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Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Survey Locales Print E-mail
Written by Daryl Moistner   
Saturday, 02 January 2016

Share the spirit of land surveying, of experiencing and mapping the lay of the land: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

A 2.014Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Well here it is ...fall in the Alaska wilderness, beautiful, pristine, and peaceful, Until a 1,000 lb. grizzly comes charging out of the bushes to spoil the moment. I'm not much a fan of working in bear country but I'm working in it most of the time. I just prefer they stay in their little bear world and I'll stay in my little surveyor world and everything will be hunky dory. But unfortunately that can't always be the case. You have some bad predatory bears in this area that would like to go one on one with you. And in other areas they might not be interested in eating you but if you surprise each other while kicking around in the bushes they might get in your face. Especially if they have cubs, you'll end up walking out of the bushes babbling with your face on sideways.

Three surveyor friends of mine were badly mauled after surprising a sow with cubs while hiking back to a helicopter landing zone some years back. Seems like more and more people are getting gnawed on up here every year.

Some of us carry bear spray for protection but with all the flying around going on there is some concern it could go off accidentally inside the plane or helicopter negating its use as a safety tool. Sometimes I'll carry a Ruger Blackhawk 44 Magnum but that feels like a bb gun especially when I'm judging the scale of a bear from a taxidermy grizzly up on its hind legs towering over me. So a lot of times I end up carrying this ugly piece of artillery, A 12 gauge titanium cannon with 50 caliber sabot rounds. Basically one step below a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

But yeah, like I said, I'd rather stay away from those critters. Carrying guns around is just a hassle when I got so much other surveying gear to carry about...

A 2.014Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
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