rob gensorek

A once in a lifetime opportunity arose and I took it, jumping into a cage with a grizzly!

Howdy everyone! I hope you have been enjoying the winter weather and have made at least one snowball or snowman. Of course, if you make a snowball it’s mandatory that you throw it at someone, it’s just the rules. My little ones and I slid down the driveway on a plastic saucer, ate snow with maple syrup, threw snowballs, and got soaking wet and freezing cold the other morning and this was all before breakfast; rain or shine there’s always fun to be had on Oregon’s southern coast.

The rain and snow seem to be helping a little with the steelhead fishing here locally but it’s still a relatively slow year. If you get out and put in the effort you will be rewarded but you’re really going to have to work for it! Lingcod, rockfish, and crabbing remain good in the ocean but of course our days to get out are few and far between with the winter weather. In the bay rockfish and crab are to be had but it’s been noticeably slower lately with the exception of striped perch. Striped perch are the oval shaped critters that look like they belong in an aquarium with their beautiful neon blue, orange, green and yellow hues. Their mouths are super soft and small so a number six hook with a small piece of bait seems to work the best for me. We should be seeing more and more of them relatively soon.

This past week I didn’t get out fishing, or hiking, or exploring or whatever it is I usually do. This week I got to be the MC of the Eugene Sportsmen’s Show and man-o-man did I ever have fun. I did the same thing last year but this year I had a better handle on what I was doing, or at least faked it better.

It was great to re-acquaint with folks from last year and make new friends and acquaintances this year. One of the biggest thrills of this year was playing with a grizzly bear! Yep, I got to pet, feed, hug, and be hugged by an honest to goodness grizzly bear! There were two grizzlies in the shows this year and the smaller one was the one I got to interact with. By smaller I mean only three or four times larger than the largest dog I have ever seen. I was surprised by how soft and cuddly this critter was. At one point it stood up and put its paws on my chest, its right paw was on the left side of my head and I felt like we were supposed to dance or something. When dancing with a grizzly bear by the way, the bear ALWAYS leads.

Now, before some of you get up in arms and write me to complain that we shouldn’t be using animals like this I want you to know I’m not going to read any such letters. These animals are rescued critters that have a wonderful life, are treated better than I am, are healthy, happy, and truly content. I think it’s wonderful that we can have opportunities to interact with creatures that we normally would only see on television or read about. It gives us a chance to see how real, how beautiful, and how amazing they really are. I remember when I was about ten years old, I had the opportunity to hug and pet a cheetah and to have it lick my face. I vividly remember it purring just like a house cat and how raspy its tongue was. This interaction gave me a respect and appreciation for wild animals that I otherwise would not have given any thought to. I think these shows are educational and important and of course fun.

Grizzlies are a type of brown bear that can be found around the world including Asia and Europe but, the ones we know and love, range from Montana to the upper reaches of Alaska and its estimated that we have over fifty thousand of ‘em. These giant bears eat berries, grasses, other critters large and small, and even prey from other predators; when you range from four hundred to eight hundred pounds, you’re going to eat a lot.

Female grizzlies live to about twenty-six years of age and the males to about twenty or twenty-one so odds are that most of these bears you meet in a bar will be a female unless they are males using fake ID.

Here’s some interesting facts about grizzlies: The last California grizzly bear was killed in 1922; Coastal bears grow larger than inland bears; They hibernate for five to seven months a year (sign me up!); Females will have one to four cubs every other year; and they are notoriously bad drivers.

It turns out grizzly bears got their name from a couple gentlemen many of us are at least somewhat with. Lewis and Clark first described these large brown bears as “grisly” and the rest is history.

We will be in Roseburg Feb. 15-17 and Medford Feb. 22-24, so c’mon down and say hi. I hope to see you out there!

Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.net in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at (541) 888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or e-mail at basin_tackle@yahoo.com. Rob’s fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this, he sometimes dances with bears.

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