Self-Reliance

Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard

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Anthony Hopkins in The Edge
The Edge/20th Century Fox

Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, Massachusetts, faces criminal charges after encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting the damned thing to avoid being mauled or eaten. Specifically, as noted at Reason 24/7, he's charged with "illegally killing a bear, illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a firearm." All of these charges, once translated from Massachusetts to American, seem to stack up to outrage that Ahlstrand didn't make his yard completely inhospitable to animals that are rarely seen in the area, and then investigated a suspicious noise with a weapon in hand rather than cower under the bed. Worst of all, he actually defended himself when he encountered danger.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Ahlstrand had a 50-gallon drum of birdseed in his backyard, and this appears to be the basis of the "baiting"charge against him. Leaving the birdseed outside might be considered a foolish idea in an area where bears are known to congregate, but the same article quotes the police chief claiming that "bear are not common in Auburn" with the last such sighting about a year ago. So Ahlstrand shouldn't have had birdseed because … ?

When confronted by the bear, Ahlstrand had a shotgun with him β€” in his own backyard, remember β€” because he'd heard a noise and thought he'd seen a bear the day before.

From CBS Boston:

Richard Ahlstrand told WBZ-TV he was stocking his bird feeder Friday night when a bear about seven feet tall and 300-to-400 pounds started chasing him.

That's when he turned his shotgun on the bear.

"I didn't have time to aim through the sights, but I aimed in the direction of the head on this thing and I pulled the trigger before it got to me.  It just dropped," he said. 

Ahlstrand said he was carrying the shotgun Friday night because he thought he saw the bear in his yard Thursday.

The police version from the Telegram:

Chief Sluckis said the bear is believed to have been attracted to a 50-gallon drum of birdseed Mr. Ahlstrand had in his backyard. He said Mr. Ahlstrand told police he heard a noise outside and felt in fear of his life.

"He went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear," Chief Sluckis said. "Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police."

I've lived in Boston and Worcester both, sad to say, and so I'm fairly certain that official Massachusetts policy is that people should dial 911 and then curl into a fetal position whenever they hear a curious noise. But living in the wide open spaces of Arizona, as I do, I'm called upon to investigate suspicious noises fairly frequently. Which is to say, my wife slaps me in the head to rouse me from a sound sleep, says "I heard something," and then the dogs and I go scare the hell out of a javelina or a coyote. We don't call the police because who the hell calls the police over every creak and rustle? But I always carry a gun because meaner, hungrier creatures than me roam the landscape. Should I come across one on my property, I'm going to shoot it. My attitude is much the same as what Ahlstrand told CBS:

"They got me set up now like I'm some kind of murderer.  And then the environmental guy told me 'You should have called me instead of shooting it.'  What was I going to do, say 'Mister Bear would excuse me please while I go make a phone call?'"

In both the Telegram and CBS articles, "authorities" are quoted as saying they don't think the bear was a threat to people. I suppose it's possible that the black bears in Massachusetts are a kinder, gentler breed than the one that mauled a man near Payson, Arizona, last June. Or the one that tore up a woman in the same area in May. And then there was the bear that did a job on a woman near Pinetop …

This isn't to say that bears are usually dangerous or should always be shot β€” not by any means. And the fact that something wild like that still roams free in so many places makes the great outdoors that much more interesting, so far as I'm concerned. But anybody who finds himself being chased across his yard by a big, toothy bear has good reason to feel a bit of concern and to take some action.

As for Auburn Police Chief Andrew J. Sluckis Jr. … He should be sent out at night, unarmed of course, to make friends with some of those big, fuzzy creatures that are "not a threat to people."

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325 responses to “Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard

  1. I’ve lived in Boston and Worcester both

    The second place being pronounced “Wooster”? It explains a lot, JD, it explains a lot.

    1. Woostah. There’s no “r” in Massachusettsese.

      1. All of these charges, once translated from Massachusetts to American

        Quite possibly, the greatest line ever published on H&R….

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      2. Unless a word ends in a strong A sound. Then it’s pronounced “er,” as in, “I’ve got an ideer.”

      3. And there’s no “I” in TEAM!

        1. What about EInsemble?

    2. No, not “Wooster” – Woostah. Words don’t end with an “r” in Massachusetts.

  2. Curl up and die: the usual Progressive advice on how to defend yourself.

    1. I’m sure if you had a pet bear and one of the local SWAT teams raided your house, they wouldn’t assume it’s not a danger.

      1. Yeah they’d just run right past it and shoot your dog….the true menace.

  3. But I always carry a gun because meaner, hungrier creatures than me roam the landscape.

    I believe you when you say this, Tuccille. But if the byline said Shackford or Krayewski I’d question it.

    1. Wait, which half of that sentence is more questionable?

    2. Feeney can’t even carry a sharp knife.

      1. Or any letters for alt-text.

    3. You are correct in the sense that nothing hungrier than me roams my landscape.

      1. “I am that hungry creature”

  4. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

    Or, you know, he took action even though he was afraid. And managed not to shoot up some Asian woman while doing it.

    1. +1

    2. He could have just called the cops and told them there was a big dog in his yard.

      1. Or he could have just shot a dog and saved the cops some time.

  5. When the police chief spends the night in the woods to make friends with the bears, he should take S’mores. Bears really like S’mores.

  6. If this doesn’t scream jury trial, nothing does.

    1. Remember, the jury would likely be people from Massachusetts.

      1. Wouldn’t his peers specifically be people who have been attacked by bears in Massachusetts?

      2. I read the comments and HOLY COW you’re right. Apparently most residents of MA are all sorts of evolutionary survival fail… “bears aren’t dangerous”..WTF! That’s what I get for living in a rural area and knowing that wild animals can/will fuck your shit up without batting an eyelid.

        1. It’s a black bear, which (unlike brown bears or grizzlies) aren’t generally dangerous unless you sneak up on them.

          1. I bet you think deer aren’t dangerous either.

            1. Well, depends what you mean by dangerous. If you mean “capable of killing you”, then yes bear and deer are dangerous. If you mean “likely to kill you” then no. Frankly when I’m in the woods, I’m more worried about running into a drunk hunter than a bear.

              1. People are not likely to kill you, but it only takes one.

            2. Deer are on my genocide list.

            3. “I bet you think deer aren’t dangerous either.”

              Thug lyfe

          2. Black bears are dangerous.

            1. So are horses. They’re the same size as a bear and could easily stomp you to death if enraged. That doesn’t mean people should freak out and run for their lives every time they see a horse.

              1. And Bengal tigers are occasionally dangerous as well.

              2. That doesn’t mean people should freak out and run for their lives every time they see a horse.

                If they saw a horse charging onto their property in their general direction and weren’t the horse whisperer, they better.

                1. I’m not saying the guy was wrong to defend himself. The fact this black bear was dangerous has no bearing on whether black bears in general are dangerous.

                  1. Did he really defend himself? What was the bear doing? Probably just trying to get into the bird seed.

                  2. So, you are just being a commie jackass because you want to defend the masshole pigs? You’ve been that way alot recently.

              3. And if said horse starts chasing you across your yard?

              4. What part of “predator” vs “non-predator” escapes your pea-brain? Bears have fangs and claws for a reason, and that reason involves eating other animals… including people.

                “Promise me something, Pinky…. NEVER Breed!”

          3. Although black bear attacks are rare and most victims come out unscathed, this does not negate the fact that black bear attacks do happen and are sometimes fatal. Since 1900, there have been only 45-recorded deaths that were caused by black bears in the North America. This number is very minimal compared to the over 500 conflicts between black bears and humans from 1960 to 1980. Black bear attacks are much more common in the United States than are grizzly bear attacks. The main reason for the difference is the population size of each species. There are approximately 300,000 black bears in the continental United States, whereas there are only about 2000-3000 grizzlies still remaining in the lower 48 states. The larger population of black bears greatly increases the probability of encountering one in the wild.

            link

          4. Please don’t talk about something you know nothing personally about.

            I grew up in Alaska where my family has a sportfishing lodge that is fly in only, and is known as one of the premier places to see a bear in the world.

            Black bears are FAR more unpredictable then brown/grizzly bears. They are the ones that would most likely come at the guests, get into the buildings, and damage property. In personal interactions the black bear is far more likely to attack and far more likely to be aggressive. I have had thousands of interactions with brown bears, and only a few I would consider dangerous. Far more of my black bear interactions have been.

            Also more people I know have been charged and have had to shoot intruding black bears, even though their populations were lower then the brown or grizzly I grew up with. My sister was stalked for 3 miles by one.

            Your opinion is dangerous, ignorant, bad advice to anybody new going into bear country. I logged in here just to correct your comments. I suggest you stick to opining things you actually have experienced with.

            1. I grew up in northern minnesota. We had black bear in our yard all the time. We went outside and yelled at them and went away. If that didn’t work, we threw rocks at them. When I was a kid walking home from school we saw bear and threw rocks at them to scare them away. Camping in the boundary waters near the canadian border we frequently had black bear in our camp – usually waving a canoe paddle at them would scare them away.

              We never owned a gun and never needed one to deal with black bear. But maybe there’s a different breed in Alaska.

              I was only chased by a black bear once – that was in Sequoia park in California, so maybe there is a different breed there too. I was eating food and didn’t want to give it to the bear – I was about 12 years old. I assumed that I could shout at the bear and scare it away like I was used to doing at home, but it kept coming. So I threw the food at it, it grabbed the food and took off.

        2. This is Massachusetts. The only area more liberal and green is Southern California.

      3. “People”

  7. In both the Telegram and CBS articles, “authorities” are quoted as saying they don’t think the bear was a threat to people

    they could of course determine this from the comforts of their Desks of Authority. They are Top Men.

    Meanwhile, any 4-legged canine that dare bark playfully at any Lawman will be instantly ventilated as a grave threat to the future of human life on planet earth.

    For fucks sake. a “7-foot, 3-400LB” animal starts chasing a *76yr old man*. And these smarmy fucks dare suggest that no threat existed. And the paper seems to just roll with that claim.

    Please god let a judge bitchslap some sense into these people.

    1. “Please god let a judge bitchslap some sense into these people.”

      These are the kind of test cases that the NRA prays for before bed at night. I suppose it’s time to start to start fleshing out Heller/McDonald. This incident cuts against the grain of a hastily concocted narrative. Obviously, since this old man wasn’t a cop, he should have shot himself, or a school bus full of toddlers, or girl scouts on their way down to get abortions in a fit of panicked incompetence and testosterone fueled murderous rage…. Or the bear should have disarmed the incompetent old fool, pistol whipped him then shot him with his own gun, you know, because “statistically”…

      /”If you like your gun, you can keep it”
      *If you are a cop*

  8. You lived in Worcester? Good god.

    1. College. Housing was cheap. Very, very cheap.

      1. Holy Cross?

    2. That’s pronounced, “Good Gaaahd”

      1. My great grandmother wouldn’t let me take the train from Stoughton into Boston when I was in highschool until I could effect a decent Boston accent by repeating “When you go to Harvard Yard, park your car around the corner” while simultaneously pretending that someone had given my speech centers an icepick lobotomy.

        1. I locked some couple and their baby in an elevator in Boston once. True story.

          1. How did you do it? Sounds like fun.

            1. It was.

          2. They had it coming. All Massholes, particularly the infants, have it coming.

            1. Seriously though, it was an accident, and I was ten or so. It was still fun- especially the part where I walked away like nothing happened.

  9. Speak of the devil I’ll be in Worcester next week. I’ll be sure to pack the shotgun in the carry-on when I fly.

    1. General aviation, huh?

  10. So wait, the authorities thought he should just grin and bear it?

    1. *groan* πŸ™‚

    2. No… They thought he was a pussy. He should have just took it like a man…

  11. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

    *Secured in his home

    *Bear

    Pick one.

    1. Personally, I would have gone in my house, locked the door, and called the police. A bear with 50 gallons of birdseed to get through isn’t going to try and break in. In my bear experiences, I’ve always tried to stay cool and calm and just keep going past them. Outside of polar bears (which I’ve never seen outside of a zoo) they have no interest in fighting or eating you.

      Seems like the authorities really believe that this guy was actually trying to bait and hunt the bear, and made up this story after the fact to cover his ass.

      1. I will bait whatever the fuck I want on to my property and then kill it, if I feel like it. Seems to me like fuck you, property rights.

        1. So go ahead and bait and kill some bald eagles or other endangered species and get back to me on how that property rights argument worked out for you in court, tuff gai.

          1. There are some things you do kill and some you don’t.

            Something cops need to figure out.

            1. And you don’t kill bald eagles. Something you need to figure out.

              hth

              1. And you don’t kill bald eagles. Something you need to figure out.

                Let us know when a bald eagle is a threat to someone’s life, you moron.

              2. Kill? No. I wouldn’t. Unless it pissed me off. But I would have one illegally stuffed if I happened to find a dead one. I would totally kill some things regardless of symbolism or endangered status.

                1. Shorter dunphy: the right bird is worth more than your freedom.

              3. Because something like this eagle incident is impossible.

              4. Ya, how dare you kill the King’s game. That’s a hangin offense.

          2. So, you’re not a believer in private property rights?

            I mean, we already knew your stance on medical records, but now you’re coming out of the statist closet on private property rights as well? Classy.

            1. Lol. troll-o-meter: .01

              and no, I don’t think property rights mean that you have the right to kill an endangered animal because it happens to be on your property.

              I’d suggest many libertarians, to include RP would agree with me. It doesn’t make me a “statist” to believe that one does not have carte blanche to kill whatever one wants just because it happens to be on my property.

              1. Black bears aren’t endangered. I have no idea how rural Auburn is(my Mass experience is limited to Fall River and its environs) but bears in a suburb are nuisance animals. Like gators in your pool.

                1. I have no idea how rural Auburn is(my Mass experience is limited to Fall River and its environs)

                  Judge for yourself.

              2. Right, we get it. They’re the King’s birds and the King’s deer. And the King’s bears.

                Go to hell. We can stop people from killing endangered species on their own property by shame and public admonishment. We don’t need to jail them for using their property as they see fit, so long as it doesn’t harm any other person.

                1. Sometimes I use unapproved methods to capture the King’s fish and the King’s amphibians. Fuck the King’s game warden.

              3. If that animal is a trying to coerce..cough…eat…cough someone then one is allowed to defend oneself and one’s property.
                The MA DNR would likely deny bear was even there as protecting the bear would cut into their budget.
                If people love endangered animals start a 501c and get donations to buy land for a private conservation area.

              4. And anything that’s always been on the ICUN “Least Concern” list isn’t actually endangered just because the US government decided for political reasons to list it. Bald eagles were never any more endangered than raccoons.

          3. Bears: Still less hazardous to your health than cops.

      2. Outside of polar bears (which I’ve never seen outside of a zoo) they have no interest in fighting or eating you.

        So you have never seen a brown bear?

        And how was this guy to have known the intentions of this particular bear that was trespassing on hos property in a menacing manner?

        The simple question is this: would a police officer have been within his rights in shooting this bear if he were on a call either with or without a warrant? If the answer is yes, the guy should not be charged. After all, he has a family to go home to at night as well, right?

      3. …”Seems like the authorities really believe…”

        And of course, why should anyone doubt the “interpretations” of “authorities” versus the claims of a person who was chased by a bear?

      4. Outside of polar bears (which I’ve never seen outside of a zoo) they have no interest in fighting or eating you.

        Not necessarily. If a bear is hungry enough it can get very aggressive.

        What’s stupid is them prosecuting him for daring to be prepared while minding his own business in his own damn yard.

        1. I think that’s the take-away message. Guy was defending himself, state should leave him the fuck alone.

      5. Outside of polar bears (which I’ve never seen outside of a zoo) they have no interest in fighting or eating you.

        Unless they’re protecting cubs. Which this one was. Derp.

        1. Again, that’s brown bears and grizzlies. Black bears aren’t that protective of their cubs and will in fact often abandon them to make their own escape easier when encountering humans.

      6. Unless the area had a significant number of black bears running around, that sounds quite unlikely.

        How about we–and the government–not substitute our judgment for the individual and property owner on the scene? If there’s evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime, fine. Bet it’s not even close to that, though.

  12. As a former Mass cop, I concur that the general attitude of the authoritahs is as explained in this article – “curl up in a fetal position” and wait for cops. It’s a typical eastcoast liberal attitude. And it sucks. Thank god I now live in WA state where the guy would not have had a problem, I am certain, from the clam cops (DFW) for shooting a bear under those circs.

    Of course, at this point he’s just FACING charges so as is often the case, it may be much ado about nothing and the whole thing gets dropped at first appearance, which is often the case when they want to make a public statement (which in this case appears to be don’t bait bears and don’t shoot bears), but don’t actually intend on going to trial against the guy.

    Reason rarely follows these things up, but ime it’s highly common in a lot of these type of cases for it to get dropped at first appearance. It would actually be nice if they WOULD follow these things up so we could see what actually happens vs. just the initial (over)reaction by the powers that be.

    1. Dropped at first appearance is a HUGE deal if you are the guy being charged.

      It isnt much ado about nothing to him. And he is the only one it matters about.

      1. Yes, it still sucks but it’s a hell of a lot better than being tried.

        1. Also, should be noted it is at least a POSSIBILITY the guy was trying to bait bear with his big barrel o birdseed. The automatic anti-authoritah assumption is that he is on the side of the angels, but I consider it’s at least a possibility. Either way, nobody should be brought up on charges for clear self defense. Again, that’s why I love my state. Unlike MA, the burden is on the authoritahs to DISPROVE self defense, and if they try you, lose and the jury says the evidence leans towards self defense, they pay your legal fees and lost wages. It’s a great deterrent to state authoritah.

          1. Bears are commonly baited with candy, marshmallows or syrup.

            1. Or doughnuts.

              Wait – are we talking about the same bears?

              I thought the other kind of bear-baiting was accomplished with dogs.

    2. It doesn’t matter if the charge gets dropped. Its still bullshit.

      1. It MOST likely is bullshit. It is at least a possibility the guy was baiting bear.

        1. It’s possible, but they should collect evidence of that BEFORE charging him. If they had that evidence, they surely would be telling us all about it. Which means they don’t.

          1. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from an investigation conducted at length while you sit in jail.

            1. He isn’t sitting in jail. Get over yourself.

              1. I find it hilarious that you come here to troll the commenters on this blog, but you yourself are so easy to troll.

          2. I think the “evidence” is the big ole barrel o’ seed.

            Is it enough for a prima facie case? Probably not, imo.

            That aside, regardless of what evidence they have, it is still possible that he was baiting bear. That is simply my point. He may be dumb or he may have been baiting, whether or not there is good enough evidence to charge him for same is tangential to that fact.

            1. The first thing I think of when I want to bait a largely carnivorous animal is “birdseed.” Especially when there aren’t even many around.

              1. It is as retarded as claiming that having sheep on your farm is for deliberately baiting wolves.

              2. Yea. God knows bears are not commonly known to eat fruit and nuts and stuff. Nope. Honey? Nope. Nope, they just eat meat. Swears!

                According to wiki, up to 85% of the black bear’s diet is VEGETATION, so where do you get your “largely carnivorous” label? Oh, out of your ass, apparently./

                1. So if I have a berry bush in my yard, then I’m guilty of baiting?

                2. Bears are baited with sweet stuff. They’ll eat just about anything including you.

                  1. “They’ll eat just about anything including you.”
                    Which is pretty much the point:
                    1) Eats meat? Check
                    2) Outweighs me? Check
                    3) Is eyeing me? Check
                    Bang!

              3. So having food is now sufficient evidence of baiting? That’s a shockingly low standard. When I said evidence, I meant actual evidence that could potentially convince some juror beyond a reasonable doubt.

                1. Like all evidence, it depends on the totality of the circ’s

                  I already said that *i* did not think it sufficient in and of itself for the charge of baiting.

                  Reading comprehension: it helps

                  1. Like all evidence, it depends on the totality of the circ’s

                    And here are the “circs”:
                    Bear goes onto private property.
                    Man on that property fears safety.
                    Man shoots bear dead.

                    That’s it. The cops aren’t taking about “circs.” They’re talking about “feelings” and “intentions” and their “perceptions” thereof (for both the man and the bear, by the way). The “circs” should be the facts. And the facts are that a potentially vicious animal entered his property and he shot it dead. That animal, almost anywhere in the country, is considered a nuisance animal.

                    The idiots that charged this man and the officers whose “feelings” led to him being charged ought to be taken to the nearest public square and be flogged.

                    1. Note the double standard that we’re not supposed to believe the man’s fear, but we are supposed to believe cops’ fear when they claim to be afraid of a puppy.

                    2. There are two sets of laws: One for the holders of the patent of nobility known as a “law enforcement badge” and one for the rest of us.

              4. I “bait bear” all the time.

                I leave my garbage without the *lids on*

                I lurk in my hide with my Benelli auto12

                Unfortunately, I live in Brooklyn, and the only thing my baiting attracts are homeless people collecting soda cans.

                So I shoot them instead.

                The authorities, strangely, don’t seem to give a shit.

              5. Black bears are not “largely carnivorous”.

                They sometimes eat meat, but mostly they eat berries and such.

                That said, if I had a gun and one were charging me, I’d shoot it too.

            2. Having a big ol’ barrel of bird seed seems to be evidence of trying to bait birds, not bears.

              Wait, was this not a Sopranos storyline?

            3. Go away! I’m ‘bating.

        2. That’s the standard for arresting and charging people people now? It’s possible he did it?

          1. No. Are you daft?

            I never said the charges were justified

            What I am saying is REGARDLESS of what the authoritahs did in this case, it is certainly a possibility that he baited the bear on purpose.

            Do you grok the distinction?

            1) Was he justified in shootings? most likely yes
            2) should he have been charged? Not based on the evidence I have seen presented (recognizing that the media often misses a lot of stuff)
            3) could he still have been purposefully baiting bear? Yes.

            Again, whether or not he was baiting bear is tangential to the issue of whether or not there is ample evidence to charge him for same.

            The fact is it could be the case that yes he was, but that they didn’t have enough evidence to make that conclusion

            And note, they DIDN’T.

            He wasn’t charged with baiting anything as I read the article.

            1. As I read the article, he was charged with baiting bears.

              1. Curious as to how much dunphy’s malpractice insurance costs.

                1. I have yet to have to shoot an animal on or off duty. My partner shot a dog recently. Yes, it was justified.

              2. Yea, that’s my reading of it too now. THe first part says he WAS charged with baiting. So, I stand corrected.

        3. Did he have feeders on his property? Did he buy the drum of feed more than a day before the shooting? Did he have a barricade/fence that he removed to make it easier for the bear to enter his property?

          Answering those questions would determine pretty quickly if he intentionally baited the bears. Also, you’re pretty flippant about the charges being dropped pretty quickly. It looks like this guy’s attorney may be working pro bono, but not all people that are over- or falsely-charged to make a point have that luxury. And it’s pretty pricey to just get an attorney to put the heat on the DA to drop frivolous criminal charges. For a lot of people, it prices them into plea bargains when they’re innocent.

          1. How much feed do you have sitting around now, sloopy? Fifty gallons, perhaps?

            J’accuse! J’accuse!!

            1. Haha. Probably pretty close to that. I’d say we have about 500# at any given time out in an indoor storage area (open air, though) adjacent to our coop. Not to mention all the carcasses of dead birds I’ve piled up to bait the murderous dogs* in so I can kill the cocksuckers.

              *Although one was removed from the equation today and I’m pretty sure we won’t see another unless it’s a wild dog.

              1. Dealing with nuisance animals is part of rural and farm life. I hope no one dies because they’re afraid to pull the trigger because the government might come a’knockin’.

    3. He wouldn’t have had a problem in NH either.

      Nice story about an ex-cop who blasted his neighbor’s dog who was harassing the wrong set of rabbits in the wrong place.

      1. Gibbons, who says he’s a retired police officer, says he yelled at Sadie and when she didn’t leave, he grabbed his AR-15 Assault rifle, fired a warning shot from his second floor bedroom window — and then another.

        Hey, remember that “civilian” in NH who was facing up to 7 years on a felony for firing a warning shot when someone was burglarizing his house?

        No double standard.

        1. I guess Joe Biden intervened.

    4. As a former Mass cop, do you think it is more or less likely that the Masshole cops are just pissed that they didn’t get to shoot the bear?

  13. If you want to raise your blood pressure, read the comments to the article on the Worcester Telegram.

  14. who the hell calls the police over every creak and rustle?

    A good citizen of Massachusetts, that’s who! Now increase our budget, we keep having to respond to these bullshit calls that end up being nothing!

    -Chief Sluckis

    1. This would be the same occupation that essentially laughed off every report of a mountain lion in the Chicago area a few years ago.

      The real problem is the police didn’t get the chance to be the superheroes that saved the community from the savage beast. You can bet that if the police shot the bear, there’d be no mention of somebody baiting it.

  15. Damn, Massoftwoshits closed the loophole.

  16. Wait, wasn’t this guy just following Joe Biden advice?

    “We live in an area that’s wooded and secluded,” Biden said. “I said, Jill, if there’s ever a problem just walk out on the balcony here … put that double-barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.””

    1. The guy is a rookie, using a shotgun to muck up that nice bear pelt.

  17. I did not RTFA, but any word on the load? Kinda curious what took down the beast.

    1. A shotgun. Rookie.

      1. How is owning a firearm illegal? What happened to the 2nd Amendment? It doesn’t apply in Massachusetts? I thought even Joe Biden’s wife was allowed to own a shotgun.

        1. The style of killing things has nothing to do with the second amendment. Its just totally lame to ruin a bear head with a shotgun.

          1. Aren’t most mounts reconstructed nowadays?

            1. How should I know?

            2. Aren’t most mounts reconstructed nowadays?

              Yes.

        2. It must have been a particular firearm illegal under Massachusetts state law, most likely a sawed off shotgun.

          1. Also it’s typically illegal to discharge a fire arm within one’s own backyard unless one has a certain amount of land. It depends on proximity to other houses. But exceptions to the law made when one is at fear for one’s life. What is confusing about this story is that at one point it suggests the bear was coming after him, and at another it suggests he saw the bear, went back into his house, got the shotgun, and then came back out and shot it – after already being safely in the house away from it. I don’t have a problem with that, personally, because one doesn’t want a bear to come back to one’s yard, but it doesn’t precisely sound like a fear for one’s life situation.

          2. The charge wasn’t “possession of an illegal firearm,” it was “illegal possession of a firearm.” See the comment on Massachusetts licensing, below.

        3. Massachusetts is one of the few states where you need a license just to OWN a firearm. And they have SEPARATE LICENSES for long guns and handguns. They even have a special license for pepper spray!

      2. The question wasn’t what type of firearm was used; it was what kind of load, as in 1 1/8oz #7.5 birdshot, 1oz rifled slug, 9-pellet 00 buck, etc.

  18. Fun Fact: Episiarch was once cited for shooting a bear on his front lawn, but he wasn’t using a gun.

    1. Yeah, and IIRC it led to the inclusion of the Jizzblaster 4000 in the last assault weapons ban.

      As usual, Epi ruins everything.

      1. Hey, at least I’m not nicole.

    2. That’s bare batin’, not bear baiting. People always get those confused.

  19. I get bears all the time, and investigate their doings armed. They’ve never been a bother to me, only my trash cans. But I don’t check things out on my property armed because I like my look carrying. Bears can be dangerous. Luckily, I have no neighbors so if I have to dispatch one, no authority is going to find out about it.

    1. We don’t get bears at our altitude (too low). But we get coyotes and other nuisance animals. The last time a cop showed up at my gate and saw me brandishing a shotgun, he told me I should set up bait for them and blow the fuckers away the next time they come around and fuck with chickens.

      As a matter of fact, he also told me that I might want to put down some of my pigs before one of the neighbors did (as one of them pointed out the damage they had done to his yard). I took his advice on the pigs and smoked a pair of them before selling the rest off.

      And FWIW, I hate bears. Dirty, sneaky fucks that will tear up anything to get as what they perceive as food. They’re nothing but overgrown raccoons that get an undeserved reputation for being cute.

      Fuck em.

      1. Coyotes are TOTAL nuisance animals. And in most jurisdictions I am aware of you can shoot away if they are fucking with your livestock or pets.

        Which is how it should be.

        1. Coyotes are TOTAL nuisance animals. And in most jurisdictions I am aware of you can shoot away if they are fucking with your livestock or pets.

          Which is how it should be.

          So it’s up to the King to determine what is and isn’t a nuisance animal on one’s private property? Hell, by your definition upthread, dogs are not known to be dangerous, but police officers routinely shoot them in the street, on private property (they enter without a warrant) or in peoples’ houses because they perceive them to be dangerous. Why should property owners not be afforded the same right to self-comfort and safety.

          And to the baiting thing: so what if he did bait the animal? What id he baited it so he could draw it in and shoot it because he didn’t want it wandering in and rapekilling his wife while he wasn’t there because she happened to want to feed the animals or because she sat on the back patio and dozed off?

          Baiting animals to kill them is often the right and proper way to make your home/farm/whatever safe for others.

      2. But raccoons are cute, you monster.

        1. We set the cat on our local raccoons, and she keeps them off the property, although they seem to have developed a team strategy lately and are getting more bold.

          1. Raccoons are on my genocide list.

          2. I would genuinely like to see the monster cat that would tangle with a grown raccoon.

            1. She’s not very big, just vicious and territorial. She comes home all scratched up, but seems extremely self-satisfied. The only problem is that we don’t want to trim her nails and let her go out thinking she can kick ass, so she destroys furniture and laps.

        2. Only to Eldritch horrors like yourself.

      3. My dad always tries to run down coyotes in his truck. He hasn’t succeeded yet, but he has fun trying.

        1. Coyotes are on my genocide list.
          Gotyes, too.

    2. Ahh,yesssss………..Shoot,Shovel and Shut up……….problem solved!!

      1. If I’m a 76-year-old man and I kill a 300+ lb. bear, I’d rather go to jail than have to bury the damn thing by hand. Which is why everyone should have at least two sons and encourage them to live within driving distance.

  20. Sorry I have no sympathy at all.

    The bear can’t read your No Trespassing sign.

    He left 50 pounds of bird seed outside because he’s too fucking lazy to bring it inside. And he shot the bear because he was annoyed at losing the bird seed.

    Fuck him. He DID bait the bear. If I leave ruffage outside to lure in a deer and shoot it on my property outside of season in Vermont, they’ll throw the book at me, too.

    1. Deer have a “season” while black bears are considered nuisance animals most anywhere they live. There’s a big difference there.

      And why should he have to change his method of storage to accommodate the bear? Is the bear collective going to pay for a bear box for him to keep his feed in? Is the bear collective going to erect a bear fence to keep them out?

      Shit, man. Would I be wrong in shooting a coyote or fox that came onto my property and into the henhouse? I don’t see a difference.

      1. I would cut you some slack as a working farmer.

        But this guy put food outside to feed wildlife. And wildlife showed up to eat it.

        So he killed it.

        For being a pussy and a douchebag and living in fucking Worcester I say Fuck Him.

        1. Fluffy, great reasoning.

        2. But this guy put food outside to feed wildlife. And wildlife showed up to eat it.

          Not exactly. This guy stored food outside to feed birds. A different, and dangerous, form of wildlife showed up ostensibly to feed on it (which is still not known to be the case).

          So he killed it.

          Which should be his right A: as a property owner, and B: because a cop can enter upon private property without a warrant and shoot a dog dead because he “feared for his safety”.

          For being a pussy and a douchebag and living in fucking Worcester I say Fuck Him.

          One out of three ain’t a bad batting average.

          1. The bear is not his property. It’s MY property. He baited it on to his land (even if inadvertently) and then shot it.

            1. Are the wild dogs that came onto my farm and killed three ewes, a baby lamb and over 100 fowl your property as well? If so, let me defend my property or pay me for my loss, you statist cocksucker.

              1. You’re fucked sloopy.

                You baited those dogs by owning chickens and having them in an unsecured fashion accessible to dogs. That’s grand theft of pet.

                1. You baited those dogs by owning chickens and having them in an unsecured fashion accessible to dogs. That’s grand theft of pet.

                  In Fluffytopia, maybe. In (rural) California, not so much.

                  1. In all seriousness, haven’t they ran you out yet?

                    I keep hearing stories about them cutting off water and drying up valleys, and seizing all the desert with eminent domain. How are you even still alive and not in a dissident camp now that they have a supermajority?

                    1. Not quite yet. But that’s more a product of me having kids who want to live here and me sharing custody with my ex-wife, who is likewise forced to live here since her husband works DoD at Lemoore NAS.

                      But rural Califoriia is a little different. A cop came to my house the other night when a person got killed during a break in about a mile away. We walked the property to check outbuildings and the coop because the perp was still at large. He had his piece and I had a 12 gauge with 00 loaded. He didn’t even flinch when I grabbed it after he asked if we could walk it.

                      In some respects, that’s better than living in a city in Virginia or Georgia, which were my last two places of residence.

    2. And he shot the bear because he was annoyed at losing the bird seed.

      Not according to the article.

      1. He’s full of shit.

        The entire sequence of events tells me (as a New Englander) that he heard the noise, said to himself “Fucking bears!” And went outside intending to “scare” it at best. But probably intending to shoot it.

        Black bears aren’t dangerous. They’re in my yard ALL THE TIME. But you know what? I don’t go outside to fight them. I wait 5 minutes and they leave.

        If I leave a giant pile of steak and lobster in my driveway and an animal eats it, fuck me, I lost that food because I’m a dumbass. I don’t run outside to shoot it because of a problem that I created.

      2. Fluffy, so you have the right to aggress against another upon the basis that the latter shot a bear coming towards him on his property?

        1. All wildlife belongs to the sovereign.

          1. Statist claptrap.

          2. That has to be sarcastic?

            1. No, it’s not.

              Migratory birds, wildlife, fish in navigable waters all belong to the sovereign, ie the public. Or do you think that having hunting seasons is an offense against liberty?

              1. Keep making that case for utilitarianism vs. the common law, Fluff. You’re winning more converts than I ever could.

              2. OK, I get that you’re a deranged animal rights nutter who thinks that meat is murder.

                But seriously, who the hell calls it a sovereign? You sound like a right-wing militia nut talking like that.

                1. Meat is not murder.

                  But baiting wildlife is reasonably a misdemeanor.

                  The entire reason we have public lands is because the public has taken on the role once played by sovereigns, douche. I’m not a militia member, I’m just literate.

                  1. Meat is not murder.

                    So where you sleeping with the bear then? Don’t act like this isn’t personal to you.

                    1. Was your mother killed a hunting accident?

                      Was your mother a bear?

                    2. This guy is just the George Zimmerman of bears.

                2. BTW I’m not remotely an animal rights activist. I don’t even support animal cruelty laws, for the most part.

                  But this guy created a conflict with wildlife and then wants to whine to me that he’s scared.

                  1. He wants to whine that he is scared to get out of being punished for it by stupid ass statists. The fact is, it shouldn’t matter whether he was scared or not. He can waste any bear on his own property any time he wants.

                  2. I happen to know about black bears, and they ain’t much threat. If I had to guess, I would agree with you that he probably wanted to shoot it.

                    Would you trust the cops to be wildlife experts? Like they know who was really in dangerous and who wasn’t? They’ll be arresting people who shoot animals that really were attacking them in no time.

                    If I’m endangered by a dangerous animal, my ability to defend myself should be unquestioned. People flat out shouldn’t get arrested for shooting deadly wild animals in close range under any circumstances.

              3. Well, fuck you and your sovereign, you statist bootlicker.

            2. All wildlife belongs to the sovereign who catches it first, or who owns the property that the wildlife ends up on if it stays there.

              Then it ceases to be wildlife and becomes propertylife.

              People are not entitled to having wildlife around, unless they are willing to support it with their own property.

              1. Not if you bait it.

                If you lure my cow or my dog on to your land and try to say “this is mine now” I will shoot you in the fucking face.

                1. MAH BEAR! HIS NAME WAS GINA!

                2. You have a more reasonable claim to owning the cow or dog than you do with wild shit that you never made an effort to keep on your property. Accidents happen, but if they keep happening…

                3. Fluffy| 4.8.13 @ 7:51PM |#
                  “Not if you bait it.
                  If you lure my cow or my dog on to your land and try to say “this is mine now” I will shoot you in the fucking face.”

                  Fail.
                  Cow; fence.
                  Dog; leash.
                  Either one ends up over here, well, you sort of relinquished ownership.

            3. “Public lands” are just lands that have not been properly homesteaded yet.

          3. Fluffy sees the anti-liberty nature of the common law and embraces it nonetheless.

            1. Who owns them, then?

              And if you say the answer is “no one” that’s absurd hippie nonsense.

              If I jointly own fucking parking spaces with everyone else, fuckface, I jointly own the bears who live on public lands.

              If this guy had shot a teenager stealing his shit I’d be behind him 100%. Because the teenager knows stealing is wrong. The bear has no way to know you don’t want him to eat the FOOD YOU BLITHELY LEAVE OUTSIDE.

              1. Then here’s a real-life scenario I just fucking went through: Dogs break into our chicken coop and kill about 110 chickens and a dozen ducks. They also kill three ewes and the last of our baby lambs today.*

                Am I entitled to shoot them if they come on my land again? Why or why not?

                *One of them was our dog, which I was told by Banjos that if I shot it she would leave. I did not shoot it and she took it to the SPCA.

              2. Fluffy,

                Black bears are just as dangerous as any other wild animal if they are hungry. Here’s a list of people killed by bears, with a decent amount of people killed by black bears.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..th_America

                50 pounds of birdseed is just as attractive to a hungry black bear as a dumpster. So are you saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to have dumpsters around bears?

                Your argument on this is amazingly weak.

                1. Because it’s not really an argument, it’s more like FUCK YOU, HE KILLED MAH BEAR FUCKFACE!

          4. I’m sovereign on my land.

    3. I think you mean “50 gallons”, retard. Good luck hauling that shit inside when you’re 76.

      1. How did he get it out there in the first place?

        And if the answer is “a little at a time” then he DEFINITELY deserves to lose it, by setting out to make that shit impossible to move.

        You’re only reinforcing my belief that his story about being scared is self-serving bullshit, BTW. He was annoyed because he stored his birdseed in a fucking moronic manner and didn’t see a way to move it.

        Again, fuck him. If I make a pile of steak and shrimp in my yard so big I can’t move it, that shit is getting eaten and I fucking lose.

        1. Again, fuck him. If I make a pile of steak and shrimp in my yard so big I can’t move it, that shit is getting eaten and I fucking lose.

          Why should you be forced to store steak and shrimp a certain way on your own property so that animals don’t come in and steal it? What responsibility do you have to them?

          And does the same responsibility apply to a man with 50 gal of bird feed in his yard, which is not exactly high on a bear’s food wish list, especially in an area where berries are commonplace and open trash cans offer more enticing aromas than a barrel of seeds.

          It’s like he’s never seen a bear live or on TV before. Well here’s a hint, shithead: bears are attracted to sweet and putrid smells. They are not as attracted to the smell of bird seed unless they are nearly starving. And if they’re nearly starving, they’ll go after the meat standing beside the bird feed before they’ll eat the feed itself.

          Fluffy, with all due respect, you’re a fucking retard on this subject.

          1. Why should you be forced to store steak and shrimp a certain way on your own property so that animals don’t come in and steal it? What responsibility do you have to them?

            Legally? I don’t know. Morally? I believe in being a good steward of the Earth.

            1. Legally? I don’t know. Morally? I believe in being a good steward of the Earth.

              I’m talking strictly from a legal standpoint. For my moral take on it, please look upthread.

            2. “Morally? I believe in being a good steward of the Earth.”
              So you broadcast it for the benefit of most bears?

              1. Broadcast what? Seed?

                1. If you’re gonna broadcast seed, you better get this.

                  1. Fucking hell! That thing looks like a Transformer!

                    I just have one of these dinky things.

                2. No, the steak and the shrimp! What, are you trying to cut some of the bears out of the feast?
                  I thought you were trying to be a ‘good steward’!

                  1. Oh.

                    A good steward knows when the greedy bastards have had too much, and offers to hail them a cab home.

          2. You’re totally wrong.

            Bears love bird seed. They love it so much Vermont runs ads every April warning people to take their bird feeders in.

            1. Well I live about 20 miles from California bear country and they have bird feeders all over Sequoia National Forest. Funny that the trash cans and storage areas are all bear boxes while the bird feeders hang from trees with ropes.

              1. Hell, it’s a crime to not put your food in the bear boxes up there, but it’s not uncommon to see a park ranger scattering seed for the birds in the camping areas.

                Next time I’m up there, I’ll make a citizens arrest of the ranger I see doing it for reckless endangerment and bear baiting. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        2. It was probably one of those blue watertight plastic barrels- great for storing bulk commodities and shit… outside.

          1. You mean like these barrels that everybody who owns animals stores their stuff in because they don’t want to lug it from their shed every time they need to fill a feeder?

          2. Remember

            Blue = Water/Food
            Red = Flammable Liquid (usually gasoline)
            White = non-Flammable, non-potable liquid
            Green = Diesel Fuel or non-flammable gas
            Black = Oil

            A rule of thumb, but barrels should always be labeled.

            1. I thought they just came in mostly blue. Places use blue ones for trash all the time, and the place I worked at got corrosive shit in blue ones. I have put non potable water in blue ones before. And what’s this “blue containers for kerosene” shit? Blue.

    4. Try 50 GALLONS, fluff. As in closer to 400 pounds than 50. Not many people can move 400 pounds around at any age, let alone 76.

  21. Gene Moe says only pussies shoot the bear first.

    1. Why isn’t there a Gene Moe day in this country?

      Fuck it, I’ll just use president’s day for that shit.

      “What are you going to do with your day off on president’s day?”

      “President’s day? Never heard of it, but on Gene Moe day I’m gonna get drunk an knife fight myself.”

      1. There isn’t a Presidents’ Day in this country either; it’s Washington’s Birthday.

  22. If the bear had caught him, would the authorities have fined his estate for unlawfully feeding wildlife?

    1. Gindjurra| 4.8.13 @ 6:46PM |#
      “If the bear had caught him, would the authorities have fined his estate for unlawfully feeding wildlife?”
      They’d charge his wife with bear-baiting.

        1. She cut him off until that bear went away, so, yeah, rule 34.

  23. Jesse, you’ve been known to bait bears. Have the LAPD given you any trouble yet?

    1. Ummm, not when I’ve been on my own property…

  24. The state is allowed to shoot a dangerous bear on his property but the owner is not? I guess that a state sanctioned badge on one’s chest gives someone great insight as to what wildlife is a threat to me on my own property.

    1. Not a threat to you. They don’t give a shit about you. It’s whether or not it poses a threat to the government officer who is dispatched to your property to kill something. They will kill the bear if no domesticated canines are readily available for ritual slaughter as tribute to the great and powerful state.

  25. Having now consulted Google Image Search on the subject of javelinas, I’m terrified. And their snouts seem to be at about testicle height, too.

    1. Tucson features more javelinas than hippies. Which is saying something.

      1. They look tasty.

  26. JD, take a bow! Alt text applause!

  27. If he saw the bear previously, did he ever think, “Maybe I shouldn’t have a 55 gallon drum of bird seed in my back yard”?

      1. And what? What did he think was drawing the bear into his yard?

        1. And what should he have done?

        2. Rather than continue the ‘baiting’ (HA!), let’s cut to the chase.
          I’m a human. I own property and I try to keep it in good shape. And I’m a ‘specieist’.
          In Mr. Ahlstrand’s case, he goes so far as to feed birds to (I presume) keep them around.
          Bears have obviously not been a problem, but now there’s a question since he heard something. Rest of the case goes down as it does; bear’s dead.
          Sorry, Mr. Ahlstrand gets a pat on the back for dispatching what might have been a dangerous animal. And there’s no lack of the suckers, either; smelly, large rats.

    1. He’s old as dirt… The fuck you expect him to do with that on a day’s notice?

    2. If he saw the bear previously, did he ever think that as a resident of Massachusetts, that the very act of handling a firearm would end on a positive note?

  28. So that’s why it’s called the right to bear arms.

  29. Richard Ahlstrand told WBZ-TV he was stocking his bird feeder Friday night when a bear about seven feet tall and 300-to-400 pounds started chasing him.

    That’s when he turned his shotgun on the bear.

    “I didn’t have time to aim through the sights, but I aimed in the direction of the head on this thing and I pulled the trigger before it got to me. It just dropped,” he said.

    Fuck… so Joe Biden is right.

    1. No, you’re supposed to run onto the balcony first.

  30. At least I got onto Howie’s Chump Line about arming bears.

  31. What kind of birds grow from seed? I thought they all hatched from eggs….

    1. Which came first? The chicken or the seed?

  32. Here’s another thought experiment for Fluffy (because it happened to me): I’m driving down the road at 2:00 am and a horse gallops out of a field into the path of my car. I strike the horse and destroy the front end, the transom and windshield of my car and end up in a ditch. Nobody claims ownership of the horse.

    Can I sue the government since they’re the sovereign?

    The correct answer is “no”. The horse was the responsibility of the person whose land it bolted from, even though the landowner said the horse was not his. Maybe that’s only applicable in Puerto Rico, but it’s the way it went down.

    1. Actually, under common law, you’d be entirely responsible for the damages to the car and the horse’s owner could sue you for the injury to his animal. Now obviously this has changed by statue in most places because it would make highways and railroads impossible, but that’s not the case everywhere (e.g. in Utah for example you’d have to demonstrate negligence on the part of the horse’s owner)

      1. But if it were a wild horse, it would be the “sovereign’s”. And if the sovereign’s animal caused an accident then it’s the sovereign that’s liable for damages.

        And you’re wrong about Utah law, dipshit:

        41-6-38. Livestock on highway – Restrictions – Collision, action for damages.

        (1) A person owning or in possession or control of any livestock may not willfully or negligently permit any of the livestock to stray or remain unaccompanied by a person in charge or control of the livestock upon a highway, both sides of which are adjoined by property which is separated from the highway by a fence, wall, hedge, sidewalk, curb, lawn, or building. This subsection does not apply to range stock drifting onto any highway in going to or returning from their accustomed ranges.

        (2) A person may not drive any livestock upon, over, or across any highway during the period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, without keeping a sufficient number of herders with warning lights on continual duty to open the road to permit the passage of vehicles.

        There were fences on both sides of the road and the horse came through an opened gate. The property owner is wholly responsible for the damage caused by the horse that he was (temporarily) in possession of on his fenced in property.

        Try again.

        1. (3) In any civil action brought by the owner, operator, or occupant of a motor vehicle or by their personal representatives or assignees, or by the owner of the livestock for damages caused by collision with any domestic animal or animals on a highway, there is no presumption that the collision was due to negligence on behalf of the owner or the person in possession of livestock.

          You have to show the horse was on the highway due to the owner’s negligence, and that their negligence exceeded your own negligence for failing to drive your car in a manner appropriate to the conditions. If he’d properly fenced off the property, that’s not immediately obvious that’s the case.

          1. It is if he left a gate open and the horse went through it. The presumption is irrelevant since the physical evidence shows I was driving with my lights on, below the speed limit and the accident happened adjacent to an open gate to his field.

            Yeah, there’s no presumption, but the preponderance of evidence shows that he negligently failed to keep his livestock out of the road when the field had permanent barriers (the fence) and it was 2:00 am (between the prohibited hours listed in section 2).

            Is there a lawyer in the house?

            1. The speed limit is irrelevant. You’re obligated to keep your vehicle under control, and that includes being able to stop if there’s a road obstruction between the time you see it and when you get to it. If you didn’t have time to see the horse and stop before you hit it, you were driving too fast for conditions regardless of what the posted speed limit was.

              1. By your fucked up logic, if someone rolled a boulder off a hillside into the road, it would be the driver’s fault if he hit it even though the rock came out immediately in front of the moving vehicle (as the horse did in my case).

                Sorry, but assured clear distance does not apply to an obstruction entering the roadway immediately in front of a moving vehicle.

                1. If they guy deliberately drove the horse onto the road in front of you, then yeah you could sue him. And as I said, most places have changed the law by statute for precisely the reasons you mention because the traditional common law is incompatible with highways and railways. But that doesn’t change the fact that is the common law precedents. You may not like it, but that’s what it is.

  33. He saw the bear the day before, took zero precautions to try to keep the bear off of his property and now he is dealing with the state because of his poor choices. I know I wouldn’t want to give a bear a reason to be on my property. The guy was an idiot for not finding a way to get the bird seed secured. Should he be charged? No. But I’m not going to defend his actions as if it was the only thing to be done or that the situation was unavoidable.

    1. He saw the bear the day before and did nothing to get rid of it. The bear went onto a neighbors property and killed their seven year old child that was playing on a swingset and had a lollipop in his grubby hand. The guy tells the newspaper that he saw the bear the day before and it was a shame that the kid got killed but, you know, bears have a right to go after unsecured foodstuffs.

      How would that have played out in the media and the court system?

    2. eatatjoes| 4.8.13 @ 8:42PM |#
      “He saw the bear the day before, took zero precautions to try to keep the bear off of his property…”

      Yeah, and?

  34. I love how lopsided the coverage of news has become in my once beloved Reason magazine. Where once libertarian common sense held sway now tea party nonsense reins supreme. At least where guns are concerned πŸ™‚
    First of all, every town and city I have lived in has regulations prohibiting the discharge of firearms. This is nothing new. In fact I distinctly recall an incident growing up (in a very redneck cowboy type town) where a asian gentleman was arrested for shooting a deer in the cemetery, which was in the city limits. There are rules in place to protect people because discharging a gun in certain areas is a safety concern. I don’t care for bullets flying through my house, as I’m sure most people would agree.
    Second, how can the gentleman in the article have been so silly as to leave the very thing he himself acknowledged was attracting the bear out in the back yard where it would doubtless attract the bears attention yet again? When I went camping as a child and teen I was taught to put all food in a sack hanging from a limb where the bears could not get at it. Common sense here.
    Third, If he was in fear of his life, why did he return to the house, get a gun, and GO BACK OUTSIDE?
    There seems to be quite a few bits of logic that could have been applied to this scenario, none of which this gentleman applied. To make the township out to be the bad guys here is downright irresponsible. This guy deserves to lose his damn gun at the very least.

    1. 1. Those laws have exclusions for when one fears for his/her safety. By your idiotic logic, it’s against the law to shoot an armed intruder in your house because of the prohibition on discharging a weapon in the city. By the way, I live in an incorporated town, and I have a shooting range in my back yard. So does my neighbor and his neighbor.

      2. Explain how he was supposed to easily move 50 gallons of bird feed, which weighs approximately 400-500 lbs depending on the density of the grains. That would have to be a pretty big sack and string to hang it from a tree, not to mention a big fucking tree.

      3. The only person who said he left and came back out was the cop, who wasn’t there when the shooting took place and has a story that the homeowner contradicts at about every turn.

      The missing “bits of logic that could have been applied” are all absent from your shoddy analysis of the story. Why don’t you learn to look at a map, read critically and glean the fact that there are two very different narratives to this story before jamming the government’s cock balls-deep into your throat.

      Perhaps you should change your moniker from Ben Johnson to Ben Dover. It would be more fitting.

      1. Given I answered every one of your objections, and the fact that you immediately stooped to an ad hominem attack on me instead of logically answering my argument I find absolutely no reason to continue further.
        BTW, Thats my name IRL, and if I chug a cock or two in the privacy of my bedroom is really none of your concern.
        Cheers,
        Ben

        1. I addressed all three of your points, dumbass. But nice try at deflection.

          And I was referring to your willingness to take it in the ass by the government. Your sexuality never entered my mind.

      2. 1. whether he feared for his safety is really the question to be answered by the jury.

        2. You do what we used to do when I was growing up with black bears frequently in our back yard (none of which did we ever need to shoot): you use a number of strong rubber bungee cords to secure the lid of the bin. Bears can’t figure that shit out.

        3. Another question for the jury. But I don’t see how any reasonable person could credit the shooter’s position that he (a) happened to have his gun with him while filling his bird feeders in the suburbs, but (b) had no intention of shooting any bear while he was out there. Either he went back inside for his gun, or he had it with him because he planned to shoot a bear. I don’t see any other option is credible — it’s not like he lived on a ranch in Texas and was going on a walk around his property far from the ranch house.

    2. Fuck preemptive laws.

    3. I love how lopsided the coverage of news has become in my once beloved Reason magazine. Where once libertarian common sense held sway now tea party nonsense reins supreme. At least where guns are concerned πŸ™‚

      I stopped reading right there. Concern trolls are concerned.

  35. Oops, forgot about your “too heavy to move” argument.

    If such was the case, how exactly did the bird seed barrel get into the back yard to begin with?

    Damn, bet you never thought about that!!

    Cheers!
    Ben

    1. Oops, forgot about your “too heavy to move” argument.

      If such was the case, how exactly did the bird seed barrel get into the back yard to begin with?

      Man buys empty barrel and places it in his back yard.

      Man proceeds to buy ten 50# bags of feed and fill the barrel with them (getting a 5% discount at Tractor Supply).

      Man now has 55 gal barrel full of bird seed in back yard.

      Damn, bet you never thought about that!!

      Actually I did. It’s how I filled all of my feed barrels in my chicken coop and until recently my bins for sheep, goats and swine.

      What do you think of that, shithead?

      1. So what you are saying is, he carried the seed out to the backyard bag by bag.
        Alright, I accept that as a reasonable premise.
        So what you are saying is that he could have removed the seed, say in a five gallon bucket, in precisely eleven trips assuming both the barrel and the buckets were full. A five gallon bucket roughly holds a bag of seed (country boy here) so that should not be an issue.
        At most the work of an hour given a large yard etc, and finding a place inside a garage or shed to place it.
        When you stand back and look at it, calmly and rationally the problem is quite simple.
        Move the barrel, bear is no longer attracted to your yard, problem solved.

        Cheers!
        Ben

        1. That’s a load of crap, country boy. I live on a small farm, and I regularly transport bags of feed to my storage bins. It allows me to get a discount at the feed store and store the feed in a single container close to where I feed my flock. And if you think a shed is going to keep the smell of the seed away from the bears nostrils, then I’m gonna surmise that you’ve never, ever stored a bag of feed or had an animal in your life. After all, bear boxes aren’t to hide the smell, they’re to prevent the bears from accessing what they do smell.

          He could have also backed his truck up to the storage area and unloaded the bags straight into the bins, which is what I do in the bins I keep in my coop’s storage area (which is open-air but has chicken wire to keep birds, goats and sheep out). IOW, if there were bears about where I live, they’d easily get to the feed if they wanted to.

          You’re being awfully simplistic and your deference to the men in blue (do you really think they’re trained to deal with bears there, and if you do, how would their solution have been different from the homeowners) is mind-numbingly ignorant in the face of mountains of evidence that says cops are typically underprepared and overreactive in situations where there might be even the slightest hint of “danger”.

          1. See, I never said that the smell was gone due to moving the item.
            You are building what is commonly called a straw man argument, characterized by misrepresenting exactly what I stated, in order to have a point with which to argue. At least you made it interesting by attempting a combination ad hominem to go with.
            I submit this to you. If you have a group of young men walking up to your front door carrying firearms, would you not call the police? Perhaps lock your door? take some action to at least slow their progress, before taking the immediate action of grabbing a gun and opening fire?
            The presence of the bear poses less threat than the aforementioned group of “toughs”. Statistically you are MUCH more likely to be shot that mauled by a bear.
            That being said, my reply below concerning our respect of the law and its procedures are what keep this country from becoming the next Afghanistan. We have the right to vote for a reason. If you disagree with something, vote to change it. Don’t just say, “screw the law, I’ll do what I please”… That is selfish and shortsighted.

            Cheers!
            Ben

            1. Here’s what you said: Move the barrel, bear is no longer attracted to your yard, problem solved.

              But in reality, that’s not the case at all. Unless the barrel is moved inside of an airtight container, the bear will still smell it. And if that smell is what attracted it to the man’s yard (which isn’t a known), then the bear would have come to investigate the smell anyway. You are just plain wrong.

              Now, if a group of thugs came to my front door carrying firearms, I’d yell for them to leave my property or I’d be forced to shoot them. If they refused to identify themselves and/or remove their weapons and leave, I’d have a decision to make. And I may decide to shoot if they attempted entry into my house. Calling the police would be one of the last things on my mind, as it would draw my attention away from the immediate threat. Not to mention that I live at least 10 minutes away from the nearest police station and I rarely ever see a cop car within 10 miles of my house, which likely means closer to 20 minutes.

              And you go on and keep respecting laws and rely on the legislative process to get rid of them. If they’re not in adherence with my moral code or I believe they’re unconstitutional, I will not follow them. And yes, I’ve been arrested for not following unjust laws. The magistrate I was taken before would not file charges in either instance because she knew the laws were unjust and would not stand up to a legal challenge, which I was prepared to make.

            2. Don’t just say, “screw the law, I’ll do what I please”… That is selfish and shortsighted.

              There’s a big difference in that and saying “This law is unjust and infringes on my liberty and the liberty of others. I will disobey it at my peril to take a stand for righteousness and liberty.”

              I’m not a sheep or a coward. I’ll take a stand when it’s the right thing to do.

          2. Do you keep your bins uncovered? Unsecured? And if so, don’t you have at least a rodent problem?

  36. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”

    Obviously. citizens in danger should be expected to call for police and cower in fear until they are killed. Defend themselves? If the police don’t defend you, you don’t deserve to live.

    1. Think about it please for a moment. What do you do when your septic tank backs up and floods your backyard with raw sewage?
      Do you jump out there with your shovel and go to town?
      Or would you more likely enlist the assistance of someone trained and skilled in such things to effect the needed repairs?
      We all pay the police to do a certain job. Same for the game warden, or whatever your state refers to them as. Why does it so offend your manhood to allow a pro whose salary you pay to do his job?

      A legitimate questions here. To assume that if you call the police you are a coward that goes and hides at the first sign of danger is ridiculous to say the least.
      While I can understand some folks in certain areas (rural settings) that would not at hesitate to kill a animal and bury it, it is actually legal in most places.
      Further, to submit that we should trust the homeowner’s account over that of the police, Which do you normally trust, the police or a alleged criminal. If you answer the latter I want you to please step back from the keyboard and think about that.

      1. Your little analogy is a bit off base. A better one would be “if your back yard is filling with sewage which was rapidly approaching your back door, would you let the shit pour into your house or would you close the door.

        His situation had a lot more urgency and immediate personal danger than a backed up septic tank and you know it. Now, had he been upstairs and not in immediate danger, should he call the police? Probably, but not necessarily. What of there were kids playing outside in the neighbors yard? Should he likewise call the “pros” to do their job? What would his neighbors say if the bear mauled their kids while he stood idly by?

        Further, to submit that we should trust the homeowner’s account over that of the police, Which do you normally trust, the police or a alleged criminal. If you answer the latter I want you to please step back from the keyboard and think about that.

        Whose word will I trust? The man that was there or a person that showed up some time later and created their narrative from whole cloth, and whose livelihood is predominately dependent on the general population’s inability to properly defend themselves and their property.

        A legitimate question for you: do you think cops prevent crimes or show up afterward to investigate them? Do you trust their judgement when they are much more prone to violence and integrity issues than almost any other profession?

        1. I’m not exactly sure how your modification of my analogy changes what the proper course of action is.
          A close reading of the article reveals that the man was aware of the bears presence for more than a day, and in fact,he states the reason he was supposedly carrying a shotgun was that he had seen the bear in his yard the day prior.
          Why did he not take the logical step then of removing the attractant, or perhaps make the game offical aware of the problem?
          Instead he BAITED the bear by leaving the material that drew it and began carrying a firearm with the intent to shoot the bear which was illegal to do.
          He had no intention of even trying to comply with the law. To defend that seems silly to me.
          If the law offends you, put together a repeal, get the signatures, put it on the ballot, and vote. It is the exact ideas that this country was founded on, not just nilly willy doing whatever the heck you want. The founding fathers wrote a whole guide for all this. We should show some respect for the constitution and our system, that despite its flaws, still produced this country in a such a short time (face it, as a country we are practically newborns)

          Cheers,
          Ben

          1. A close reading of the article reveals that the man was aware of the bears presence for more than a day, and in fact,he states the reason he was supposedly carrying a shotgun was that he had seen the bear in his yard the day prior.

            So he took precautions to protect himself when he saw what might have been a dangerous animal in the area, and you fault him for it? Besides, what would have happened if he had called the cops and they weren’t able to find anything? Wouldn’t he have been subject of making a bogus 911 call?

            Instead he BAITED the bear by leaving the material that drew it and began carrying a firearm with the intent to shoot the bear which was illegal to do.

            So he “baited” the bear by doing nothing differently than he did the day before.

            If the law offends you, put together a repeal, get the signatures, put it on the ballot, and vote.

            Would you have said the same thing to slaves, Rosa Parks or the people subject to Jim Crow?

            Besides, he was charged with “having an illegal firearm,” so as far as I’m concerned, the state gave the Constitution the middle finger by passing laws that contradict the 2A to begin with. So fuck changing “laws” by repeal or ballot initiative. In this case the law was in direct conflict with the Constitution anyway.

            One last point about ballot initiatives: democracy is nothing more than 2 people taking liberty away from a third. It robs people with minority opinions of their freedoms.

            1. So screw democracy if you don’t agree with the outcome.
              Your “taking precautions” were actions that were illegal in his state. See, I hear this argument concerning something called the tenth amendment. So long as the state laws are not judged unconstitutional by the supreme court, they can make pretty much any law they like. At least thats what I hear argued when states wish to disregard regulation from Washington.
              Really, when you get down to it, a state is well within its rights to create laws requiring registration of all weapons, require certain storage arrangements for said weapons, even restricting the type of weapons the citizen can own. All thanks to the tenth amendment. Right there in the Bill of Rights no less.
              So again, we should just pack the whole thing in and quit the Grand Experiment because some folk were not happy with the laws they directly or indirectly voted for, is that what you really want?
              If so, why not go live in a country where the constitution is in your favor. It seems logical given your reluctance to accept the constitution and laws of the land.

              1. So screw democracy if you don’t agree with the outcome.

                We live in a Republic, not a democracy you idiot.

                Really, when you get down to it, a state is well within its rights to create laws requiring registration of all weapons, require certain storage arrangements for said weapons, even restricting the type of weapons the citizen can own. All thanks to the tenth amendment.

                Um, no. The 10th is for powers not delegated to the 2A or prohibited to the states by the Constitution. The 2A says the RKBA shall not be infringed. IMO, that specifically prohibits the states from infringing on it in any way.

                And does your love of the SC’s interpretation of laws encompass Korematsu v. United States or Plessy v. Ferguson?

                1. First, to your examples of past decisions by the courts, you failed to mention that the very same court later overturned them.

                  Given the actual language of the second amendment, the argument could be made that since the authors of the constitution were referring to a militia, and each state has its own National Guard fulfilling that role, civilian ownership of military or near military hardware is unnecessary. The right to bear arms is well and good, but fanciful notions of overthrowing a government when the vast majority of americans can barely stagger from their couch to the toilet is laughable.
                  I’m not arguing for gun control. I firmly believe that we do have a right to keep and bear arms.

                  I do wonder though, if we read the second amendment literally by todays understanding of english, would not restrictions on felons owning and carrying guns also fall prey to such a interpretation?
                  What exactly are you arguing for? That what weapons you own and what you do with them be totally without regulation?
                  The problem we face is that once the door to regulation is opened, by even the most common sense of ideas (no concealed weapons in a tavern for example), you must take the good with the bad. More accurately stated, what you agree with and what you disagree with. Its part of what is commonly called compromise, and it is the foundation of the first civilisation, and our civilisation today.

                  Cheers!
                  Ben

                  1. “Given the actual language of the second amendment, the argument could be made that since the authors of the constitution were referring to a militia, and each state has its own National Guard fulfilling that role, civilian ownership of military or near military hardware is unnecessary”

                    That argument couldn’t be made by anyone who actually knows anything about what the authors of the Second Amendment intended when they wrote it. Here’s a start: “Militia” then and now, means any able-bodied adult male. It doesn’t mean the National Guard

                    1. Nor does the amendment at any point state that the protection against infringement of the right to bear arms is contingent on being in a militia, in any case

              2. Really, when you get down to it, a state is well within its rights to create laws requiring registration of all weapons, require certain storage arrangements for said weapons, even restricting the type of weapons the citizen can own. All thanks to the tenth amendment. Right there in the Bill of Rights no less.

                Wrong.

                1. Pray tell, elaborate please. I am curious exactly how you came to that conclusion.

                  Cheers!
                  Ben

                  1. Um… what? You might try actually reading the link, since it’s explained in the very first sentence.

                    The incorporation of the Bill of Rights (or incorporation for short) is the process by which American courts have applied portions of the U.S. Bill of Rights to the states.

                    1. At the time of my reply the text was merely orange, and was not a link.

                      I very much understand what you are trying to argue, but a closer reading of McDonald vs. Chicago would reveal that while there is currently support for ending outright gun bans, regulation on ownership was never in question. For example, the decision District of Columbia vs Heller.. well I will quote the exact language used so as to be absolutely clear.
                      “(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54?56.”

                      Cheers!
                      Ben

                    2. And a closer reading of the 2nd Amendment reveals that the court got that part of McDonald wrong. The 2nd Amendment allows for no “reasonable” restrictions.

              3. There are no exceptions listed in the second amendment. If people who have been convicted of crimes in the past are still dangerous, why are they not still in jail?

          2. Hes supposed to change his whole way of doing something, which could have been working just fine for him for a very long time, all because of one bear siting one day? Fuck that.

            Nothing even indicates that the bird seed necessarily had anything to do with attracting the bear- just that the guy was filling his feeders when it happened, and the barrel is a convenient thing for the cop asshole to blame it on.

            Fuck that bear and fuck you.

            1. Change is not a bad thing. It is logical that when you see a problem, you take measures to remedy said problem.
              It is not logical, however, in your remedy of the problem to make it worse. Especially when you are aware that the steps you are taking will only make the situation worse.

              Common sense. Its the libertarian way.

              Cheers!
              Ben

              1. Looks to me like the homeowner remedied the problem permanently. Your “solution” would have done nothing to sate the bear’s curiosity and could have ended in the mauling of a neighborhood child.

                Nice work. Now you’d rather have a dead kid than a dead bear.

                1. Straw man building yet again. Ugh, this is getting boring to be truthful. This should not be so easy.

                  The correct course of action would be to call the game warden who traqs the bear and removes it to a location more suited to the whole bear lifestyle.

                  Simple and easy. Violence is not the only solution in this world. I’m not adverse to it, but why ignore the obvious and bullheadedly say, in the coarse vernacular displayed so far in this discussion, “fuck it ya’ll, I’m gonna bag that fuckin’ bear! I don’t give a good goddamn what that fuckin’ lawman says!”

                  If that is what this boils down to, then good luck with that.

                  I won’t need to set the fires, just play my violin and watch the world burn.

                  Cheers!
                  Ben

                  1. Who said he saw a problem with the bird seed? The article only mentions that he may have seen a bear the other day, not that it was getting in to the bird seed when he saw it. You are focusing too much on the god damn bird seed. And fuck game wardens, the statist revenuing tresspassing fuckheads.

                  2. Right, when a bear feeds around humans in trash, etc. it never comes back if you remove it…

                    So you don’t have to put down bears if they’re feeding near humans, they won’t learn to feed near humans and won’t cause a problem.

                    Any other misinformation you want to spread about bears to see if someone can believe you and die from those lies?

                    they move bears when the bear isn’t commonly in human areas feeding; when the bear is commonly feeding in human areas; they shoot the bear.

                    Because the alternative is ending up with dead pets/people when the bear comes back.

                    Violence is not the answer?

                    When kids mauled to death is the answer; what the heck was the question?

          3. “The founding fathers wrote a whole guide for all this. We should show some respect for the constitution and our system, that despite its flaws,”

            Sounds good to me.

            “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

            If the Constitution offends you, get together 2/3rds of the States, House, and Senate and Amend it… don’t pass a law and think you’ve done anything useful.

            I mean, after all… “The founding fathers wrote a whole guide for all this. We should show some respect for the constitution and our system”

  37. Say, just where was Werner Herzog during this incident?

  38. So a guy goes hunting for bear. He makes his way to the center of the forest, and finds the biggest bear he’s ever seen, so he draws a bead and shoots the bear right through the heart. Only, he didn’t. As he’s looking out through the bushes, he sees that the bear is gone. He feels a hot breath on the back of his neck, and hears a growl, so he slowly turns around, and sees the bear standing behind him. The bear says: “You have two options, slick; you can let me have my way with you for half an hour, or you can let me maul you to death.” The guy thinks, “I don’t want to die, so I guess I’ll let the bear do what it will.” The bear rapes the man and lets him go.

    1. When he gets home, the man starts getting angry that he allowed the bear to rape him, so he goes out, buys a better gun with a scope, and heads out the following week to kill the bear. He hunts around, finds the bear, gets the critter in the crosshairs, and fires. He’s looking out into the clearing for the bear, when he feels hot breath on the back of his neck, hears a growl, and turns around to see the bear.
      “You’ve got two options, slick…”

    2. So, the guy is really mad, now, and is determined to kill the bear, skin it, and use it for his toilet seat cover. He buys the best rifle available, with a laser scope, and heads out into the woods. He finds the bear, aims and shoots, but the bear is gone from the clearing, as before. The hunter feels hot breath on the back of his neck, hears a growl, and turns to see the bear.

      Bear: “You didn’t come out here to hunt, did you?”

      1. I’m dying laughing here…

        If there was a rep system on this site I would be tapping the button frantically.

  39. I’m out of here. I refuse to bang my head against the brick wall called “Ben Johnson” anymore.

    Ben, you’re either a sockpuppet or you’re a thumbsucking government toady that cares less about freedom and personal safety as you do for law and order and doing what you’ve been allowed to do. If you’re the former, I applaud your ability to intentionally be an idiot. If you’re the latter, I weep for your spouse and/or children.

    1. I’ll still be here when you have some fresh material.

      Cheers!

      Ben

  40. What’s even stupider about this situation is that if he *had* called the police, *they* would have shot the bear.

  41. This is unbearable.

  42. Warning sarcasm: first, bears don’t go to civility school; secondly, wasn’t the man following the lead of our dear Vice President, he got his shotgun…

  43. If you go to the local paper comments, this guy is being excoriated as being almost as bad as Hitler. New England appears to be a lost cause.

  44. Funny thing about bears – they like to mock charge. They’ll charge you for a good 10-20 feet and then stop. If you run while they do this – they will continue to chase and since a black bear can outrun you – you don’t stand a chance. Also, a bear in the early spring/late fall is VERY dangerous. I fail to see what this man did wrong.

  45. Any case involving a man, a bear, and a pig is bound to heat up

  46. It seems to me that, had the gentleman called the police, his chances of dying would have increased rather than decreased.

  47. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette was once cornered to admit in print that they do not consider self-defense a legitimate reason to own a gun, so their take on this matter is unsurprising.

    And it’s pronounced Woostuh, with the “oo” as in “cook.”

    I left Massachusetts and moved to America long ago, and I’m damn glad I did.

  48. A carnivore that big chasing you,if i had a gun i would do the same.Its a matter of life and death you have no time to reach for that phone and start dialing 411.That’s being tough on the guy according to me.This animal could have ripped him apart.

  49. What happens to the law of state. Its like when i ask Canon for a better print it will return me a charge of anything. This is quiet amazing.

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