“We certainly don’t need anyone going all Davy Crockett chasing it through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet.”
It happens to all of us. We find ourselves a few beers deep, fiddling with our hatchet and suddenly we’re face-to-face with a bear. So what’s more natural than screaming bloody murder, waving the hatchet over your head and chasing that trespassing SOB back to where he came from?
Or, you know, not. Expect for one man in North Adams, Massachusetts who apparently did.
On Monday night (5/11), police in North Adams received a call that a bear was spotted near a local school and people were heading into the woods after it. People apparently included Bradford Carpenter, 60, who had been drinking and thought that by chasing the bear he would be protecting local children, or so he claims.
The police took Carpenter into custody and “the hatchet man”, as he is being called, hasn’t been charged. The police have been light-hearted about the stunt, noting on their Facebook page, “It is just a bad idea and not going to end well. It will, however, certainly end you up in jail.”
The number of black bears in Massachusetts has increased significantly over the past 50 years, jumping from an estimated 100 in 1970 to 4,500 today. Which means that bear sightings and encounters are increasingly common. But that’s not a problem for most people non-hatchet wielding people. And for any others, the police have issued this warning: