Beer bear

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Well-known member
Jul 12, 2004
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Baker County, Oregon
Just call this discerning beast a Rainier bear

The folks at Rainier Beer who came up with that "wild Rainiers" ad campaign years ago need to know this: There's a wild Rainier bear out there.

On the last weekend of July, a black bear was discovered passed out on the lawn at Baker Lake Resort, a campground-and-cabins getaway on the shore of Baker Lake, east of Mount Baker and about 20 miles north of Highway 20.

Not asleep. Passed out.

Turns out the bear had gotten into campers' coolers the night before and, upon discovering the cans of beer inside, went about using claws and teeth to puncture the cans and sample the suds.

Some much more than others.

"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," resort bookkeeper Lisa Broxson said. "This was a bear with beer preference."

The bear did try one can of Busch, but then ignored the rest of those cans, says Sgt. Bill Heinck, an enforcement officer with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "He didn't like that (Busch), and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier."

When one of Heinck's officers tried to chase it from the campground, the inebriated beast climbed into a tree and slept it off for another four hours. They were finally able to herd it away, but the next morning the bear was back.

Heinck returned to set up a large, pipe-like trap, baiting it with the usual - "donuts and honey, that type of thing." And a sudsy stroke of genius: two cans of Rainier in the trap, both open, and a beer trail leading up the trap door.

They had the bear trapped by morning.

"This is a new one on me," Heinck said. "I've known them to get into cans, but nothing like this. And it definitely had a preference."

It was very clearly a Rainier bear.

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