Bear Killed with .22LR

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by .45&TKD, Nov 3, 2006.

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  1. .45&TKD

    .45&TKD Member

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    Carrabelle Woman Shoots Black Bear on Back Porch

    http://community.emeraldcoast.com/apalachicola/news/article.showarticle.db.php?a=1697
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    October 26, 2006
    By By David Adlerstein
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    Florida wildlife officials have decided not to press charges against a Carrabelle woman who earlier this month shot and killed a Florida black bear that repeatedly climbed on to the screened-in back porch of her home.
    Capt. Donald Duval, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said FWC Officer Charlie Wood determined the Oct. 1 shooting of a 332-pound male bear by Juanita Brown, of 1674 State Route 67, was justified. Brown is the wife of former Carrabelle mayor Jim Brown.
    FWC Lt. Steve Thomas later consulted with Jeremy Mutz, the assistant state attorney, who declined to prosecute the matter. Juanita Brown could have faced a third degree felony, for the taking of a protected species.
    Duval said that since the Browns secured their household garbage after the bear first entered the porch Sept. 26, repaired and reinforced their screened porch twice and attempted to contact the proper authorities, Juanita Brown was justified in using lethal force after the bear pressed his nose against the sliding glass doors about two feet from where she sat writing inside her house.
    “We believe that the situation was justified,” said Duval. “The bear was repeatedly causing property damage and had entered the actual residence where she was in fear for her life.”
    According to Wood’s incident report, the FWC officer arrived at the house, on the north end of Carrabelle, just before 9 p.m. and met up with Carrabelle Deputy Spence Massey, who was first on the scene. The two men found the bear lying in a large pool of blood about six feet from the sliding glass door, and a visibly shaken Juanita Brown.
    She then recounted to Wood that no one in the house had been injured and that the problems had begun on Sept. 26 when the bear had pushed open a screen door, entered the back porch and made a mess rummaging through boxes.
    The couple managed to scare the bear from the porch, but it knocked out a screen adjacent to the door. Jim Brown, 82, repaired the screen, reinforced it with heavy screen mesh and informed the sheriff’s office.
    On Sept. 30 the bear returned, Juanita Brown said, describing to Wood how it had entered the porch by knocking out sections above the reinforced screen. The bear rummaged through boxes and left the way it came, prompting Jim Brown to once gain repair the damage.
    On the fateful night of Oct. 1, the bear came back a third time. Juanita Brown, 62, was seated inside the house writing, less than two feet from the sliding glass door.
    “The back porch light was on and she looked up from her writing to see the bear at the sliding glass door with his nose pressed against it,” wrote Wood.
    Juanita Brown screamed for her husband but he threw his back out and was unable to get up from the bed.
    “Mrs. Brown then grabbed a 22-caliber rifle from the corner to the right side of the sliding glass door, the bear turned away from the door quartering to the right, she cracked the door open and started firing at the bear,” wrote Wood in his report.
    The woman then closed the door and ran to the bedroom to help her husband. The two later called the sheriff’s office.
    Wood noted in his report that there was a smudge on the sliding glass door 17 inches down from the top, indicating where the bear had been standing on its hind legs, and multiple smudges on the lower two feet of the door apparently made by the bear.
    It was determined by the officers that Juanita Brown fired 10 times at the bear and hit it six times. Three wounds were on the right side of the spine, from the front shoulder along the neck, and the other three were on the left side of the head and neck, at the jaw and ear and about five inches below the ear. The 10th round fired was not located.
    Duval stressed that FWC examines each incident on a case-by-case basis. Since there was no evidence garbage or other food had been left out, clear signs of repeated property damage to the porch, which is part of the Brown home, and proof of repeated efforts to secure the porch, no charges were filed for the taking of a threatened species, he said.
    Florida law also says that “Intentionally placing food or garbage, allowing the placement of food or garbage, or offering food or garbage in such a manner that it attracts black bears, foxes, raccoons, or sandhill cranes and thereby creates a public nuisance is prohibited.”
    Duval urged property owners to exercise care so as to not attract bears. “We have a protocol about how to be bear aware,” he said. “We take numerous calls; it’s not a problem for a bear to be in a yard. They’ll show up and find garbage or dog food.
    “They (officers) try to educate the public,” said Duval. “We try to use education first without criminal action.”
    He noted that sometimes it’s a matter of changing habits until a bear no longer is interested in your property. “You need to quit feeding the birds for a while until the bear is no longer attracted to the food,” said Duval.

    Biologist Says Shooting Was Avoidable

    Adam Warwick, an FWC biologist in Carrabelle familiar with the bear population, said that when he moved down there a few years ago, “I got an appreciation for the magnitude of the bear problems down here.
    “It’s not my primary responsibility but it almost has become that it’s such a big problem,” he said. “It’s something that needs to be dealt with and we’re looking for long-term solutions to bear-human contacts.”
    Warwick said he believed the bear’s death was “avoidable,” after a report from Jim Sullivan, one of the department’s bear response agents, saw dog food on the porch of the Brown’s home. FWC contracts with these agents to respond to bear calls.
    “Because our bear problems became so numerous, we started contracting out,” said Warwick.
    He said agents often determine that a bear has been attracted to a property because “either they’ve left their garbage out, left the grill out, a bird feeder or dog food. Their sense of smell is 20 times better than a bloodhound’s.
    “Bears are going to be around here and they’re going to move through. They’re eating acorns getting ready for hibernation,” said Warwick. “Bears don’t just break into screened-in porches for nothing.”
    Warwick said shutting down a bear’s food supply will lead to it most likely going away. “Their nature is to naturally fear humans, but once he realizes there’s not negative feedback, no punishment, and no threat to his safety (the bear will come around again),” he said. “That demonstrates that that bear has lost some of its fear of humans.”
    The biologist said that in those cases, officers will generally find the bear, trap it and relocate it deeper into the forest. “The first time she called we probably would have trapped anyway,” Warwick said. “It got to the second and third time since we didn’t know about it. It was totally avoidable. If she called us, we would have been over the next day and the bear would have gone in it (the cage).”
    Jim Brown, who was hospitalized a few days before the first incident regarding a possible heart attack, told Wood he had indeed telephoned the sheriff’s office and was asked to enter his number manually onto the key pad. FWC reported that it had no evidence of any calls received regarding the bear.
    “I seriously don’t think that bear was going to break into her house. It’s very, very rare,” said Warwick. “I’ve heard of a lot of bears pressing up into a window. This goes on every single day. During the fall they’re more active during the day and they’re trying to feed for hibernation.”
    Warwick said a post-mortem examination of the bear showed it was six to seven years old, in excellent physical condition and without a tag, indicating it had not “offended” before.
    “He was just your typical male,” he said. “They generally have home ranges greater than females. You’ve got to really corner these bears and give them no other option for them to attack. They’re going to do whatever they can to get away.”
    Warwick estimated that this area’s black bear population, the largest of six islands of habitat in the state, has about 800 bears in the Apalachicola National Forest area, ranging from the Apalachicola River east to the Aucilla River and north to Interstate 10.
    The bear’s body was buried in an undisclosed location,” Warwick said.
    “This happens more than you believe and we don’t charge them,” he added. “I know of three or four incidents when people have shot them on their doorstops. The last one that was euthanized was after a boy at the Carrabelle Cove Apartments had been handfeeding it.”
    Warwick said FWC is working to get bear-proof garbage containers into the area, and has proposed a $100,000 grant to the city of Carrabelle that is awaiting approval.
    “Defenders of Wildlife have pledged to buy several dumpsters,” he said, noting that the nature organization is sponsoring a group of graduate students from the University of Central Florida who next month will canvass homes in Lanark Village, Carrabelle and Eastpoint to share lessons about bears.
     
  2. mete

    mete Member

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    You shouldn't have posted that ! Now everyone will think a 22lr is fine for bear hunting and bear defense !!
     
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    You could do a lot worse than a 22 rifle. You will note that the bear was not attacking her.
     
  4. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    That's some pretty good shooting under stress. 60% hits, on the head and neck. Even at close range, the stats indicate that most cops don't do that well.

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    The bear wasn't attacking her then, but it was probably only a matter of time before it did (I know that wasn't your point, just saying).
     
  5. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Member

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    dont forget there was a time when bears where killed with nothing more than pointy sticks.
     
  6. DRMMR02

    DRMMR02 member

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    It must be a fake story. Everyone knows that a good rock or knife is much more powerful and deadly than any .22
     
  7. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    You folks do realize that .22 has probably taken more game then any other round. Ask any poacher.

    .22 is the definition of shot placement.

    Just goes to show .22 ain't no toy and should never be treated as such.

    Chris
     
  8. ezypikns

    ezypikns Member

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    Hit six times with a .22 rifle?

    Eventually almost anything you can shoot (in this country) is going to die.
     
  9. eastwood44mag

    eastwood44mag Member

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    You could certainly do worse than a .22 against a bear, but it wouldn't be my first choice.
     
  10. LEVRLOVR

    LEVRLOVR Member

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    Great shootin Granny. I always get a kick at how the authorities say no charges will be filed.
    Charges filed for what? The bear was destroying their property and apparently F&W had failed to act.
    Maybe they should now file a claim against F&W for the damage the bear caused.
     
  11. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    No, what you get a kick out of is how the media says that the authorities say that no charges will be filed. As in, it is not like the Grand High Poobah of the F&W Commision holds court and decides that He, as a show of His munificence and benevolent rule, shall stay His hand and allow this mere peon to protect herself in His domain. It's more like a reporter asks the PR guy, "So, will there be charges filed?" and the PR guy says "no." Normally that is a no-story situation, but they know that people will want that question answered. So, they throw it in.

    Mike
     
  12. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Coronach....

    You wrote... "As in, it is not like the Grand High Poobah of the F&W Commision holds court and decides that He, as a show of His munificence and benevolent rule, shall stay His hand and allow this mere peon to protect herself in His domain. "

    Actually, Coronach - in Florida, it sometimes IS " like the Grand High Poobah of the F&W Commision holds court and decides that He, as a show of His munificence and benevolent rule, shall stay His hand and allow this mere peon to protect herself in His domain."

    and that happens after many members of the public contact state legislators and the Grand High Pooh-Bahs of the FWS realize the people of Florida have directed some sunshine on their bully ways and their potato has gotten too hot for them to handle. Happens often with alligator encounters.

    One in particular that I and others stood up to the state FWS was in Polk County involving a retired police officer (Alan Goolsby). Gator climbed a fence to enter Goolsby's yard, climbed another fence to get at Goolsby's chained German Shepherd, Goolsby (retired with a mobility health problem) trying to unchain and remove the dog shot the gator with his ex-service revolver when the gator attacked them both.

    State wildlife Pooh-Bahs tried to charge Goolsby, a decorated retired lawman, with a felony. Some others and myself "hit the fan" with so much publicity the Pooh-Bahs reversed their announced intent to send Goolsby to jail and very grudgingly dropped all charges against him. They very definitely did NOT get anywhere near The High Road.

    An Thass a Fac, Jac !
     
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator In Memoriam

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    I don't know what it is about a goodly percentage of wildlife people. They regularly take a hostile view toward ANY event involving unapproved killings of such as bears or gators, in Florida, e.g, as related above. I have noted a certain arrogance from time to time in wildlife officials. An attitude of, "You're ALL poachers and liars!" or "You killed MY bear!" Less common among field officers; more common at the administrative levels.

    A similar attitude exists within NPS Park Rangers; "Why do they let THOSE PEOPLE into MY park?"

    In Texas, it commonly involves a hurt deer where somebody humanely ends the suffering.

    The bear situation in Florida is exacerbated by do-good state law. The bunny-huggers got the legislature to outlaw bear hunting, back in the 1990s. While that might well have been reasonable in the Ocala National Forest area, it was not the case around the Tallahassee area and the Appalachicola National Forest. The latter had a stable bear population with the "as was" hunting regulations.

    There are now more bears than the ANF natural habitat can support, so they're moving into developed areas. And local rural areas are becoming exurbs; the "five acres, five miles from town" type of growth that's nationwide.

    In recent years, bears have been working over dumpsters around the edges of Tallahassee and around the towns edging the ANF--including Carrabelle. There have already been cutsie-poo human interest stories about stray bears in town, here and there. A bear cub in north-central Tallahassee, for instance, maybe five years back. It's only a matter of time until some kids walking to or from school accidentally get between a mother bear and her cubs.

    Art
     
  14. dragongoddess

    dragongoddess member

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    "There are now more bears than the ANF natural habitat can support, so they're moving into developed areas. "



    Given the above it would only seem common sense that a hunt to thin the population is needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  15. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I love stories where people do the right thing. See a critter, shoot it. End of problem. No endless womanly handwringing over "which gun for bear", just shoot the silly thing and be done with it.:)

    To follow up on what Coronach posted, don't forget that is not the police who decide what charges, if any, will be filed. Often the police say one thing and the HMFIC, the prosecutor, says something else.
     
  16. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Art (et al)...

    My personal opinion (and that of some others who have had a lengthy and somewhat close association with the Florida Wildlife and Florida Parks bureaucrats) believe a lot of the arrogance and Public-be-Darned attitude is because the employee rosters of both those organizations are heavily seeded with members of "hugger-type" organizations who do not hesitate to try to institutionalize the agendas of the hugger groups into state policy.:eek:
    Probably the most (in)famous has been Fran Maniella (sp.) the former director of Parks. Among even the Florida Parks employees she was the most disliked director ever and often described as the Nature Conservancy Poster Girl. And her common nickname among the equestrian and hunting public (whom she stiffed constantly) was "Salmonella".:barf:
    An thass a fac, Jac! :eek:
     
  17. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Sounds like time for open season.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    :what: :eek: :what: :eek: :what: :eek:

    It's amazing what a .22 rifle can do at across the porch ranges. A shot in the head is all it takes to down a mighty big critter. Woman must be one cool shooter. :D

    Me, I'd have hung that beeeoch back behind the shed out of sight and butchered the evidence. You can't count on the law seeing the citizen's side of the story. With wildlife, you're guilty until proven innocent. Besides, lawyers are expensive. I'd never shoot a protected animal or out of season animal, but if the thing was about to eat me, well, guess what.......;)
     
  19. swampdog

    swampdog Member

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    That's the "them and us" mentality, not uncommon among enforcement agencies, unfortunately. We're "civilians", so of course we are all "poachers and liars".
    I can understand, to some extent, why this is so. I imagine that game wardens see plenty to give them this "jaundiced" outlook, much like a policeman. Half of the people they talk to are liars and poachers.

    That would be the most intelligent solution, in NC. If you have to shoot a bear in SD here, and you report it, you better have your ducks in a row. Better yet, teeth marks on your body. If you legally take a bear around here there is a good chance that they will check your story, with bloodhounds, to make sure you took it where you said you did and that no bait was involved. I've seen the bloodhounds, btw, in Creswell, more than once.

    I saw a small sow and one cub this morning in Currituck. Beautiful animals. The person's property I was hunting on has horses and the claw marks on the feed shed door to prove that bears can be "persistant". :D The small, locked, dumpster they keep their trash in is clawed up pretty good, too.
     
  20. vmfrantz

    vmfrantz Member

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    I have no clue about other states, but in PA the gave commission has more authority than the state police.
     
  21. Veprman

    Veprman Member

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    Wow, its hard to belive that animals in florida are more important than people. Why is it that you are more likely to be charged with shooting an animal in swelf defense than you are a human?
     
  22. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

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    A 22 round nose will penetrate about14.5 inches of gel. HP gets about 10-11 inches. I believe the FBI "minimum" is 12 inches. Yeah, it is a small hole, but anything pushed 14+ inches into you could very easily go through something vital.

    [​IMG]

    I know someone who saw a state park ranger in California brag about busting senior citizens for picking mushrooms.
     
  23. mete

    mete Member

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    Fackler knows what he is doing but often 22lr will be deflected and that makes it more dangerous. Then there was the TV forensic story where a 22lr hit the aorta went through the artery into the femoral artery all they way to the ankle !!! That would make Fackler laugh !!!
     
  24. bclark1

    bclark1 member

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    I'd heard of one of these before, where a hiker's dog and a bear got into it and all the guy had was a 22LR. One shot hit out of a handful and they found the bear down and out sometime later. I've been searching for that story forever since I didn't bookmark it - definitely keeping a copy of this one!
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If a bear were on my back porch (it'd have to be an escaped circus bear around here) and I had a .22, I'd head shoot it. I've not found the animal I can't kill with a .22LR by head shooting. I've seen slaughter house hogs dropped instantly with a .22 short to the head. Fackler is full of it if he fails to take into account shot placement. You don't need a solid, just a CB short, placed correctly. My 10-22 is usually loaded with stingers cause it shoots so well with 'em.
     
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