Bears or deer?

For the fifth time in as many weeks, a night creature has knocked down the fencing surrounding a portion of my side yard. I have this area fenced off for our doggies. Granted it’s not a very sturdy fence, the doggies weigh less than 20 lbs, (9.07 Kilograms), and their mass would not be enough to bring the fence down.

I have a bet with my wife as to if it’s a deer or a bear. I’m saying a bear. But how to prove it? I moved one camera from my security system to watch the back yard. It’s motion activated and well, we’ll see.

View from the camera while the doggies were out last night at 2239, or 10:39 PM. The spotlights were on, we typically dim them slightly overnight. The fence extends from the gate on the right to a corner at the tree line and then to left to intersect with a more solid chain link fence at my neighbor’s shed in the upper left.

In the mean time, I put in a call to the game commission, in hopes they would bring a humane bear trap to my area to get the perpetrator. They asked if I have a bird feeder or trash cans in the area that would be an interest to a bear. I said no bird feeder, the trash cans are at the other end of my property  and liberally dosed with ammonia to keep bears away from them. I’m expecting a call back from them to further explain my plight today.

So what will it be, a bear or a deer?

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Author: Gerry D

I'm from Pensyltucky. Can trace my ancestry directly to whom the present day national anthem of Poland is written about. Presently repair slot machines at a casino.

13 thoughts on “Bears or deer?”

  1. John Walker:

    Treating it as a Fermi problem, I’d bet on deer.

    Completely off topic digression : As you mention Fermi, Sir, I feel it’s the right moment to ask you a question about an anecdote I’ve read in many a book, without any factual evidence for or against its veracity. Besides, by an amusing coincidence, I was reminded of this anecdote about Fermi a few days ago when I read this paper by Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, whose conclusion is about the first A-bomb test :

    http://revel.unice.fr/alliage/?id=4095

    (though the author does not really matter here, Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond is rather well-known in France :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Marc_L%C3%A9vy-Leblond

    the French wikipedia “fiche de police” has much more details)

    Here’s the end of the paper :

    L’ambiguïté essentielle ainsi mise en évidence, avec naïveté ou perversité, on ne sait trop, avait déjà trouvé une expression célèbre lors du premier essai de la bombe A (Trinity test, juillet 1945). Après la monstrueuse explosion, la plupart des physiciens présents, qui avaient participé au Projet Manhattan de construction de l’arme, dirent avoir ressenti un sentiment d’« exultation » (Weisskopf) ou de « jubilation » (Rabi), cependant qu’Oppenheimer, directeur du projet, évoquait avec emphase le passage de la Bhagavad Gîta décrivant « la splendeur de mille soleils ». Personne d’ailleurs, devant le spectacle d’une explosion nucléaire, ne peut échapper à ce sentiment d’effroi admiratif que traduit si bien le simple mot anglais d’awe ?
    Mais chez les scientifiques qui avaient enfanté et déchaîné ce monstre, il ne s’agissait plus seulement d’une contemplation passive, mais d’une participation active à ce déferlement de puissance — une manifestation exemplaire de l’hubris savante. Seul ou presque, Ken Bainbridge, responsable de l’essai, s’exclama :
    « Et maintenant, nous sommes tous des fils de putes. »
    .
    À quoi la légende veut qu’Enrico Fermi ait répondu :
    « Oui, mais quelle belle
    expérience ! ».

    I don’t know the original English version is, but adapted from French, it would give, for the last sentences : “And now, we’re all bloody bastards”. To which statement the legend says that Enrico Fermi answered : “Yes, but what a wonderful experiment !”.

    Of course, all writers quoting this anecdote solemnly condemn Fermi — all but one, in fact : Jacques Bergier did approve (and I think he was right).

    I know I should have tried and searched before asking, but well, I’m sure you know if this anecdote about Fermi is true or not. Hence my daring to ask. 😉

    (Of course, disregard if too off topic or just without any interest !)

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  2. Blumroch:
    To which statement the legend says that Enrico Fermi answered : “Yes, but what a wonderful experiment !”. … I know I should have tried and searched before asking, but well, I’m sure you know if this anecdote about Fermi is true or not.

    I have never heard this anecdote about Fermi at the Trinity test.  It is not mentioned in Segré and Hoerlin’s The Pope of Physics (link is to my review), which does quote Oppenheimer as quoting the Bhagavad Gita“I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” and Bainbridge saying, “Now we are all sons-of-bitches.”  Fermi is described as occupied with tearing up pieces of paper and dropping them to measure the magnitude of the shock wave.

    Fermi was arguably the physicist most responsible for the world-changing event that had just occurred in the New Mexico desert.  There is no documentation of what he was thinking at the time.  But there is a record of what he was doing.  If you didn’t know him, it would seem bizarre, but everybody knew he always acted with purpose.  A few seconds after the blast, Fermi stood up and began tearing a large sheet of paper into small pieces and then dropping them from his upraised hand.  Forty seconds later, as the front of the shock wave hit, the midair pieces were blown a short distance away.  Pacing off the distance to where they landed, some eight feet, he consulted a little chart he had prepared beforehand.  Shortly afterward, Fermi told those around him that he estimated the blast’s force as roughly equivalent to ten kilotons of TNT.

    … The detailed measurements took about a week.  It was concluded that the blast’s magnitude, corresponding to twenty kilotons of TNT, was close to the estimate he had made within a minute of the explosion.  None of the physicists was surprised.

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  3. John Walker:

    Blumroch:
    To which statement the legend says that Enrico Fermi answered : “Yes, but what a wonderful experiment !”. … I know I should have tried and searched before asking, but well, I’m sure you know if this anecdote about Fermi is true or not.

    I have never heard this anecdote about Fermi at the Trinity test.  It is not mentioned in Segré and Hoerlin’s The Pope of Physics (link is to my review), which does quote Oppenheimer as quoting the Bhagavad Gita“I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” and Bainbridge saying, “Now we are all sons-of-bitches.”  Fermi is described as occupied with tearing up pieces of paper and dropping them to measure the magnitude of the shock wave.

    Thank you, Sir, for answering this minor question.

    Here in France, this anecdote about Fermi is almost always quoted as a fact in each debate about scientific responsability — even in elementary philosophy manuals for baccalauréat (in the 1980s at least ; I guess newer manuals do not even mention sciences at all). And always in order to condemn the evil scientists who have no soul and no social conscience. Fermi is thus the name of the Beast. Lévy-Leblond, who quotes, of course, Oppenheimer and his famous quote of the Gita (also mentionned in Robert Jungk’s *Brighter than a thousand suns*), is the first writer I know of who writes “la légende veut”, “according to a legend”. Seems it is a French scientific urban legend, then. Anyway, *se non è vero, è bene trovato*. Whether this statement was pronounced or not, I must say I like the fact that Jacques Bergier alone, who was among the first to mention it in the 1970s, does not condemn it and approves of Fermi’s (attributed) words. 😉

    Again, thank you for taking the time to enlighten me : I can consider this Fermi case as solved. 😉

    P.S. edit/fix : Seems popularizer Jungk is the culprit, according to this page I did not find at first because I was looking for the French “Quelle belle expérience” and English “What a magnificent experiment” and “What a great experiment”. I was luckier with the song about hamburgers. 😉

    The Thing Is Superb Physics

    Sorry to have bothered you ! 🙁

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  4. John Walker:

    Gerry D:
    So what will it be, a bear or a deer?

    Treating it as a Fermi problem, I’d bet on deer.

    There are around 1.5 million deer in the state, and around 20,000 black bears.  If the nature of the damage is equally likely to have been caused by either animal, it’s more probable a deer did it.

    There is that possibility, but the way the fence was pulled down, twisting the gate pole at an angle greater than 45 degrees, the fence pushed down within a foot of the ground, it must have been one lazy deer or one medium sized bear.

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  5. Blumroch:
    L’ambiguïté essentielle ainsi mise en évidence, avec naïveté ou perversité, on ne sait trop, avait déjà trouvé une expression célèbre lors du premier essai de la bombe A (Trinity test, juillet 1945). Après la monstrueuse explosion, la plupart des physiciens présents, qui avaient participé au Projet Manhattan de construction de l’arme, dirent avoir ressenti un sentiment d’« exultation » (Weisskopf) ou de « jubilation » (Rabi), cependant qu’Oppenheimer, directeur du projet, évoquait avec emphase le passage de la Bhagavad Gîta décrivant « la splendeur de mille soleils ». Personne d’ailleurs, devant le spectacle d’une explosion nucléaire, ne peut échapper à ce sentiment d’effroi admiratif que traduit si bien le simple mot anglais d’awe ? Mais chez les scientifiques qui avaient enfanté et déchaîné ce monstre, il ne s’agissait plus seulement d’une contemplation passive, mais d’une participation active à ce déferlement de puissance — une manifestation exemplaire de l’hubris savante. Seul ou presque, Ken Bainbridge, responsable de l’essai, s’exclama : « Et maintenant, nous sommes tous des fils de putes. » . À quoi la légende veut qu’Enrico Fermi ait répondu : « Oui, mais quelle belle expérience ! ».

    Translation for those that are “translate.google.com” impaired…

    The essential ambiguity thus evidenced, with naivety or perversity, it is unclear, had already found a famous expression during the first test of the bomb A (Trinity test, July 1945). After the monstrous explosion, most of the attending physicists, who had participated in the Manhattan Weapons Project, said they felt a sense of “exultation” (Weisskopf) or “jubilation” (Rabi), while Oppenheimer , director of the project, evoked with emphasis the passage of the Bhagavad Gita describing “the splendor of a thousand suns”. Besides, in front of the spectacle of a nuclear explosion, can not escape the feeling of admiring fright that so well translates the simple English word of awe?
    But among the scientists who had born and unleashed this monster, it was no longer just a passive contemplation, but an active participation in this surge of power – an exemplary manifestation of learned hubris. Alone or almost, Ken Bainbridge, head of the test, exclaimed:
    “And now, we are all sons of whores.
    .
    What legend has it that Enrico Fermi answered:
    “Yes, but what a great experience! “.

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  6. The Sinistral Bassist:
    The squirrels and raccoons have unionized

    I shouldn’t have a problem with the Squirrel Union, since we have had a bumper crop of acorns, I scraped several bushel up and placed them in a spot the squirrels can get them come winter.

    As for the Raccoon Union, there have been no sightings of Raccoons in the area, Turkeys, Fox, Bears, Deer, Woodchucks, Possums, yes, but no Raccoons.

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  7. Gerry D:

    Translation for those that are “translate.google.com” impaired…

    I am. 😉 I never think of this thing. Sorry, did not think either of translating the text, for the question was asked to Mr Walker who does know French, for he’s been able to read *Le camp des saints* by Jean Raspail :

    https://www.fourmilab.ch/fourmilog/archives/2008-06/001018.html

    (Note gougueul’s translation would still need some work, it seems.)

    Sorry for intercepting your post in order to know at last about Fermi. 😉

    Back to your main topic : “no Raccoons”. What about were-raccoons ? 😉

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  8. Blumroch:

    Gerry D:

    Translation for those that are “translate.google.com” impaired…

    I am. 😉 I never think of this thing. Sorry, did not think either of translating the text, for the question was asked to Mr Walker who does know French, for he’s been able to read *Le camp des saints* by Jean Raspail :

    https://www.fourmilab.ch/fourmilog/archives/2008-06/001018.html

    (Note gougueul’s translation would still need some work, it seems.)

    Sorry for intercepting your post in order to know at last about Fermi. 😉

    Back to your main topic : “no Raccoons”. What about were-raccoons ? 😉

    That’s quite alright, just jump in when something in a post rings a bell, no apologies necessary!

    C’est très bien, il suffit de sauter quand quelque chose dans un poste sonne une cloche, aucune excuse nécessaire!

    You may have something there, the “were-racoons”, would they be caught on camera?

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  9. Gerry D:
    I shouldn’t have a problem with the Squirrel Union, since we have had a bumper crop of acorns, I scraped several bushel up and placed them in a spot the squirrels can get them come winter.

    I’m a bit grumpy with our squirrels as they seem to have all concluded that there’s no better place for their stash than our potted plants!

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  10. Gerry D:

    That’s quite alright, just jump in when something in a post rings a bell, no apologies necessary!

    C’est très bien, il suffit de sauter quand quelque chose dans un poste sonne une cloche, aucune excuse nécessaire!

    You may have something there, the “were-racoons”, would they be caught on camera?

    Thanks. 😉

    Were-raccoons are not vampires, so they should appear on camera. 😉

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