Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Review: 4 Seconds to Impact (The Skyrocketing Attacks by Predators on Humans)

By Bruce Buckshot Hemming, 2017, 320 pages, paperback.

Over the last three decades, attacks by large predators against humans have been skyrocketing in North America. It is not just a matter of reporting. Attacks by bears, mountain lions, wolves, and coyotes, have become expected, where they used to be rare or denied altogether.

Full disclosure: Hemming cites some of my work in the book.

Bruce Hemming does an excellent job in summing up the increases in large predator attacks. He offers a commonsense explanation as to why they are happening, why they are under reported, and how they can be minimized.

I received a review copy of the book shortly after I returned from Australia.
I started to read, and could not put it down until I had hastily read through the analysis. It took me four hours.

I was fascinated to learn that one of the major reason there were no "documented" wolf attacks before 1943, is that an early pro-wolf researcher defined a wolf attack as valid, only if the wolf were tested and found to be free of rabies. There is a serious problem with that approach. Testing for rabies only became available in 1943. The definition used in the "research" simply defined any previous wolf attacks out of existence, because they could not have been tested for rabies!

The book supports Hemming's analysis with comprehensive lists of large predator attacks.  Be warned: some of the pictures are gruesome. 4 Seconds to Impact has much more detail on these attacks than is commonly reported. The author went to considerable effort to collect data and interview people who were attacked.

An interesting part of the book is Hemming's analysis of how many attacks are not reported. He gives details of how many missing hikers and hunters could be victims of animal attacks. He explains that many people understand reporting an attack is an invitation to official and unofficial harassment and persecution, especially if the attacking animal was killed.

The book fearlessly avoids political correctness. Hemming offers clear and obvious reasons how and why hunting of large predators can minimize large predator attacks without endangering sustainable predator populations.

Hemming offers data on the effectiveness of both firearms and pepper spray in stopping attacks. He advocates for the use of both systems.

For anyone who is interested in large predator attacks, or for anyone who is considering how to protect themselves from predators, I highly recommend 4 Seconds to Impact.

The book is available at Amazon. $6.99 for Kindle, $18.99 paperback.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. 

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