. As far as I know, they are the same subspecies/species as the eastern black bears. It's a ploy by the antis to stop bear hunting. So far it has worked. They did the same thing with gators back in the early 70s and now we have 2 million gators. The Sierra Club and the Audubon Society are NOT hunter friendly.

June 14, 2013, 07:50 PM
Garbage and trash bags are an attractant as are bird feeders,pet feeding dishes and gas/charcol grills. Keep stuff closed up especially at night. A screened in porch is not a deterrent either.
If the bear becomes troblesome, it's best to notify the Game Department in your state.

June 14, 2013, 07:57 PM
I was on that hunt when the video was taken, might have been when I killed a big sow. There is a group of us that hunt on 25,000 acres in south florida near immokalee. Rug has seen that bear more than once. There are quite a few on the farm and we anxiously await florida opening a bear season.
That stand is close to 20' in the air.

June 20, 2013, 11:19 AM
In our little mountain community, black bears are frequent visitors to our property, and our neighbors. We have never found them to be threatening our aggressive, although I know that they have the potential for violence, so watch them carefully and try not to surprise them or let them surprise me.
I,m a hunter and have no problem with killing animals under fair chase and quick kill rules, but "gut shooting" a bear so it will go off and die a miserable death is disgusting.
As everyone has already said, secure the trash and things that attract bears. They don't just hang out in your yard waiting to attack you. They are looking for food. Worst case, 12 gauge rubber buckshot in the butt will usually convince them to find another yard with a bang and a stinging sensation without causing permanent harm. :scrutiny:

June 21, 2013, 02:48 PM
A big can (fire-extinguisher-size) of pepper spray can work well. Just don't spray it upwind. Then it blows back on you and just becomes "seasoning". :)

If the same bear becomes a serious nuisance, the state wildlife dept should take care of it. Follow the advice of the others here in terms of making your property less attractive to bears and contact the state if it continues.


June 21, 2013, 07:29 PM
Man escapes attack after wife whacks bear on head with gun: She didn't know how to load the weapon, Marinette County sheriff's report says

May 16, 2013

A woman whacked a young bear over the head with a gun, rescuing her husband from an attack outside their Silver Cliff cabin Wednesday, the Marinette County Sheriff's Office said. Gerre Ninnemann, the husband, originally saw the bear running after his dog, the sheriff's report says. He went outside to call the dog in, and while the dog made it home, Ninnemann didn't. The bear tackled him in a chase, biting and clawing at his back.

He momentarily got away and ran to the corner of the cabin, but the bear was faster and mauled him again. Ninnemann's wife, Marie, took a gun from the basement but didn't know how to load the shells. She took the weapon outside and hit the bear on the head, giving her husband his chance to escape. Pointing the gun at the bear, the couple backtracked into their cabin.

The bear continued to circle the home and look in the windows. The wife called the Sheriff's Department about 1:30 p.m. After the deputy arrived, the bear walked to the front passenger side of the squad car, where the responding deputy shot and killed it.

Ninnemann had bite marks from his belt line up to the back of his head, among other injuries, and was taken to the hospital, the report says. The animal is being checked for rabies in Madison, and wildlife health officials are performing a necropsy, an examination of a dead animal, to determine what may have led the bear to attack, Department of Natural Resources area wildlife supervisor John Huff said.

The bear was only a year old, Huff said, and it was probably on its own for the first time this year. Bear attacks are so rare that the occurrences are difficult to track. There have been only a few attacks in Wisconsin in recent decades, Huff said.
Burnett County man mauled in rare black bear attack: Bear may have been drawn by food

June 18, 2013

A man doing yard work in Burnett County in northwestern Wisconsin was mauled by a black bear, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

Although such incidents are rare, a man in Marinette County in northeastern Wisconsin was attacked by a black bear a month ago. The injuries were serious enough in the Burnett County case that the man was taken by helicopter to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., with multiple injuries, including his face, the DNR said.

The man was identified as Gerald Brown of rural Shell Lake. The incident on Monday night started when Brown's dog tangled with the bear. Brown tried to intervene and was mauled.

Brown's brother shot at the bear, but the DNR does not believe the bear was wounded, said Mike Zeckmeister, a wildlife supervisor for the agency. Hounds tried to pick up the scent of the bear on Tuesday but were unable to do so, Zeckmeister said. Two live traps have been set and if the bear is caught, the animal will be killed.

The DNR believes the bear was drawn to the property by food — the property had shelled corn and bird feed. The owners also raise chickens, which were not kept in a chicken coop. "The concern is that we think that the bear may have imprinted on humans and there was food there, and that was the root cause of the attack," Zeckmeister said.

June 22, 2013, 06:54 AM
Instead of putting trash outside just take it to a disposal site. When we get 2 bags of trash I take it off then. My neighbors wait until they fill up a can to dispose of trash. They have coyotes turning over the cans and chewing up their plastic trash cans. If coyotes will chew open a trash can I can imagine what a black bear will do.

June 22, 2013, 12:56 PM
Two Recent Wisconsin Black Bear Attacks

I think it's ironic that those are called "bear attacks" when in both cases, the humans involved attacked the bear under the premise of saving their dogs after the dogs themselves initiated contact. Still, one bear is dead and the other will be.

June 23, 2013, 11:16 PM
Shoot first !

Jacob L Freeman
June 24, 2013, 06:01 AM
Don't shoot the bear unless he's a threat (sounds like he could be) and you're going to drop him right then and there. A .22 would be cruel. Use your most bear killingest rifle. 45-70, .308, 30-06, etc. Then get ready to make lots of sausage.

jim in Anchorage
June 24, 2013, 07:46 AM
Bears get into trash? (

Art Eatman
June 24, 2013, 11:52 AM
Jim, you sure that bear's not from south Georgia? :D

True story: Maw & Paw Dumpster Diver were at work one night. Paw climbed into the dumpster.

"Hand me the flashlight, Maw, there's some kind of animal in here!"

"What is it?"

"It's a hog."

"Is he dead?"

"Well, he ain't bad dead."

June 24, 2013, 01:39 PM
Bears get into trash? (

That pic reminds me of what happened a coupla years back at a county park a few miles from where I live. Park is on a small lake well known for it's bass and panfish fishing. They even have a fish cleanin' house there for the campers and the locals that fish there. In other words, the dumpster is always full of fish guts and other refuse. Local sow got into the routine of cleanin' the fish guts up everynight and her late night visits were common knowledge. The custodian of the park posted signs as such and informed new campers of the fact. Instead of makin' the dumpster bear proof, they just got used to the bangin' of the lids every night. Till one night a late arrival camper decides to walk their poodle by the dumpster @ 1 a.m. and the sow raises up on her back legs to see what was goin' on. 911 is quickly called by the poodle owner claimin' a bear attack and a fresh young county deputy responds to the call. When he arrives he takes his flashlight and walks up to the bear......inside the dumpster and shoots her when the sow again raises up to see what the disturbance is. She never even made it out of the dumpster, but the deputy still claimed Self Defense. The park custodian that lives on site was awakened by the shots. Coupla days later her two small orphaned cubs were hit and killed on the road just outside the park entrance. None of this was the bear's fault....just human ignorance and unfounded fear.

jim in Anchorage
June 24, 2013, 09:27 PM
This was a hour after the grizz left. (

June 24, 2013, 10:02 PM
I was born and raised in WNC .... No .22 on the Black Bear! :eek:

Major Bad Idea! The one thing that is most prevalent about the Black Bear Species is they are unpredictable! Whereas a Grizzly is Most predictable!

Black Bears can be teddy bears and in to everything and then they can down right get a attitude.

It has been said many times above this post... if you take their food (garbage) away daily ... And this goes for you and the neighbors they will almost 100% assuredly move on down the road.

Now if you were to take the matter into your own hands a 30-30 would be first choice for me, but anyway if the Game Warden would not assist, my next step would be to ask around the local area gas station, gun shop etc. for a good well known bear hunter in the area...

Problem will be solved very soon after you explain your bear problem to them!

Art Eatman
June 24, 2013, 10:23 PM
Obviously, the only solution for the problem is to move to a state where they don't keep and arm bears.

jim in Anchorage
June 24, 2013, 11:15 PM
Side note on the black/brown bear photo's I posted. F&G really wanted to shoot the brown, said they are more dangerous then blacks because they are so protective of their food cashe. (

jim in Anchorage
June 26, 2013, 10:54 PM
Intentionally gut shooting an animal to let it bleed out could land you in jail, and rightfully so. That has to be the worst, most unethical advice I have ever heard from a "hunter".

Contact your Department of Wildlife and see what help or resources they can provide. Like MtnCreek said, your best bet is to take away his reason for coming around. Take away his food source and he will go somewhere else. Now if he does get in your house there is nothing wrong with defending yourself with say a 12ga, 357 or the like.

Even if the neighbors don't clean up if you take away the reasons for him to come by your place he will.
Nothing can be quite as stupid as intently wounding a DANGEROUS animal.

June 27, 2013, 06:53 AM
Well, I appreciate the posts! I have cleaned my garbage cans out with bleach and then ammonia which I was told the bears don't like. I was told to even hang ammonia soaked rags around, which I have yet to do. Anyway the bear still comes around looking through our totally empty garbage cans, so apparently they don't stop coming around if your garbage cans are cleaned out and empty. I'll just use a shotgun to scare him off and see if that works. I did read of a bear proof garbage that had a container of pepper spray in it that would go off when the bear opens the can (on you tube). Seemed to work but they cost $1,000.00. So is it an old wives tale that bears no longer come around if you keep your yard garbage free, bird food free, fruit tree free...cause this bear has not apparently read the posts here! As far as game wardens and NC Wildlife, I tried calling them and all I got was a warden who wanted to park his rear in my yard so he could kill it himself (not have it work related)...I told him to get lost. Officially they don't do anything, relocation is out because the bears just come back.

June 27, 2013, 09:15 AM
Take away the food source and talk to your neighbors about doing the same (trash, bird feeders, grills, etc.). Then try some friendly persuasian. I kind of liked the idea of the plastic shot from a shotgun, but just shooting in the air should nudge him away at least for the time being. Once bears get into to the habit of raiding garbage cans, it is most difficult to change their behavior. There always seems to be at least one "neighbor" who will intentionally feed the bear(s).

June 27, 2013, 11:08 AM
1. No garbage outside, ever
2. No pet food outside overnight
3. No bird/bear feeders, including hummingbird feeders
4. If you cook outside (gas/charcoal grill smoker etc,) Bring cooker indoors at night
5. Don't leave snacks in the vehicles, bears smell better than humans can see

I live in black bear country also, there got so brave as to stand on the deck and look at me through the glass of the sliding glass door. Do not confront a bear at your house, you will loose.
As others have said, don't give him a reason to be there and he will not. They will become destructive if you don't remove his reason for being there.

We did all the above at our house and haven't seen a bear at our house since.
Leave a black bear alone in the wild and they will usually leave you alone, there are exceptions to that rule. One being a mama bear. But one around your house is everything but a cute and cuddly animal.
Be careful and good luck.

June 27, 2013, 11:49 AM
I did read of a bear proof garbage that had a container of pepper spray in it that would go off when the bear opens the can (on you tube). Seemed to work but they cost $1,000.00.

You don't need to spend a lot of money to bear proof your trash. For a while, just take your trash off every day or two and don't keep any outside. After that, make a bear-proof trash can: Get an 8' x 10" post (ask REA and I bet they'll give you an old power pole). Put it in the ground and backfill with a couple bags quick cret (dry and tamped). Finish backfill w/ dirt. Give it a couple days to cure. Get a 55gal drum/lid/lock ring (buy a used drum), a short piece of 2x4 and 4ea wood threaded bolts w/ washers. Use that to attach the drum to the post (the 2x4 goes inside the drum, youíre using it like a big washer. Counter sink the 2x4 to allow clearance for bolt heads, washers and socket; that will keep the bolt heads from snagging trash bags). Put a couple med chains with turn buckles on it; just be sure to not tighten so much to deform the drum. The drums I have for feed (Iím keeping mice out) have a loop on the ring where I can add a small lock. You should look for a drum that has something like that on the ring.

You trained him to eat at your house and it may take a while to un-train him.

Also, be careful using bleach and ammonia on the same thing. Some things donít mix wellÖ

Outlaw Man
June 27, 2013, 02:00 PM
Buy him off with pic-a-nic baskets. It works every time. :D

June 27, 2013, 06:13 PM
Buy him off with pic-a-nic baskets. It works every time. :D

......only if he's smarter than the average bear.;)

June 27, 2013, 08:21 PM
Yogi and Boo Boo still on TV these days?

jim in Anchorage
June 27, 2013, 09:13 PM

June 28, 2013, 10:02 PM
Pick up your garbage, and don't gut shoot the bear. They are just doing what bears do. I live just inside of Tennessee about six miles from North Carolina. I see bears regularly during the week around my house, been here in this house over 20 years. Never had a bear break in. I've had them come up and look in the windows and doors. They are afraid of people, but when they know they can get a free meal, they get bold. And when they get bold, then you have a problem. The best thing I can say to run one off is a very light load of bird shot (#7 1/2 or #9's) in the butt (and not at close range) but say out at 30+ yards. This will sting them but not hurt the bear and he will head for the hills. I've had to do a few that way before and it works.

July 3, 2013, 07:13 PM
The bears were here before we were so just learn how to get along. We have encountered several bears on hikes in the mountains of NM, and we have found that if we talk as we walk and make a little noise the bears will hear us coming and take off before we are close to them. Some folks wear "bear bells" to let the bears know humans are in the area. We also don't carry any food with us on hikes, only water. Bears do indeed have an incredible sense of smell. I think the old saying is something like "If an event happens the deer will hear it, the eagle will see it, and the bear will smell it."

Around the house we keep all garbage and edibles inside. Except our garden. One year we had a bear come into the yard and eat all the ripe peaches off a tree. That bear just bit down on the peach and pulled all the meat off and left quite a few pits still on the tree. I still have a hummingbird feeder hanging about 6 feet off the deck with tooth marks all over it.

If bears have been coming around for food, they won't quit coming after just a few days of no food. I forget the details of the psychology class I took but the principle is called operant conditioning and partial reinforcement. Basically if you reward behavior consistently then it doesn't take very long for a behavior to become modified (stop) if you withhold the reward. If you only reinforce the behavior infrequently, it will take much longer to change that behavior. In short, if the bear isn't getting food every time he visits your house or the neighbor's house, it will take longer to change that feeding behavior. Withdraw the food and try to convince the neighbors to do the same.

You might also try noisemaking when he's around. A metal trash can with a piece of 2 x 4 can make quite a racket when you bang the 2 x 4 around the inside of the can,and he will avoid that noise. Good luck.

Ranger Roberts
July 5, 2013, 02:09 PM
One of the guys in my dept had a black bear coming around his house every night. He moved his grill into the shed and never left garbage out. The bear kept coming around. Eventually he shot it with a less lethal bean bag round right on it's butt. He said it ran like crazy. It stopped coming around after that. I'm not 100% sure of the legalities of what he did but he told one of the DCNR (our version of forest rangers) guys the story and he just laughed and said "yep, that'll teach'em".

July 5, 2013, 07:26 PM
I loaded up some 12 ga bird shot shells with popcorn kernels for a young brown bear that kept coming around the house. One night night he was in the front yard and was trying to get into the back of my wife's truck. I popped him in the hind end with one of the corn rounds and he took off like he was on fire. I do have to say that is was pretty funny to watch him run and try to lick his butt at the same time.:)
He didn't come back either.

July 5, 2013, 09:50 PM
leave the bear alone and tell your "friend" that its suggestion should happen to him...:)

July 11, 2013, 08:33 PM
Box of M80's? Deliberately launched bottle rockets? Tis the season...

(not a resident of bear country)

July 12, 2013, 10:29 PM
Low-ball them! Black bears always charge too much.

July 13, 2013, 12:11 AM
Hose down your garbage can and it's contents with pepper spray every now and then. Most mammals will stay away from it.

A bit off topic, but hot chile powder mixed into bird seed keeps squirrels away from your bird feeder, but birds don't mind it.

Onward Allusion
July 13, 2013, 12:15 AM
A friend who hunts a lot out west said to use a .22 and gut shoot him so he bleeds out and dies in the woods.

I hope your friend said this in jest. In any event, why not just use dried Habanero pepper flakes on your trash and around the property? It'll not only deter the bears but all the other rodents and critters, including kids. :evil:

Onward Allusion
July 13, 2013, 12:18 AM
A bit off topic, but hot chile powder mixed into bird seed keeps squirrels away from your bird feeder, but birds don't mind it.

Factoid - Birds are immune to pepper because the plant wants the birds to spread their undigested seed around.

July 13, 2013, 10:56 PM
I deal with black bears almost every day from March through to November. In over 30 years of living up here, I've never had to kill one (that I wasn't actually hunting). Try some 1% bear spray, and if that doesn't work, use some 12 ga. bearbangers. Never seen one that didn't head for the hills & not come back after a couple of bangers. I guess there's no video link on here, else I'd show ya.

Either way, if you're gonna shoot a bear, don't even think about some rimfire crap - just kill it - any .30 cal (.308, 30-06, 30-30, whatever) will do just fine. Just make sure you hit the boiler-room & it will drop where it stands.

July 18, 2013, 01:26 PM
A bit off topic, but hot chile powder mixed into bird seed keeps squirrels away from your bird feeder, but birds don't mind it.

That's because birds don't have salivary glands. Pepper needs moisture to activate it.

July 18, 2013, 02:03 PM
This has run it's course.

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