AttaBoy! On the Menu for Alaskan Bears

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Arnold W. Hanger, 66, of Juneau Alaska was cited June 20th for 3 misdemeanor counts of feeding game and one count of reckless endangerment. Alaska Wildlife Troopers investigated Hanger's home after a tip that Hanger was feeding the wildlife. Trooper Sgt. Matthew Dobson drove to the house to investigate, and on the way up to the house bears were walking up the driveway. They paid no attention to Dobson. Dobson and another trooper saw a total of six bears on Hanger's property. The bears were eating and chewing - there are chew marks on Hanger's porch and siding torn on exterior walls of the house. At first Hanger denied feeding the bears, so the troopers left and got a search warrant and came back.

There were dozens of empty bags of AttaBoy! dog food, and then Hanger admitted to feeding the bears. He lives alone, and likes to have the bears around, but did admit to them becoming a problem. He doesn't remember how long he has been doing it, dozens of years though. One bear that he named Ms. White he has had around for the past 6 years, she came back this year with three cubs in tow.

Hanger has been spreading a 50 lb bag of dog food a day for the bears around his property, that backs up to Tongass National Forest. Neighbors especially those with small children do not like having all the bears in such close proximity. Hanger was cooperative and asked what he could do to help. State wildlife biologists have tagged and collared the bears that were on Hanger's property to keep track of them, they are afraid that most of them will have to be killed but that is not something they want to do. Feeding bears takes away their healthy fear of humans and human areas, which could make them dangerous. From Anchorage Daily News.


hunter25's picture

It's still surprising that

It's still surprising that people do stuff like this. Even if you don't care for your own safety htis guy showed no concern how his actions could hurt the other people living in the area. We just had the case in Colorado last week of people buying cheeseburgers and feeding the bears right in town. If he was really doing this for at least six years the amount of moey he spent must be huge at the cost of one bag per day. If the guy was lonely he could have used the money for some other kind of recreation. Hopefully the bears will wander off now but more than likely they will start going to other homes lookin for the same kind of handouts they are used to and will have to be put down.

ndemiter's picture

all i can think of when i

all i can think of when i read this is "i wonder what kind of companionship he could buy himself with all that money?" ;)

it really wouldn't bother me if he was my neighbor, i'd just be getting a bear tag every year. and inviting all my friends over for bear hunts.

Chuck-n-Alaska's picture

Every year some moron gets

Every year some moron gets busted for feeding bears. If these fools would just think about what they are creating. They acumlate bears to think humans are a source of food then it's just a matter of time before some gets nailed. I hope they throw the book at him and the judge gives him the maxium penalitiy.

arrowflipper's picture

interesting story

Wow, what an interesting article!  I can see both sides of this issue.  I can see how Hanger would enjoy seeing bears on a regular basis.  I feed the deer in my yard all the time.  I enjoy seeing them around.  BUT, I don't fee them intentionally.  They just like to eat my roses and flowers.  I like eating the deer.

I can certainly see how the neighbors with children would feel.  If I had small children and lived near Hanger, I might have an issue with it too.  Though bears may seem docile, I do not trust them for a minute around children.  I'm very surprised that nothing has been done before.  It was stated that Hanger had fed the bears for dozens of years.  Someone had to know what was going on and I'm surprised they hadn't turned him in a long time ago.

Do you have any idea how expensive 50 pounds of dog food is per day???  That guy had a serious cash flow if he fed them for years at 50 pounds a day.  If he used a middle of the road dog food, it would be around $20 per bag.  Using that figure, that would be $7,300.00 per year and $87,000.00 over the last dozen years.  He must really like bears, work for a dog food company, have an in with Wall Mart or have a lot of money.

I hope the game department goes easy on him with those four misdemeanors.  If he quits feeding the bears and does what he can to help, I'd hope they are lenient with him.  And I sure hope those bears don't have to be put down.