Durango bear attack, a driver swerves to avoid bees in Montana, Tucson wins worst streets award and more.

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

  • MONTANA Talk about being “bear aware.”

    Will Harmon/Yellowstone National Park
 

IDAHO
It didn’t take more than an hour or so for Jacob Pool, 33, to spill his guts to Idaho Fish and Game investigators. In a “straightforward and crass account,” he detailed how he poached a beloved — and quite tame — buck in a Twin Falls park, afterward tossing its antlers in the Snake River and taking home some of the meat. The mule deer was considered a celebrity in the town, distinguished by its huge antlers, and everybody had pictures of it, said Forrest Andersen, manager of a local pawnshop. He called it “tame as a dog.” But Pool, after learning that the deer hung out in a canyon between the Amalgamated Sugar Factory and the Snake River Canyon, decided he’d rather shoot the animal with a gun than a camera, reports Magicvalley.com. According to investigators, who said they pursued the case as zealously as if it were a murder investigation, Pool recalled the scene theatrically, with a touch of boastfulness: “I’ve never seen a deer that big. … I went after that (expletive) deer by myself at nighttime. I was all alone, you know, crawl across that field for two (expletive) hours. … I was (expletive) exhausted, tired.” Once in chat mode, Pool added nonchalantly that he’d “poached a couple deer in my life, you know. This is like the third time. …” Charged with felony killing or wasting a trophy mule deer during a closed season, felony destroying or concealing evidence, and hunting big game with an unlawful weapon, a seemingly chastened Pool expressed second thoughts: “You guys, I’m (expletive) sorry, man. I feel like I robbed the community of that deer.”

COLORADO
Most likely drawn by the smell of food at an illegal encampment near a tech center just outside of Durango in southern Colorado, a bear attacked and mauled two men, reports the Durango Herald. It came close to killing Joshua Barber, 21, who was nursing a broken toe and quietly reading a book in his tent when something big smacked the side of it. The something was a bear, which ripped through the mosquito netting and then stepped into the tent. Quick as a flash, Barber says, he jumped up, threw a bunch of sunflower seeds at the animal, unzipped his tent and fled toward a ravine where friends were camped. But the bear reached him first, knocking him over and biting him in the neck and head. “My first thought was I was going to die.” Somehow, he scrambled to his feet but the bear tackled him again. Fortunately, his friends heard his screams and came running, and with the help of their dogs kept the bear at bay for 15 minutes, long enough for a couple of them to grab Barber and flee, with the bear in pursuit. One chilling note: According to a police report, “As police and medical personnel were helping Barber, the bear sat down in the dirt next to the parking lot and watched.”  Later on, Robin R. Derendy, 33, told officers that a bear attacked him through his tent, though he fought back and struck it with a knife. Wildlife Services tracked down the bear with dogs and killed it after it climbed a tree. Several people commented on the Durango Herald’s story, some lambasting the campers for being slobs, some sympathizing with the homeless people, as well as with the bear. Barber, who suffered serious wounds to his neck and head, said he wanted it known that he’d been cleaning up the debris in the area, not creating it. Homeless since he was 14, Barber said, “I live in a camp graveyard. I couldn’t have created all this trash myself nor would I have wanted to. … It’s very insulting to me.” And Marcus Shirley, one of the friends who’d came to Barber’s rescue, said that even before the bear came on the scene, a fox had attacked a nearby tent. Shirley’s conclusion about all this outdoors drama? “I’m done with the camping.”

ARIZONA
Be prepared to bounce through potholes in Tucson: The town recently won top ranking as having the “worst streets” of 11 Western urban regions, as compiled by the University of Arizona and two other groups. “Tucson’s roads are terrible, and like light speed, photosynthesis, and the UA’s superiority over ASU, it’s now a scientific fact,” said tucson.com.

MONTANA
In other vehicle news, a driver near Missoula “created some buzz” after his car was spotted swerving all over the road, while inside a bunch of bees swarmed over his windshield. The driver, who seemed unfazed by his flying companions, told troopers that his five hives of Russian honeybees were harmless, reports the Billings Gazette. The driver was cited for careless driving; no word on the bees.

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
  • FORGE & FAB SHOP
    with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
  • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...
  • FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROJECT DIRECTOR
    Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Arizona Chapter as Forest Stewardship Project Director. You will play a key role...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is accepting applications for an Executive Director. This position will provide leadership to RSA, develop a fund raising plan, and effectively communicate...
  • WRITING PLACE: THE ANIMAS RIVER REGION WRITING WORKSHOP
    REGISTER ONLINE BY: Friday, June 15 WHERE: Durango, CO (location TBD) WHEN: Monday, July 16 Youth workshop: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (18 and under,...
  • EQUITY IN THE OUTDOORS COORDINATOR
    The Equity in the Outdoors Coordinator will lead community engagement, program implementation and development, and data collection for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM). EVOM...
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
    The Idaho Conservation League is seeking a personable individual who is passionate about conservation to join our Sandpoint Field Office. The Community Engagement Assistant will...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FLY ROD CASES
    4 standard or custom lengths. Rugged protection for backpacking. Affordable pricing.
  • EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION INTERN/ASSISTANT
    Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA SERVICES
    In-depth investigations of polluters, lobbyists, regulators, elected officials and others focused on environmentally damaging projects in the U.S. and internationally. We specialize in mining projects,...
  • UNDEVELOPED 40 ACRES - SOUTHWEST COLORADO
    in beautiful Montezuma County.
  • TRUCK DRIVER
    Class A & B drivers, pass all DOT requirements and clean driving record
  • MARIA'S BOOKSHOP FOR SALE
    - Thriving Indie bookstore in the heart of Durango, Colorado. General bookstore with 34-year history as a community hub for Southwest region of CO. 1800...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details:
  • HAND CRAFTED LOG HOME IN TETON VALLEY
    on ten acres. Full view of the Grand Teton. 35 miles to Yellowstone and 20 minutes to Grand Targhee Ski Area.
  • ACREAGE WITH HOME, SHOP, BARN FOR SALE!
    Must see for sng/extd fam or corp retreat in pines! $1,030,000
  • WESTERN REGIONAL MANAGER
    The American Forest Foundation seeks a smart and highly motivated candidate to join our Western conservation team. The Regional Manager supports the Regional Director to...