Firefighters and…About those BEARS

There is a connection Woodstock Early Birds between firefighting and bears. That connection would be South Woodstock’s Chip Kendall. This is a call to arms, but not in the way you might think.

We caught up with Chip today at the Kedron Valley Stables to get clarification on a really old (by two months) story concerning bears.

But, more importantly, we found out that South Woodstock’s Volunteer Firefighters really could use some help.  They need YOU!

We’re pretty sure they’ll provide training and lest you think that everyone needs to run into a burning building every single time, that’s just not the way it goes. Training is provided that requires a bit of that (you do need to eventually know how the equipment works and have the experience of going in)  but there is a need for all kinds of people with different skills and strengths on a fire ground.

Mostly, the department just needs a good number of bodies. Truth is traditional South Woodstock volunteers that you know and have come to depend on have put in a lot of time over the years and frankly they may be getting burned-out (couldn’t help that one).There’s  literally a need for new blood.

We always like to point out (having trained with Woodstock Emergency Services and Juneau’s Capital City Fire and Rescue) — especially for the younger crowd — that this is on-the-job training that gives you some pretty important bankable  life skills that should serve you well down the line. Not to mention the social aspect of the whole deal. While on one level fires suck, on another,  knowing you’re making a difference putting them out is a total feel-good experience. And this is not just for guys anymore. If you’re a can-do person, male or female, give Chip Kendall (802-457-5111) a call  or any South Woodstock volunteer firefighter and they’ll give you all the info you need!

Now, to that rumor that a BEAR attacked and killed a horse. Not quite, according to Kendall. Yes, about two months ago, a bear was in the area of South Woodstock and the Kedron Stables and was heard making quite a racket one night.

“A lot of hooting and commotion,” reports Kendall. Well, several horses were turned out in a nearby pasture and one horse got very spooked. The horse went a little nuts and went through some fencing, hurt itself badly and, unfortunately, had to be put down.

So,  yes, a bear was ultimately to blame but it did not specifically kill that horse. However, another horse did appear to have some marking, evidence of an encounter with another animal. Kendall says he did not witness any of these bear-related events, except the hooting, which went on for another night or so and then the bear was gone.

However, we have also heard about violence done to two calves at around the same time — possibly by a bear seen in the area.

We also  hear of a bear (same one)  that’s been prowling around Peterkin Hill and down along the Ottauquechee River having been sighted by several West Woodstock residents.

We got in touch with Vermont State Police to get more information but they had nothing to offer and referred us to the Game Warden.  We haven’t heard back on that report but will get you more details.

(If YOU have experience (or safely shot photos!) with this or any other bear, drop us a line at: earlybirdtips@yahoo.com

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