L. David Mech "Dave"

Photo Gallery: Bear research in the Old Days.

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The Adirondack Mountains, New York State, where the black bear study took place. Wildlife technician sets steel foot trap for bears. Steel foot trap is buried under the box formed by guide sticks. Wildlife technician attempts to catch bear around neck with chain-link “choker” Wildlife technician attempts to catch bear around neck with chain-link “choker”
While one technician controls bear’s head via pipe choker, nooses are tied around each ankle and cinched to nearby trees, so bear is spread-eagled. While one technician controls bear’s head via pipe choker, nooses are tied around each ankle and cinched to nearby trees, so bear is spread-eagled. Wildlife technician Dave Austen injects bear intraperitoneally with sodium pentobarbital. Care is taken to inject into the coelom rather than the intestines. Near garbage dumps and logging camps, a culvert trap is used to catch bears. Fred Knowlton and Howard Erickson install warning signs.
Knowlton and Erickson spray ether into live-trap to anesthetize bear, while Dave Mech takes notes. Dave Mech (left) and Howard Erickson examine drugged bear. Project sponsors William H. Severinghaus (behind) and E. L. Cheatum, NYS Conservation Department observe bear processing. A technician ear-tags a bear. Tags were usually the only method of identifying the individual if caught or recovered again by hunting, road-kill, etc.
Technicians took standard biological measurements. Canine length was also measured. Fred Knowlton (left) and Kermit Rinnell weigh bear. An extra large bear (around 600 lbs.) had to be weighed by hoisting between 2 scales.  Left to right:  Dave Austen, Fred Knowlton When cubs were present, they were captured by hand.
For histological studies, a single testicle was removed from some bears. After slitting the scrotum, the technician pushed the testicle out, tied off the spermatic cord and removed the testicle.  Male observers winced. Fred Knowlton poses with a record sized bear (around 600 lb.) While Cornell professors Verne Rockcastle (left foreground) and Richard Fischer visited the project, Dave Mech (center) and Dave Austen partied with a drugged bear. To facilitate observing translocated bears, project personnel sometimes painted them.
Fred Knowlton (left), Howard Eurekum, and project leader Hugh Black painted another bear. No problem identifying this bear.