Wolf Song of Alaska News

If Bears Kill Vandergaw, Feel Sorry for Guy Who Has to Clean Up Mess

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / April 21, 2007

I read with interest Craig Medred's article about Charlie Vandergaw ("Bear man," April 15). He's the fellow who lives up the Yentna and feeds the bears. He's not the first guy to try this. That would be Allen Hasselberg. He had a cabin on Admiralty Island 60 years ago. He used to feed and pet the bears, give them names and pretend they were domesticated. My uncle worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the time. After the bears on Admiralty Island ate Hasselberg, my uncle had to go retrieve what was left of the remains and shoot the bear that killed him. The same thing may eventually happen to Vandergaw. He might run into a sow with cubs, or one that just lost a fight to a bigger bear, or one that is just having a bad day. That bear may kill Vandergaw, and then some poor guy from the Fish and Game will have to go and clean up the mess. It would be a shame for Vandergaw, but he made his choice. The guy I feel bad for is the one who will clean up the mess and shoot every bear within 10 miles of the Vandergaw cabin.

---- Greg Sarber / Anchorage

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