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Old 07-28-2011, 11:36 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Which reminds me the bear attack in Alaska was brought about by the young folks not knowing how to act when they saw the bear.
Yes, folks have been living in urban environments for so long that many aren't educated about animals the way earlier generations were.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:43 AM   #30
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Yes, folks have been living in urban environments for so long that many aren't educated about animals the way earlier generations were.
That along with the media inciting paranoia.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
That along with the media inciting paranoia.
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Well put, Toni and Byron !

I carry a stick in cougar country, too- and the rule when we're hiking with children is that they're placed in the middle of our "pack" so that there's a fence of grownups between them and the unknown.
Interesting note on "big cat protection":
The British with the ever-present "bumbershoot" introduced this precaution in tiger country...
Upon such an encounter, the umbrella is pointed at the cat and opened and closed quickly, which apparently deceives the cat into thinking its "victim" is some kind of huge predatory bird or something. Off they go, supposedly.
The custom persists today, and I've often thought that the person that perfects a hiking staff with a lightweight umbrella incorporated would make a- well, a "killing" selling it to the more cautious outdoor enthusiasts among us.

Francesca
I have anecdotal evidence of the umbrella being a great idea-when I worked in Glacier Park many years ago, there was a busload of Japanese Tourists hiking a short distance to a waterfall on a paved path. As they rounded a turn, they startled a Grizzly Bear on the path right in front of them, which reared up on its hind legs and then started to charge them. One of the Japanese ladies in front opened up her umbrella, and the Grizzly came to a screeching halt and fell over itself in its haste to run away at top speed! When the tour bus dropped off the tour at our hotel that night, they were a little shaken up, but they WERE all in one piece! Back then some of the more obnoxious (and funny) people I worked with had T-Shirts that said "Grizzlys: 6, Tourists: 0"

When we go up to the park with all of the mountain lion sightings, I usually bring the dog. He is a Sheltie/Australian Shepard mix (so no viscious guard dog/probably just an appetizer for a mountain lion) but he would be able to smell and probably see a mountain lion before any of us and raise a fuss. I make the kids take him everywhere on the leash as they are exploring at the edge of the big lawn of the park. Other than that, I don't lose sleep over it. According to that article, there have been just 9 mountain lion attacks since 1986 (and only 3 or 4 before that)-when you think about the millions of people who live out here; a large number of which go camping/hiking/backpacking in the parks around here, that is a very miniscule number of confrontations.

Also, I just want to throw out there that while people probably don't "hunt" mountain lions around here, I know a number of ranchers and homeowners that carry around guns and would have no problem with shooting one if it was on their property. My 7 year old's best friend lives on a ranch, and a mountain lion attacked and killed 4 of their goats last Fall (which were in a pen)....her Dad carries a gun everywhere on the ranch and can't wait for the chance to settle the score!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #32
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I have anecdotal evidence of the umbrella being a great idea-when I worked in Glacier Park many years ago, there was a busload of Japanese Tourists hiking a short distance to a waterfall on a paved path. As they rounded a turn, they startled a Grizzly Bear on the path right in front of them, which reared up on its hind legs and then started to charge them. One of the Japanese ladies in front opened up her umbrella, and the Grizzly came to a screeching halt and fell over itself in its haste to run away at top speed! When the tour bus dropped off the tour at our hotel that night, they were a little shaken up, but they WERE all in one piece! Back then some of the more obnoxious (and funny) people I worked with had T-Shirts that said "Grizzlys: 6, Tourists: 0"

When we go up to the park with all of the mountain lion sightings, I usually bring the dog. He is a Sheltie/Australian Shepard mix (so no viscious guard dog/probably just an appetizer for a mountain lion) but he would be able to smell and probably see a mountain lion before any of us and raise a fuss. I make the kids take him everywhere on the leash as they are exploring at the edge of the big lawn of the park. Other than that, I don't lose sleep over it. According to that article, there have been just 9 mountain lion attacks since 1986 (and only 3 or 4 before that)-when you think about the millions of people who live out here; a large number of which go camping/hiking/backpacking in the parks around here, that is a very miniscule number of confrontations.

Also, I just want to throw out there that while people probably don't "hunt" mountain lions around here, I know a number of ranchers and homeowners that carry around guns and would have no problem with shooting one if it was on their property. My 7 year old's best friend lives on a ranch, and a mountain lion attacked and killed 4 of their goats last Fall (which were in a pen)....her Dad carries a gun everywhere on the ranch and can't wait for the chance to settle the score!

First off. Bear don't stand on their hind legs and charge. They stand on their hind legs to see better. The umbrella made the person look larger. Generally bear are afraid of people, so once it figured out what they were it left in a hurry.
Dogs are food for mountain lions and an irritant for bears. Many bear encounters are caused by dog harassing the bear, then running for protection behind it's master. The master is now caught between the bear and dog with the bear trying harm the dog.
Dogs in bear and mountain lion country are not a good idea.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:13 AM   #33
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First off. Bear don't stand on their hind legs and charge. They stand on their hind legs to see better. The umbrella made the person look larger. Generally bear are afraid of people, so once it figured out what they were it left in a hurry.
Dogs are food for mountain lions and an irritant for bears. Many bear encounters are caused by dog harassing the bear, then running for protection behind it's master. The master is now caught between the bear and dog with the bear trying harm the dog.
Dogs in bear and mountain lion country are not a good idea.
Grizzly Bears in Glacier Park are more aggressive than your average bears in the lower 48 (my brother lives in Alaska, and the bears there are far more aggressive than the ones in Glacier)...I think it is because they are hungry and grouchy-if you get between them and their cubs or them and their dead elk in the brush, they do not always back off. Also, I didn't mean to imply that the bear was running at the tourists on his hind legs-they said he was coming their way on all fours (but when he stood up to get a good look at them I'll bet a few of them nearly wet their pants, because it sounded like this was a full size Grizzly, and when they stand on their hind legs they are at least 7 feet tall. I am pretty sure that with its poor eyesight the umbrella threw it for a loop (strangely enough in all the hiking we did that summer no one bothered to bring an umbrella; or bear pepper spray; aaah, the reckless confidence of youth!)

Our dog is a wuss-I am pretty sure he would not harass any wild animals. Besides, we keep him on the leash so he doesn't wander off into the brush, attract the ire of some wild animal, and then lead it back to us as he is making his escape....
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #34
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That said, I do find this cartoon pretty amusing.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:22 AM   #35
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In ALaska's Denali we saw 18 Grizzles. One mother after protecting her cub from a male Grizzle stood up in the road in front of our Denaali School Bus, an unbelievably assume sight. They're huge on all fours, standing they are hugh

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Old 07-29-2011, 11:42 AM   #36
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Grizzly Bears in Glacier Park are more aggressive than your average bears in the lower 48 (my brother lives in Alaska, and the bears there are far more aggressive than the ones in Glacier)...I think it is because they are hungry and grouchy-if you get between them and their cubs or them and their dead elk in the brush, they do not always back off. Also, I didn't mean to imply that the bear was running at the tourists on his hind legs-they said he was coming their way on all fours (but when he stood up to get a good look at them I'll bet a few of them nearly wet their pants, because it sounded like this was a full size Grizzly, and when they stand on their hind legs they are at least 7 feet tall. I am pretty sure that with its poor eyesight the umbrella threw it for a loop (strangely enough in all the hiking we did that summer no one bothered to bring an umbrella; or bear pepper spray; aaah, the reckless confidence of youth!)

Our dog is a wuss-I am pretty sure he would not harass any wild animals. Besides, we keep him on the leash so he doesn't wander off into the brush, attract the ire of some wild animal, and then lead it back to us as he is making his escape....
A predator comes after your dog, what are going to do?
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:17 PM   #37
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I agree Toni
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:16 PM   #38
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I always carry around pepper spray and a loud "confetti" gun in the dog's "fanny" pack (with the cleanup bags). I am less worried about predators than I am about loose Pit Bulls when I am out walking the dog, as many of my friends have stories to tell about stray dogs sidling up, then grabbing your dog and shaking it... (but there are also plenty of instances of coyotes sweeping out of the Barranca and grabbing pets off the city sidewalks, so I am covered there as well if they don't manage to chew through the leash to make a clean escape before I grab it out and deploy....).
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
First off. Bear don't stand on their hind legs and charge. They stand on their hind legs to see better. The umbrella made the person look larger. Generally bear are afraid of people, so once it figured out what they were it left in a hurry.
Dogs are food for mountain lions and an irritant for bears. Many bear encounters are caused by dog harassing the bear, then running for protection behind it's master. The master is now caught between the bear and dog with the bear trying harm the dog.
Dogs in bear and mountain lion country are not a good idea.
Having grown up in an area with a large cougar population (Vancouver Island) and knowing very well what they are capable of and living now in an urban area where black bears in the back yard are a commonn sight I could not agree with you more Byron.

Hiking with a dog of any size in areas frequented by cougars raises some serious concerns or at least for me it does/did as I happened to love my dog & would hate for it to be hurt/killed. I know on occasions when hiking in cougar areas & the dog happened to be with me I would occasionally hear something in the woods and felt that perhaps we were being tracked - cougars will do that and rarely will they let you see them before they attach. I often would try and make my mind up as what best to do if it turned out to be a cougar. I know I would not have any chance of fighting it off if I kept the dog with me on leash -fighting back is your only option with a cougar (the reason I carry a small knife is *only* due to cougars) or should I let the dog off leash and sacrifice him - no question in my mind he would loose even even though he was a big dog. Making load sounds and having a dog bark will work in most instances of scaring off a black bear (providing your not between mom and cubs) but IMHO its not going to help you in the case of a cougar. Happy I have never had to find out the answer to what I would actually do in the case of having to face off with a cougar and having a dog with me but either way Im pretty sure it would not be a happy ending either way. Yes dogs are used to track down problem cougars but they are not used to scare the cougar off - the person doing the tracking is normally carrying a real *big* loaded gun for that. I am not a big fan of guns of any kind but I fully respect why they are needed in the case of dealing with problem cougars.

I currently live in an urban area where black bears are common - one spent last night rolling garbage cans down the alley - which the owner of the cans can be fined for having put them out before pick up day. We are all taught to banging pots and pans etc to make the black bears feel unwelcome in our yards and that normally works well. Letting your dog out to chase them or bark at them is a really *bad* idea though. A women a few weeks back did that and the dog got between a cub and momma bear, Momma bear got upset and chased the dog back to the house - the owner of the dog managed to open the door to let the dog in and slam it shut just before the bear got to the door. Once at the closed door the bear stood on her hind legs with her paws on the glass window on the door and trying to see the dog in the house - lucky for the women that it did not manage to push the glass out of the door. Just what you need a mad momma bear hunting down your dog in the house - cant imagine the mess that would make! :-) Happy to say the bear lives to the tell the story just as the grizzly that killed the fellow in Yellowstone a few weeks back lives on. Conservation officers in most areas these days will not shoot wild animals that are only doing what comes natural when they were being harassed by silly humans and/or their dogs.
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