Bear News Beartown News
NOVEMBER 1, 2004



You might be a Floridian if:
You exhibit a slight twitch when introduced to anyone with the first names of Charley, Frances, Ivan or Jeanne.
Your freezer never has more than $20 worth of food in it any given time
You're looking at paint swatches for the plywood on your windows, to accent the house color
You think of your hall closet/safe room as "cozy"
Your pool is more accurately described as "framed in" than "screened in"
You no longer worry about relatives visiting during the summer months
You now understand what that little "2% hurricane deductible" phrase really means
Your Street has more than 3 "NO WAKE˛ signs posted
You now own 5 large ice chests
Your parrot can now say" hammered, pounded and hunker down"
You recognize people in line at the free ice, gas and plywood locations
You stop what you're doing and clap and wave when you see a convoy of power company trucks come down your street
You're depressed when they don't stop
You're thinking of getting your wife the hardhat with the ear protector and face shield for Christmas
You now think the $6000 whole house generator seems reasonable You fight the urge to put on your winter coat and wool cap and parade around in front of your picture window, when you finally get power and your neighbor across the street, with the noisy generator, doesn't get electric
You ask your sister up north to start saving the Sunday Real Estate
You will never, ever, ever again say, łThis one ain't coming"
You go to fill your gas tank up for the 3rd Hurricane only to realize you've only driven 51 miles since the last one.
You walk out to the pool area where you once had a full wet-bar, party area, lanai, pool cage, etc and now the the wide open feeling and the 3 plastic chairs and a cooler for a table don't seem that bad.
You learn to appreciate the upside.... why clean the house when all the
ceilings still have to come down and be replaced?!



  A Rockville animal-rights activist has sent out a mass mailing to property owners in Garrett County, Md., stating they should not allow bear hunters on their properties because 40 percent of them are drug addicts, drunks or mentally unstable.
   Earle D. Hightower, chairman of the Institute for Public Safety, a 27-member group mainly concerned with such issues as traffic and smog, acknowledges the statistic printed on 600 cards is phony, but says it's all for the cause.
   "My personal opinion is that anybody who goes out and shoots helpless animals has a psychiatric problem," said Mr. Hightower, 82, a former hunter and World War II veteran. "Logically, statistically if you look at a sample of the regular population, certain people will have some kind of psychiatric problems."
   The hunt is scheduled for Oct. 25 through 30. It will end when hunters have killed 30 bears out of an estimated statewide population of 500. If fewer than 30 are killed, a second hunt will be held Dec. 6 through 11. It will be Maryland's first black bear hunt in 51 years.
    Steven Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsman's Association, is not amused by Mr. Hightower's efforts.
   "I am exploring my options right now for what can really be done about this," said Mr. Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsman's Association. "I believe this gentleman overstepped the bounds of decency."
   Mr. Hightower said he plans to distribute another 400 of the 5-by-8-inch cards because he is concerned about residents' safety.
   "You hear about hunting accidents all the time," he said. "Of course every year somebody gets shot during a hunting accident."
   Mr. Hightower, who maintains he is a former National Rifle Association member, said he also is concerned about the "helpless" bears.
   "These black bears are reclusive animals," he said. "They don't like to be around people and they are easy to shoot."
    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has issued 200 permits for the hunt.
   Officials estimate that about 400 of the state's roughly 500 bears are in a section of Allegany County west of Cumberland. They want the hunt, in part, to reduce the likelihood of bear-human conflicts.
   A judge in Prince George's County has scheduled a hearing Oct. 18 on a lawsuit filed by animal-protection advocates in September seeking to stop the hunt.
   Their petition claims state officials used flawed science and violated statutory deadlines in authorizing the hunt.
   In September, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, approved a plan to allow the hunt, reversing a policy instituted by his predecessor, Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat.


   New Zealand's deer pizzle trade is facing its stiffest test - the growing use of a Viagra substitute by Chinese men.
   About 200,000 of the deer penises, complete with testicles, are sold to China each year.

"For a long time men believed that the larger the pizzle, the stronger their own would be," said Murray Hamer, Oriental trade manager for the Wanaka-based Alpine Deer Group. Now the market, mainly in northern China, is gradually declining.
 "The belief in the sexual vigour of pizzles is slowly dying out. Modern Chinese men believe they don't work. They have turned to the Chinese version of Viagra and are getting results."
   Frozen pizzles from New Zealand are dried in China and sold in four grades - under 10 inches (25.5 cm), 10 to 12 inches, 12 to 14 inches and over 14 inches. Color, length, circumference and weight are all important. In some cases they can be as long as 20 inches, but most are around 12 to 14 with a circumference of a 50c piece.
   Mr Hamer, who has dealt in deer co-products for 34 years, said it was important to leave a ring of hair around the pizzle's foreskin to prove it was from a deer. Sometimes unscrupulous Chinese traders substituted sheep testicles for the deer's because they were twice as big and the extra weight made them worth more.
   The pizzles were generally served in a soup, after being boiled for hours with herbs. Sometimes, a three-pizzle soup was made, from deer, snakes and seals, and served in slices. They could also be found whole in alcoholic drinks, similar to the mesquite worm in tequila.
Mr Hamer said he had tried pizzle soup,
"but it was simply awful".


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