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Old 07-17-2016, 01:58 AM   #1
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Meeting a Bear of any kind on a trail!

first off do not ever carry a whistle on Bear Country reason is you will go along and blow it now and again thinking your letting him know your here to but the Bear is not as stupid as you think he is. Bears love to dig Marmots out of the hillside for a meal and they whistle to let others know there is trouble in the making so the bear will think your a Marmot and come running to you thinking your his supper Marmot, take Bear spray it works so much better.
One thing to remember is to not run away back away carefully or stand still as they do not see all that well but they do smell better than most other animals including your pet dog. Do not make fake charges towards it or you a dead hiker.
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:14 AM   #2
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Good point, how about a lower tone whistle?
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:38 AM   #3
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nope take a can with rocks in it and rattle it

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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Good point, how about a lower tone whistle?
or a bell if you don't have bear spray.
I spent time in the north and I learned most of what I know for Native guides, when I was there as a Very Green person who knew not a thing and it paid off in big dividends to listen to these guys but they got a lot of laughs off this newbie.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:04 AM   #4
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Have only camped in bear country a few times and never saw any....that was fine with me. Coyotes cruise through my property everyday but they're a piece of cake, I should probably name them .
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:26 AM   #5
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We once stopped for a walk along the river near the Delaware Water Gap (not camping; just for a traveling break), and saw a mamma black bear and two cubs foraging in the remnants of a cornfield. They were maybe 50 yards away. We hunkered down low and detoured quietly around the field as far as we could get from them. If they noticed us, they paid no attention. The cornfield was more interesting.

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Old 07-17-2016, 06:23 AM   #6
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My Bear Encounters

My Personal Bear Encounters, all while backpacking:

1) Smoky's, first backpacking trip, Mama Bear and 2 cubs across a river from us. Later that trip, after a heavy rain storm in the evening, found fresh bear tracks all around our campsite, within about 5 feet of our tent.

2) Georgia, two bear high-tailed it away as I hiked along the Appalachian Trail. Were probably 20 yards from me at start of their run.

3) Western PA, Allegheny National Forest, Working for an wilderness program for juvenile delinquents. Sitting around a campfire, next to a trailer in a developed campground. A bear came up to the trailer to investigate and steal a trash bag that was hanging on the trailer. Was within 10 feet of me when it stole the bag.

4) Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico. A bear came into one of the large camp sites that had several different groups camping around a large meadow (Santa Clause Camp, perhaps?). The bear visited one of the groups across the meadow from us several times, finally stealing their dinner that was cooking in a dutch oven over the campfire.

5) Again on the Appalachian Trail, this time in North Carolina. Hiking along, had to answer a nature call. While taking care of business, I heard a huffing/snorting sound. I looked over my shoulder and about 75 feet away was a mama bear with two cubs behind her. She was beating the ground with her front paws while doing the snorting and watching me. Definitely an aggressive/intimidation tactic - it worked. Luckily, the cubs took off out of sight, and mama calmed down and followed her cubs. Just about 15 minutes later, I encountered another bear, this one sitting up in an oak tree, directly over the trail. He/she was very involved with picking and eating acorns - paid me no mind at all as I safely walked directly under him/her.

6) Again in the Smoky's, meadow next to Spence field shelter. I was eating my lunch in the meadow when a bear came out of the woods and started eating berries on the edge of the meadow. Paid me no mind at all, even as I packed up and hiked on. Was probably 100 yards away. Note: earlier this year a man was attacked in his tent during the night in this very same meadow. He was bitten on the leg and required medical treatment - so there is some danger, and respect is needed. (see link below) Attacks, however, are quite rare, especially if you follow most standard bear precautions.

7) California, hiking the John Muir Trail. Camped just below Bishop Pass, a bear browsed the vegetation across the small stream from our campsite. Never came closer than about 200 yards.

These were in chronological order, as best I can remember, and spanned 35 years of quite extensive backpacking.

I've never felt particularly threatened by any of the occurrences (other than the mama while doing my nature call), but even she ended up being polite and just going about her business. Admitted, these were all Black Bear, never had the privilege to meet a Grizzly yet.

The only other time I felt threatened by wildlife was at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. A friend and I got treed by a bull Moose during the rutting season. He followed us off the trail when we attempted to get out of his way. We dropped our packs at the base and shimmied up a leaning tree. He circled that tree for about 45 minutes, snorting, sniffing and pawing the ground. He finally gave up when he couldn't find us and wandered away.

Here is a first hand account of the hiker attacked earlier this year in the Smoky's. Very exciting, but frightening read:
https://peachpeak.wordpress.com/2016...rst-blog-post/
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
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Seen a lot of bears up at the cabin i used to have, some less then 20`. One time siting on my front deck a bear came across the front of my property to where my picnic bench was. There was a coffee cup maybe half full, came up to it put its front paws on seat and nose into cup, drank with out even wobbling the cup, got down, turned . as if to say, "thanks" and moved on as slow as you can go. Carl
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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We sat outside on our porch, quietly, enjoying the BBQ dinner we had just finished, when we heard 'snuffling' on the 5 stairs leading up to the porch about 4 metres to our side. It was a 300 lb. black bear who apparently also enjoyed the smell of our dinner. But, as soon as he lifted his head and saw us, he quickly left. 'Took extra time doing our personal laundry that evening'.
Of course, everyone knows the difference between black bear scat and that of a grizzly - the grizzly scat usually includes bear-bells ! - - - - - wishing everyone - 'cautious camping'.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:30 AM   #9
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I live in the Sierra's and have bear(s). Had to clean up my garbage can yesterday. Have seen them on my patio and at the moment there is scat on the patio about 5 feet from the glass door. All the bears I have seen have been black bears. Some have been good sized. Caught one once about a month or so ago on the patio, tried to get a picture but as soon as he heard the door, he was gone in a flash. I do have "trail camera" pictures. If it wasn't for my garbage can, I wouldn't care at all. I have motion triggered flood lights so I can see the animals and in 10 years have seen the bear in person 3 or 4 times. I believe the only bears indigenous are black bear. Brown bears are supposed not to be native to California. All of my sightings have been at night and since I don't roam at night, they don't seem to be a threat. I have heard that compressed air horns work good for bears and you can always use them at football games too.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:11 AM   #10
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Bear bells work to a point, but a curious bear may still come to investigate. Bear spray does nothing to alert a bear to your presence. It is only used to stop a conflict that is already happening (seems obvious, but I could tell you "bear repellant" stories!). The best bear repellant is the human voice. When you are hiking, talk! If hiking alone, an occasional "Hey, Bear!" yell works wonders... and it keeps the moose away, too! Also, be very aware of smells on the trail, especially in grizzly country. If you smell something dead, go back the way you came and give the area a pass. Our worst attacks up here seem to happen when a bear is protecting a kill.

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Old 07-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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Bear Kills Woman and Her Son in Alaska - NYTimes.com
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:47 AM   #12
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Bears, that guy got of lucky, does not work that way with a Griz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
My Personal Bear Encounters, all while backpacking:

1) Smoky's, first backpacking trip, Mama Bear and 2 cubs across a river from us. Later that trip, after a heavy rain storm in the evening, found fresh bear tracks all around our campsite, within about 5 feet of our tent.

2) Georgia, two bear high-tailed it away as I hiked along the Appalachian Trail. Were probably 20 yards from me at start of their run.

3) Western PA, Allegheny National Forest, Working for an wilderness program for juvenile delinquents. Sitting around a campfire, next to a trailer in a developed campground. A bear came up to the trailer to investigate and steal a trash bag that was hanging on the trailer. Was within 10 feet of me when it stole the bag.

4) Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico. A bear came into one of the large camp sites that had several different groups camping around a large meadow (Santa Clause Camp, perhaps?). The bear visited one of the groups across the meadow from us several times, finally stealing their dinner that was cooking in a dutch oven over the campfire.

5) Again on the Appalachian Trail, this time in North Carolina. Hiking along, had to answer a nature call. While taking care of business, I heard a huffing/snorting sound. I looked over my shoulder and about 75 feet away was a mama bear with two cubs behind her. She was beating the ground with her front paws while doing the snorting and watching me. Definitely an aggressive/intimidation tactic - it worked. Luckily, the cubs took off out of sight, and mama calmed down and followed her cubs. Just about 15 minutes later, I encountered another bear, this one sitting up in an oak tree, directly over the trail. He/she was very involved with picking and eating acorns - paid me no mind at all as I safely walked directly under him/her.

6) Again in the Smoky's, meadow next to Spence field shelter. I was eating my lunch in the meadow when a bear came out of the woods and started eating berries on the edge of the meadow. Paid me no mind at all, even as I packed up and hiked on. Was probably 100 yards away. Note: earlier this year a man was attacked in his tent during the night in this very same meadow. He was bitten on the leg and required medical treatment - so there is some danger, and respect is needed. (see link below) Attacks, however, are quite rare, especially if you follow most standard bear precautions.

7) California, hiking the John Muir Trail. Camped just below Bishop Pass, a bear browsed the vegetation across the small stream from our campsite. Never came closer than about 200 yards.

These were in chronological order, as best I can remember, and spanned 35 years of quite extensive backpacking.

I've never felt particularly threatened by any of the occurrences (other than the mama while doing my nature call), but even she ended up being polite and just going about her business. Admitted, these were all Black Bear, never had the privilege to meet a Grizzly yet.

The only other time I felt threatened by wildlife was at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. A friend and I got treed by a bull Moose during the rutting season. He followed us off the trail when we attempted to get out of his way. We dropped our packs at the base and shimmied up a leaning tree. He circled that tree for about 45 minutes, snorting, sniffing and pawing the ground. He finally gave up when he couldn't find us and wandered away.

Here is a first hand account of the hiker attacked earlier this year in the Smoky's. Very exciting, but frightening read:
https://peachpeak.wordpress.com/2016...rst-blog-post/
:2 friends were out in the Kootenay area of BC and got nailed by a Grizzly and they had bells, air horns, guns, all of it and still got nailed pretty bad one of them is about 80% from his attack and he cannot do heavy mechanical work again, and his cousin was lucky he only got chewed on in a few places but is back to work. They were not hunting bears they were out looking for a Moose.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #13
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So......early that morning, around 1:30 am, in the middle of the night…or I should say, morning, I awoke….
Hmmp…Well, that was strange and so unusual for me, as one who normally sleeps like a rock…
But then in the quiet of the night I heard what had shaken me from my sleep. A distinctive snort, it was an animal snort… And it sounded like it was just on the other side of my tent wall!!!!
There it was again!!! A bear!!!
Oh my, oh my...What to do?...What to do…..?
Perhaps if I just lie here quietly he'll move on, maybe go over to the picnic table where my cooking stuff might intrigue him.
Holding my breath, I wait...
Damn it...there's another grunt and for sure it sounds like he's sitting right there behind my tent.
And again!!!...
Good gosh, mother of god, it now sounds like a snore or two between his grunts...Has he decided to lie down and nap, right here next to my tent!!!
Quietly, I decide I to do something, and the time seemed right, while he was snoozing.
So, holding my breath, I sat up and sorted out where my stuff was... my car keys… my phone....the flashlight.
Okay, I said to myself, this will give me the chance to sneak out of the tent and get to the safety of my car.
I put my shoes on, cupped the keys, the phone. My eyes were now wide open from fright, so forget the flashlight, I wouldn’t need that.... And thankfully my car was less than 10 feet away…I can do this.
Damn these tent zippers are loud!...Maybe if I hold it from both sides it will soften the sound...Yep, that works.
Okay, one, two, three....Run!!!! Yes…Yes…Yes...!
I made it...
But damn, damn, damn… these car bells and lights are much too loud! I'm sure all this crazy binging noise has awoken the sleeping giant. And really, the last thing I need is to be blinded by lights and sitting here illuminated for the bear to see exactly where I am. I can't see crap!!!
Okay, just calm down and lock the doors Louise...Done.
So now...... between the chill of the night and the fright of the bear, I have to pee... Okay, that’s a good thing…. I’ll drive on down to the bathroom and use the car lights to scan the campsite for the critter and hopefully will scare the bejesus out of him……And he’ll leave. YEAH!
I have to say, I did have a moment of guilt about the car lights and the ding dong noises waking up my neighboring campers…Just today a new one had set up camp, he had a truck with one of those camper tops on it. And he was in the site above me.
So I quickly justified making all the noise and flashing lights on with the fact that I was getting rid of a menace, right? Nobody needs a bear roaming around the campgrounds in the middle of the night…
Well, after sweeping my campsite with the car lights, I still couldn't see Ole Smokey, but I figured with all the commotion about, he'd be gone by the time I returned.
I took my time when I got down to the bathroom….Certainly no need to hurry. Let the bear scout around and move on…
When I got back to my site, I once again took another good look around, scanning the site, back and forth, with the lights. Nope, he’s gone...No Mr. Grissly…Hooray.
But, just to be sure I slowly opened the car window, to have a listen. Yeah!!! Not a sound, just crickets....Yeah!!! He's gone!
So letting out a deep sigh I quietly slipped back into my tent, sorted out what goes where and snuggled myself back in under the covers...
I had about 2 minutes of stillness and then....Damn. Damn. Damn!!!.....There's that snort again!!!
Now I know there ain't no bear out there...But wait. Could that sound be coming from the campsite across the road? My, oh my…..perhaps…That truck top camper was a soft sided pop-up type... But could a human grunt and snore that loud?
End of story......*
I awoke in the morning with the daylight and sure enough, the grunts and snorts were still going strong....and coming from the new camper across the way...
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:00 PM   #14
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We used to do extended wilderness trips and still spend a lot of time in black bear country. I have encountered several over the years and never felt threatened. After a couple of predatory attacks and fatalities in the areas we travel we began to carry pepper spray but have never used it. I also have a couple of marine air horns but again have never needed them. Around the campsite we try to carry key fobs to blow the TV horn.

The last closeup bear encounter was with a huge male who showed up at dusk at our remote campsite. As luck would have it he was between us and the trailer where the bear spray, noise makers and fobs were located. But I spoke to him, shone the flashlight on myself and he immediately galloped away at full speed. We stayed for several more days but he never came back.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
... Had to clean up my garbage can yesterday. ...
I haven't had a problem since I began sprinkling ammonia in the garbage and recycling cans.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:17 PM   #16
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Big bear !

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Originally Posted by rwilhelm View Post
I live in the Sierra's and have bear(s). Had to clean up my garbage can yesterday. Have seen them on my patio and at the moment there is scat on the patio about 5 feet from the glass door. All the bears I have seen have been black bears. Some have been good sized. Caught one once about a month or so ago on the patio, tried to get a picture but as soon as he heard the door, he was gone in a flash. I do have "trail camera" pictures. If it wasn't for my garbage can, I wouldn't care at all. I have motion triggered flood lights so I can see the animals and in 10 years have seen the bear in person 3 or 4 times. I believe the only bears indigenous are black bear. Brown bears are supposed not to be native to California. All of my sightings have been at night and since I don't roam at night, they don't seem to be a threat. I have heard that compressed air horns work good for bears and you can always use them at football games too.
==================================================
I've never put up a foto before, but I'll give it a try. This is from a bear encounter at The Dardanelle Resort on Sonora Pass over the 4th of July. This was a BIG bear, but well mannered and well dressed. Let's hope all encounters come out as well !
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:01 PM   #17
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlesticksfl View Post
So......early that morning, around 1:30 am, in the middle of the night…or I should say, morning, I awoke….
Hmmp…Well, that was strange and so unusual for me, as one who normally sleeps like a rock…
But then in the quiet of the night I heard what had shaken me from my sleep. A distinctive snort, it was an animal snort… And it sounded like it was just on the other side of my tent wall!!!!
There it was again!!! A bear!!!
Oh my, oh my...What to do?...What to do…..?
Perhaps if I just lie here quietly he'll move on, maybe go over to the picnic table where my cooking stuff might intrigue him.
Holding my breath, I wait...
Damn it...there's another grunt and for sure it sounds like he's sitting right there behind my tent.
And again!!!...
Good gosh, mother of god, it now sounds like a snore or two between his grunts...Has he decided to lie down and nap, right here next to my tent!!!
Quietly, I decide I to do something, and the time seemed right, while he was snoozing.
So, holding my breath, I sat up and sorted out where my stuff was... my car keys… my phone....the flashlight...

...Damn. Damn!!!.....There's that snort again!!!
Now I know there ain't no bear out there...But wait. Could that sound be coming from the campsite across the road? My, oh my…..perhaps…That truck top camper was a soft sided pop-up type... But could a human grunt and snore that loud?
End of story......*
I awoke in the morning with the daylight and sure enough, the grunts and snorts were still going strong....and coming from the new camper across the way...


You're not alone.

We were at Grand Coulee Dam, camping in a van, and I walked to the restroom in the middle of the night. I was nearly inside when I heard what I could only identify as a coyote, snarling, close by.

I hurried into the restroom, helped push the heavy self-closing (but slow) door shut, and took care of things; then I checked outside.

I could still hear it.

I lurked and checked, lurked and checked for over an hour while the huge mosquito eaters fluttered all around me, drawn by the restroom lights. I got more and more tired and even bored, colder and more miserable until I finally decided it was the coyote or me.

I decided I'd make a break for it and if it came to combat, I'd fight and scream my loudest.

I slipped out of the restroom and for the first time was able to pinpoint the sound--coming from a nearby tent. Yup. Same deal.

A human, snoring, mistaken for wildlife. Boy.

Would I make the same mistake again?

Probably.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:00 PM   #19
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When I was 12, my family drove to Yellowstone.

Inside the park was a large parking lot area and there was a bear lumbering around it. My parents made a number of comments about the bear, and my sister and I pointed it out to our little dog. "Look at the bear! That's a bear!"

My mother opened up a pack of cookies and my father rolled down his window and hooted at the bear, which came right over, taking the first of the cookies with its big tongue.

Between them, they fed the whole pack of sugar cookies through the car window to the bear--

--and then they ran out of cookies.

My dad tried rolling up the window, but the bear hooked its YUUUUUGE claws over the edge and began to shake the car.

Meanwhile, our 14-pound terrier was going berserk, clawing my legs to bits. Sure enough, he was a "bear dog," as described in Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. You just never know.

My mother was shrieking at this point, the dog was raving, and the car was rocking from side to side.

Lucky for us, some other stupid tourist offered food from across the parking lot, and the bear turned its attention to them.

Later, my mother used the episode as a chance to impart some moral wisdom, but my sister and I had already gotten the point.

For the rest of his 22 years, our dog would leap up savagely at the word, "Bear!" even from a sound sleep. It never lost it's charm for me to taunt him, though I'm sure he resented it greatly.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:30 PM   #20
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We get black bears frequently in our neighbourhood and on our local hiking trails.
We do use bear bells attached to packs or belts and often put on on the dogs collars for safe measure. We and the children in the area are taught as you suggest to make lots of noise. Most black bears will run from any sound.

If they come into the yard we are told not to stop and take pictures but instead get them to leave ASP by yelling at them and bang pots or use a air horn. Its actually rare for one not to take off right away.

As suggested about the only time they will not take off is if they are chowing down on something - just leave it and let it finish it up - even if it is in your yard or campsite.

The ones that do not run have more often than not have become to accustomed to being around humans and they are the dangerous ones. Or as they are called here " A problem bear".

In our community bears are not normally shot for coming into busy neighbourhoods - even if they decide to take a swim in your hot tub or pool or a walk through the local Safeway. instead the wildlife officers if called (usually not) will come and look around to see what you have out in your yard that is attracting them - things such a bird feeder, dirty BQ, garbage cans outside and fruit from a fruit tree left laying on the ground will get you a large fine for attracting wild life.... the bear gets off free & left alone to return another day.

If a bear is frequently visiting your yard and staring to show signs it is become to accustom to humans it will be trapped and tagged and take a far distance away. If it returns to the area once its been tagged it will probable be its last visit. :-(

Grizzly bears are a whole different matter and all bets are off with them!
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