Bears and Advice

A non-photography post:

My dad (who lives 2000 miles away from me, in TX), was listening to NPR and heard a short clip about the hiker who was (most likely) killed by a bear in New Jersey recently.  Worrying, because he knows I go hiking a fair bit, he calls me and asks me what if I carried anything for bears. “I don’t,” I answer (because bear attacks are actually very rare; black bears are not normally aggressive towards humans.)

“Well,” he says to me, very firmly, “You should get a stick. With a pointy end.”

Ah, parents.  My dad, bless him, honestly believes that if it came down to 5’3″, average build me, armed with a pointy stick, versus a 300 lb bear, I – and my pointy stick – would emerge victorious.

(With all due respect, I think I’ll stick with my current method of slowly and calmly backing away from wild animal encounters. Fencing bears with pointy sticks has its, er, own unique appeal, though.)

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