stefansson-wrangel-09-25-008-003

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Samara Cary at May 22, 2024 07:06 PM

stefansson-wrangel-09-25-008-003

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three bears were seen and two of them secured. April 26th they saw a bear
but made the mistake of trying to get it with dogs instead of by careful
stalking. Two or three fairly good hunting dogs will usually stop a bear on
level ice, but not always. In rough ice the rule is that the bear cannot be
stopped, and the danger is also correspondingly greater to the dogs. In this
case three dogs were used. One of them soon came back wounded, though not
seriously; the other two chased the bear several hours and, although they were
able to delay it some, Crawford and Galle never caught up. They could doubt-
less have shot the bear, but one does not fire at a great distance when bear
and dogs are almost in line and when each dog is worth ten times more than the
bear.

April on Wrangell Island was stormy and snowy. Still, it
was spring. On the 28th the temperature rose to 40° F. in the shade, or eight
degrees above freezing. This would be about 60° in the sun. Parts of the
land occasionally became bare through thawing but were covered again by the
frequent snowfalls that are typical of an arctic April if you are on a sea-
coast or on a small island.

On April 29th Galle went for a trip inland from which he
returned in two days. "He camped the first night in the hills in a snowhouse
after climbing a peak 1950 feet high (by aneroid barometer). He was unable
to see very far to the north because of a ridge farther on. He then went to
the other camp where he found the tent slightly damaged by a bear which had
made a hole in the roof of the storm shed. In two different places he found
where a female bear had given birth to cubs. Saw a few bear and fox tracks,
also several snow buntings."

About the middle of May the weather had become so persist-
ently warm that the winter camp was untenable any longer. It was leaking and
the surroundings had become boggy. On May 18th they pitched a tent about a

stefansson-wrangel-09-25-008-003

- 3 -

three bears were seen and two of them secured. April 26th they saw a bear
but made the mistake of trying to get it with dogs instead of by careful
stalking. Two or three fairly good hunting dogs will usually stop a bear on
level ice, but not always. In rough ice the rule is that the bear cannot be
stopped, and the danger is also correspondingly greater to the dogs. In this
case three dogs were used. One of them soon came back wounded, though not
seriously; the other two chased the bear several hours and, although they were
able to delay it some, Crawford and Galle never caught up. They could doubt-
less have shot the bear, but one does not fire at a great distance when bear
and dogs are almost in line and when each dog is worth ten times more than the
bear.

April on Wrangell Island was stormy and snowy. Still, it
was spring. On the 28th the temperature rose to 40° F. in the shade, or eight
degrees above freezing. This would be about 60° in the sun. Parts of the
land occasionally became bare through thawing but were covered again by the
frequent snowfalls that are typical of an arctic April if you are on a sea-
coast or on a small island.

On April 29th Galle went for a trip inland from which he
returned in two days. "He camped the first night in the hills in a snowhouse
after climbing a peak 1950 feet high (by aneroid barometer). He was unable
to see very far to the north because of a ridge farther on. He then went to
the other camp where he found the tent slightly damaged by a bear which had
made a hole in the roof of the storm shed. In two different places he found
where a female bear had given birth to cubs. Saw a few bear and fox tracks,
also several snow buntings."

About the middle of May the weather had become so persist-
ently warm that the winter camp was untenable any longer. It was leaking and
the surroundings had become boggy. On May 18th they pitched a tent about a