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#172569 - 12/03/12 01:45 PM Bear Precautions
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
So Texas has black bears coming up out of Mexico due to drought. I've been meaning to learn a bit about the precautions one must take to minimize the chances of having a bear decide to come up into your camp, especially when children are present.

Are the bear canisters for food just hard for them to get into or does it hide the smell of food as well? Is it still necessary to hoist it into a tree?

Do people put there other things such as tooth paste, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. in it with their food as well?

I'd be buying from REI as we recently bought a membership with them, but I don't see any sort of way to easily attach a rope (paracord) to the canister itself. A separate bag for it?

We have a nearly 4 yr old daughter who loves to camp with us. Any advice or things to be cautious about concerning her? I'm sure she'd greatly enjoy wearing bear bells! We'll eventually buy some bear spray.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172570 - 12/03/12 02:16 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Bear canisters are hard to get into; don't assume they mask the food odors. Don't put them in trees; if the canister drops it can crack open. Put it in a low spot where it can't easily be rolled away. Do put tooth paste at least into the canister; really anything with a scent.

That said, in your case I wouldn't buy a canister unless I was outdoors a lot and didn't care about the added weight. If you're car camping, just keep the food in the car at night.
If you're backpacking much, consider an ursack (google it) combined with an odor proof liner.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#172572 - 12/03/12 04:15 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: BrianLe]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
We don't usually car camp. And we want to get to a point where we can take off for a month and travel either the CDT or AT.

If the canister isn't a good odor shield why wouldn't you want to keep it out of reach of bears? If it could break from dropping it seems it would break if a bear wanted in it. I couldn't likely handle having my food taken or destroyed if on a deep down the path adventure, especially if in the Rockies.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172574 - 12/03/12 05:05 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Yeah, I'm going to have to figure this out too. We have a lot of camping in and around the Daniel Boone National Forest. Bears were hunted to extinction in the late 1800's to early 1900's, but for the last 30 years or so have been making a big comeback. Coming up from the Smokey Mountains in Tenn, and west from W. Virginia.

New PDF rules state using a Bear Cannister as mandatory. But I'm not sure if they actually mean a cannister (which I beleive they do, because they give vertical and horizontal measurements, for hanging). Since I'll be hiking, keepeing food in the truck won't work.

I'm going to have to call the Rangers and get an exact clarification, because they tend not to have any mercy, if you break a rule, accidently (for lack of knowledge) or not.

Maybe you could call your parks and forest departments and get it directly from their mouths?

J.



Edited by jbylake (12/03/12 06:05 PM)

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#172575 - 12/03/12 06:07 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1813
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
The purpose of a bear canister is not to protect your food from the bear, it is to protect the bear from your food. Most land management agencies don't really care that much whether you go hungry after a bear gets your food. What they care about is keeping bears from getting dependent on your food and thus becoming a nuisance. In other words, the regulations are in place to protect bears, not you. They have to shoot problem bears because they can't (currently) shoot problem campers. Viewed in this light, everything makes a sort of sense.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#172576 - 12/03/12 06:09 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Having bears around doesn't necessarily mean they will be a problem. Our Ozark Black Bears are incredibly good at staying away from people. I've been here for close to 17 years or more and I have still have not heard of a single incident of a black bear harassing a backpacker.

In the 15 years I lived out west I never had a problem with them when I did most of my camping/hiking in Sequoia NF and NP in California, but it was (and still is) pretty common up in Yosemite north of there. I'd suspect that it's still rare in Sequoia though.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#172577 - 12/03/12 06:11 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
Based on observed behavior, a bear will swat at and pounce on the canister, then give up and move on. Bears accustomed to seeing them don't even bother because they've learned there's no reward. It's recommended the canister be left in a depression or at least away from slopes or cliffs, so the bear doesn't send it into the next county.

Depending on your tree situation, a "PCT bear bag" hang might be the way to go. Check YouTube for videos of the technique.

I'd also let Stephen Colbert know we're being invaded by illegal Mexican bears. He'd like to know.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#172578 - 12/03/12 06:14 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Bob, the bear canister thing is pretty simple. The canister is made to take abuse from the bear and not allow it to get at the contents. So far bears do not pick up the canisters and throw them on rocks to open them up. But they will crack if dropped on rocks. You put everything the bear may be attracted to (that includes the stuff in your list)in the canister each evening and stash it some distance from your sleeping quarters AND from where you cooked. All three places should have some distance from each other. Avoiding bear/food problems is more about being clean with your food handling. Keep everything with food on it either hung or in the canister, and inside odor proof bags if you got them. I put my stuff into ziplocks sometimes doubled up depending upon how messy things got. Also, it helps if you can avoid areas with known bear problems. Keep an eye on your kids; they may look like easy prey to a hungry bear. Just make noise and generally keep her between you two and you should be ok.

Chris

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#172579 - 12/03/12 06:18 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: billstephenson]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Originally Posted By billstephenson
Having bears around doesn't necessarily mean they will be a problem. Our Ozark Black Bears are incredibly good at staying away from people. I've been here for close to 17 years or more and I have still have not heard of a single incident of a black bear harassing a backpacker.

In the 15 years I lived out west I never had a problem with them when I did most of my camping/hiking in Sequoia NF and NP in California, but it was (and still is) pretty common up in Yosemite north of there. I'd suspect that it's still rare in Sequoia though.


Same here. Sightings all over the place, but not a single reported incident, which I find a little strange, because those coming from the Smokey's are used to "bumming meals". Still, even though no reported incidents, it seems they (rangers) are still going to require a cannister, if I'm reading the rules correctly.

J.

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#172580 - 12/03/12 06:18 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
They are designed so the bear can't pick it up or get their teeth around any part of it. Tying anything to it defeats the purpose. They Work very well in yosemite, where the bears are ninja food getters.

They can be broken by very determined bears (i have seen pics of a shattered bearikade) but that is a rare thing. Most of the time the bears roll it around and move on. It does not matter if the bear can reach it, smell it, or touch it. It just keeps them from the food long enough for them to be frustrated enough to find easier calories.

In yosemite we would bury the cans in rocks so we would hear them and have a chance to drive the bear away before he rolled it off somewhere. Tree wells or large depressions where a tree fell and left a hole are what i put mine in.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#172581 - 12/03/12 07:28 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Pika]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
"They have to shoot problem bears because they can't (currently) shoot problem campers."

Too funny!

I hadn't really ever heard of black bears being very problematic until somewhat recently. What I've heard is that the black bears along (somewhere) the AT (IIRC) have learned that hikers carry food and will target backpacks and such. I've seen how they are becoming more problematic in Pennsylvania invading neighborhoods, and just aren't very fearful of people or dogs.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172582 - 12/03/12 07:55 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: BrianLe]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Quote:
If you're car camping, just keep the food in the car at night.


That probably works right now, but sooner or later the bears may figure out that it's pretty easy to get into a car (a la California bears, who can open it like a can of sardines). If I were you I'd hate for my car to be the one that they "learned on".
_________________________
dk

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#172585 - 12/03/12 08:11 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: dkramalc]
intrek38 Offline
member

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 430
Loc: Hesperia, Calif
I would have to agree that we humans are the problem and not the bears. Although these canisters aren't 100%, it's the best thing we've come up with and it benefits us all, especially the bears.
Here's a video of the BV in action.. One determined bear and to close to the tent..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7oayAa...ture=plpp_video

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#172586 - 12/03/12 08:18 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: jbylake]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Looking at the DBFS website, bear canisters are recommended, but they don't appear to be mandatory. Hanging food (at whatever recommended lengths) is a technique that works for less sophisticated ursines that have not passed Food Procurement 101. Sierra Bears all have doctorates in that field and are continuing with advanced research.

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#172588 - 12/03/12 08:59 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: oldranger]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Originally Posted By oldranger
Looking at the DBFS website, bear canisters are recommended, but they don't appear to be mandatory. Hanging food (at whatever recommended lengths) is a technique that works for less sophisticated ursines that have not passed Food Procurement 101. Sierra Bears all have doctorates in that field and are continuing with advanced research.


OR, yes, the rules were put in place in the DBNF following a bear attack. The first ever reported in recent history in KY, in 2010.
These rules are pretty much the same as any other area with bears..
Do Not Feed Bears
Do Not Store Food in Tents
Do Not Burn or Bury Trash
Do Put Trash in Bear Resistant Cans
Do Store Food in Cars (I guesss the forest service should consult the video's of bears opening cars like tuna cans to get food)
Do hang your food 10 feet high and 4 feet out from the trunk of a tree.

The DB National Forest put these rules in place because of a bear attack, and to keep the bears natuarally afraid of humans.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/boone/

I stand corrected. I mentioned in an earlier post that there has never been a reported bear attack incident in the DBNF.

I do have friends in the far eastern corner (Hatfield and McCoy territory) who are seeing bears on a fairly "regular" basis. Not sure if they're seeing the same bears multiple times, but I do know we got a heck of a spike in bears over the last 20 - 30 years, and backpackers not used to dealing with them are going to have to get used to them, and how to deal with them.

J.


Edited by jbylake (12/03/12 09:03 PM)

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#172590 - 12/03/12 09:22 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Rick_D


I'd also let Stephen Colbert know we're being invaded by illegal Mexican bears. He'd like to know.

Cheers,


Hahaha! This made my night.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#172591 - 12/03/12 09:41 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: ETSU Pride]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By ETSU Pride
Originally Posted By Rick_D


I'd also let Stephen Colbert know we're being invaded by illegal Mexican bears. He'd like to know.

Cheers,


Hahaha! This made my night.


Yeah, he'd definitely be wagging his finger at them about this. laugh
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#172594 - 12/03/12 11:15 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: billstephenson]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
My experiences have been quite different. I am bear bait. I regularly encounter bears, in ALL parts of the Sierra as well as on the coast (Lost Coast). My most serious up-close bear stand-off was in Sequoia- bear and I stared each other down and talked it over for half an hour before she let me pass (she had a cub). Often I run into two or more bears a day. One 3-day trip I ran into 8 bears. Most of these encounters are off-trail and during the day. I have also had a bear roll my bear cannister around in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.

I think a lot of people think they see no bears because they really do not look for them. A am constantly looking for bears. When there are bear sign, I start calmly talking to them (last spring when I ran into tons of bear tracks I recited Dr Seuss stories to them).

I do think the cannister requirement is working - each year I see fewer bears.

Bears in the Sierra raid camps at night in areas of heavy use. I seldom camp in heavily used areas. You are more likely to run into a bear in the day off-trail. Bears really do not want to be around you - just make a lot of noise or talk (or sing)and they usually get off the trail. I also clank my trekking poles in such a manner that I sound like two people and talk in two voices so I sound like two people.

Some protocols when backpacking in bear country:

Keep a clean camp. Wash hands and face before going to bed. Ideally cook in area well away from tent. In fact in grizzly country, it is a good idea to cook and then travel another mile to camp.

Avoid packer's camps or established camps.

Keep an eye out for bear signs- learn to recognize bear poo, berry stains on rocks, bear fuzz on bushes, tracks. If you smell a bear they are really close!

Choose campsite well over a mile from any fresh bear sign.

Do not take excessively smelly food. I never take bacon, jerky or other very smelly food if I anticipate lots of bears.

Make lots of noise when walking.

Safer to travel in groups, not solo.

Always look around. Never get between mother and cub. (All mother/cubs I have encountered - mother sent cubs up tree and she stood on hind legs and growled. I backed off slowly.)

There is disagreement on fires. Some say campfires attract bears. My experience has been that if I build a fire, bears stay the distance. Bears smell really well - if they are near they can smell you anyway. But they should be a bit fearful of fires.

If a black bear gets into camp, run them off. If they attack, fight back.




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#172601 - 12/04/12 01:45 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
I find myself pondering: is this is a feature or a bug?

Regardless, good summary!

Cheers,

Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
My experiences have been quite different. I am bear bait. I regularly encounter bears, in ALL parts of the Sierra as well as on the coast
_________________________
--Rick

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#172605 - 12/04/12 09:02 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: intrek38]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
intrek: That is a brown bear and not a black bear correct? It looks huge! I'd have needed to change my undies were it that close!

_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172606 - 12/04/12 09:04 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
That is a black bear. They come in all colors from blond to black.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#172607 - 12/04/12 09:18 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
It looks HUGE!
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172608 - 12/04/12 09:21 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: dkramalc]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:

Quote:
If you're car camping, just keep the food in the car at night.


That probably works right now, but sooner or later the bears may figure out that it's pretty easy to get into a car (a la California bears, who can open it like a can of sardines). If I were you I'd hate for my car to be the one that they "learned on".


+1 on that. Earliest I remember is early 80's driving into Sequoia and the entrance had a large poster board with photos of cars and trucks with there doors peeled back like sardine cans...all to get at the food. Reminds me of that Gary Larson cartoon with the bear peeling the top off a car with people inside saying "I love these things... crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle".

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#172613 - 12/04/12 02:18 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Quote:
"We don't usually car camp. And we want to get to a point where we can take off for a month and travel either the CDT or AT."


There's no place on the CDT or AT that I would carry a bear canister, with the exception that in Glacier N.P. in June of last year the rangers made us borrow canisters because snow levels were so high that it put the bear wire too low relative to "ground level". That's not a usual situation, however. I use a bear canister in the Sierras (just did that in September), and on the Olympic coast, and would probably now carry one in the Olympic N.P. On the CDT it would not be a bad idea to carry one in GNP or Yosemite, though you're not required to. Basically, if in a place where bears are habituated (national parks and the like), take a canister. If not, don't --- they're heavy and they don't reduce in size as you eat down your food load. The "benefit" of being able to use it as a camp stool does not entice me in the slightest.

I think there is now a brief stretch of the AT that requires (?) bear canisters, but from my understanding if you can walk decent mileage per day you don't need to camp in that zone. There are a couple of places on the AT with bear poles or cable (Smokies, Shenendoah N.P., Katahdin area) but otherwise, perhaps apart from a short bit in New Jersey, really not much of an issue.

Quote:
"If the canister isn't a good odor shield why wouldn't you want to keep it out of reach of bears? If it could break from dropping it seems it would break if a bear wanted in it. I couldn't likely handle having my food taken or destroyed if on a deep down the path adventure, especially if in the Rockies."


I think others have already responded pretty well to this, but just in case ---
The canister is very much NOT a "keep it out of reach of bears" strategy. It's not at all an easy item to keep out of their reach. If you want to use the "keep out of reach" strategy, learn how to bear bag, and hope you have adequate trees, a good throwing arm, enough daylight, patience, and a rich vocabulary of swear words. And then expect that you'll still sometimes do a poor job in keeping food out of the reach of an animal that evolved to climb trees (I'm talking black bears here).

Hanging it high and having it slip from the rope or other accident or bear activity could crack the can in a way that experience shows that bears don't apply. That said, my favorite place to put a bear can is sort of wedged in between downed logs, so that it's not easy to bat around and the thing it's batted against is softer wood rather than hard stone.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#172614 - 12/04/12 02:32 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: skcreidc]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
Darn things are smart enough to recognize car models and go after vulnerable ones. e.g., IIRC Toyota Corollas were "popular" among the ursine set. I can only imagine the design team getting a memo, "Oh, by the way, in addition to 'must appeal to 22-28 year olds' the replacement model must not be attractive to bears."

"Heartless, godless killing machines!"

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#172624 - 12/04/12 05:51 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
How to tell a "black" bear from a grizzly. It's not the size and not the color! The distinguishing items are shoulder hump, facial profile, ear shape, claws (I'd rather not get close enough for that!) and tracks.

The shattered Bearikade that Lori mentions after the ursine tester for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee did his thing. Note that the Bearikade is not IGBC approved. Page down to the middle of the page for the photos. The Bearikade is fine for black bears but not for their stronger cousins!


Edited by OregonMouse (12/04/12 05:52 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#172631 - 12/04/12 07:46 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: OregonMouse]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Greatly enjoyed the identifying bears link! I didn't know as much as I thought I did.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172632 - 12/04/12 07:49 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Your right rodwha, that IS a great link. OM, thank you for putting that up!!

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#172635 - 12/04/12 08:46 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: skcreidc]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
Informative for sure!
I'm not sure what avenue I'd take when choosing a bag/canister to carry stuff in. I'm not certain that the bears are problem enough to warrant getting something ASAP, though, no doubt, the repercussions would/could be more than I'd be willing to pay.
Bear spray has been on my short list as it would no doubt work well against just about anything, 2 legged critters too.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172642 - 12/04/12 10:00 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Using bear spray, like using a fire extinguisher, should be practiced. I shot off an old expired bear spray can this summer - first time I actually used bear spray. Bear spry is dated - only lasts a number of years. At about $50 a can, I have had to buy three so far. There are some good videos on how to use bear spray. Google "Counter Assult" this is a brand name of one of the bear sprays.

I only take bear spray in grizzly country. I think bear spray is actually illegal in Yosemite and Sequoia NPs.

So far I have only taken the bear spray on a few trips. With small children around be sure the children stay away from it- A child could get seriously hurt if they played with it and it shot off.

I ran into two Canadian women this summer while in the Wind Rivers. Interestingly, they do not carry bear spray in Canada where they hike in areas with lots of grizzly bears. One woman said she accidently sprayed her backpack partner and after that, decided it was more dangerous than not having it!

Almost all Fish and Game wardens and FS rangers in Wyoming carry bear spray and highly recommend it and carry it in ADDITION to their firearms.

I do not know a single person who has actually used bear spray to fend off a bear.

Bottom line - a personal choice, not a 100% guarentee.


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#172651 - 12/05/12 12:49 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: wandering_daisy]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
"I think bear spray is actually illegal in Yosemite and Sequoia NPs."

Seriously? Illegal? Why?

"Almost all Fish and Game wardens and FS rangers in Wyoming carry bear spray and highly recommend it and carry it in ADDITION to their firearms."

This is how I see it. First line of defense is the bear bells. After that is spray. But I'll have something if the spray does't work, which it doesn't always. But I'd prefer it be deterred than to have to physically deal with it.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172652 - 12/05/12 12:53 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
member

Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
"One woman said she accidently sprayed her backpack partner and after that, decided it was more dangerous than not having it!"

I'm a little curious about this. I have no clue what she was dealing with or how it's safety features work, but it sounds odd to me. How could such a thing occur?
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172654 - 12/05/12 01:14 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
Rick_D Online   content
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Registered: 01/06/02
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Loc: NorCal
I'll only add that bears fight dirty, so you need to respond in kind.

Use your wits, their brains are tiny

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#172655 - 12/05/12 02:38 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By rodwha
"I think bear spray is actually illegal in Yosemite and Sequoia NPs."

Seriously? Illegal? Why?

"Almost all Fish and Game wardens and FS rangers in Wyoming carry bear spray and highly recommend it and carry it in ADDITION to their firearms."

This is how I see it. First line of defense is the bear bells. After that is spray. But I'll have something if the spray does't work, which it doesn't always. But I'd prefer it be deterred than to have to physically deal with it.


Bear Bells? Dinner Bells! They are useless here. Bears in California rarely, as in a handful of times in the past decades since the grizzly went extinct, even attack a person.

Bear spray is a weapon and illegal in Yosemite NP as all weapons are - although, if you are in compliance with California state regs, you can carry (NOT use, that's still illegal) a gun. It's the facts, jack. And bear spray is pointless as the bear bells since again, the bears don't want you. Just the sandwich, granola, clif bars, trash, etc you are carrying.

Bear bells are 100 times more likely to get you hurt - by me. They are #$@#%%$@@##$ annoying. I will sing all the show tunes in the universe before I will carry some #$%# jingle bells that can't be heard over the wind in the leaves.
_________________________
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#172656 - 12/05/12 09:03 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Bob, from what I have learned, that woman needed to spend the time (and money) practicing how to use the weapon. Yes; weapon. I've burned through 2 canisters practicing myself. One when I first got them, and the second after it expired. If and when you need it, you will not want to be trying to figure out how to use the stuff.

Good news is that in black bear country you don't need bear spray...OK. Let me rephrase that. IN California, Arizona, Texas...the south west that is, you will not need bear spray. I'm not absolutely sure about other areas, and in Canada and Alaska, black bears are another thing to be on your toes about. Good camp habits and learning about bear behavior will be what you need.

Chris

ps I don't have any problem with bells, but in the Sierra Nevada of California you do not need them. Again, a clean camp will most likely keep you out of trouble.

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#172661 - 12/05/12 10:22 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: skcreidc]
ETSU Pride Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Here:
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#172664 - 12/05/12 11:07 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: ETSU Pride]
OregonMouse Offline
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Oldie but goodie! laugh

It's a good idea to check the most recent rules where you are going. Grand Teton National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park both started requiring canisters in the last few years. North Cascades National Park is talking about it. Olympic NP requires them on the coast (raccoons, there) and where there are no bear wires, and is talking about removing the bear wires and requiring canisters everywhere. Also, remember that if the jurisdiction requires IGBC-approved canisters, the Bearikade is not allowed.

I think most of us have heard about the Bear Vault problems in the Adirondacks. Yellow-Yellow may be gone, but I'm sure she taught her cubs how to open Bear Vaults!

I, too, will not haul a canister if it is not required. However, I can't hang my food (arthritic shoulders plus I've always been extremely poor at throwing), so I use an Ursack, with an OP sack liner, all the time when I don't have to use the canister. In areas where bears have not been conditioned to think that a hanging bag is a pinata, the Ursack works fine.


Edited by OregonMouse (12/05/12 11:14 AM)
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#172667 - 12/05/12 12:41 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
rodwha Offline
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Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
"Bear bells are 100 times more likely to get you hurt - by me. They are #$@#%%$@@##$ annoying."

I'm sure I'd become annoyed after a while too. Fact is she's fairly noisy all on her own! It would probably be enough.

I still don't understand why bear spray is considered a weapon. It seems odd to me that it is considered one, and illegal.

I figure bear spray is a good thing to carry as it ought to work just as well against a mountain lion or any creature that may attack you if either wounded, with young, or infected with rabies (possibly). Not to mention 2 legged monsters.

And were there a problem with a bear I'd much prefer to spray. Getting physical would be the last thing I'd want to do as the chances of getting injured greatly increase.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172668 - 12/05/12 12:46 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
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Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I've heard of accounts in which the black bears somewhere along the AT have been targeting people's backpacks. I'm not sure if this has happened while they are wearing them or not.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172671 - 12/05/12 01:50 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline
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Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Quote:
"Bear bells are 100 times more likely to get you hurt - by me. They are #$@#%%$@@##$ annoying."


smile Thanks for saying that, Lori --- I agree completely. When I hiked in Montana/Wyoming last year some people were concerned that I wasn't belled like a cat. Or a jester. Or a clown. I told them that I'd rather be eaten than to jingle constantly. Or to have people constantly making Christmas-related jokes as I walked the trail. I think that they thought that I was joking ...
(to be fair, I did carry bear spray, something I had never done before)
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#172672 - 12/05/12 02:07 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
BrianLe Offline
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Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
In the context of someone accidentally spraying someone else, rodwha asked:
"How could such a thing occur?"

Bear spray comes with a safety pin or plastic safety clip, or perhaps both (mine had both). Once actually out in bear country, it's common to at least take the pin out (if present), but perhaps others take the safety clip off as well --- maybe they did a test spray and left it off (or dropped/lost it). Maybe they elected to leave it off to make it that much faster, easier to spray a bear at need; maybe so that they wouldn't forget the clip and get mauled while fiddling with it, something like that (?). That would be my guess, anyway.

Without the plastic safety clip in place it would be easy for the can to be bumped or dropped and start spraying, and with that concentration of bear mace, a little goes a long way. I kept mine strapped to my waist belt, and the can took some impacts on occasion when I put my pack down, or sat down quickly with the (forgotten) can strapped to my waist. If you sleep with the spray can near you, you could trigger it when fumbling around in the dark. Lots of opportunities for that sort of thing.

The plastic safety clip is designed to pop off quickly with thumb pressure, and so should be kept on anytime you don't actually intend to spray.
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#172675 - 12/05/12 02:59 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: wandering_daisy]
billstephenson Offline
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Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By W_D
My experiences have been quite different. I am bear bait.


Yeah, from what I've read of your travels bears do really like to hang out with you. wink

I've only encountered 2 bears in all my wonderings. One was in Sequoia NP, it was walking away from me when I spotted it. I spent a lot more time in Sequoia NF and never saw one there. Most of my time there was spent off trail in the forested areas, I rarely got above 9000 ft there so I never got a lot views with any distance. I didn't really look for game trails back then, and I'm sure made a lot of noise too. Probably just dumb luck I didn't see or encounter more.

But here, where I've spent way more time off trail and nights out while bushwhacking far from trails and campsites, I've never had a bear approach my campsite. Now I purposely make noise while bushwhacking to give them plenty of warning that I'm there, but I just hang my food in a bag about 100 feet from where I sleep. I've never been able to convince myself a bear can't get it though.

I think in the case of bears illegally immigrating here from Mexico I might be more cautious than I feel the need to be here. If they're coming into Texas looking for food than they may be more inclined to risk an encounter with humans. If, however, they're getting fat and happy living of the land there, you'd probably be hard pressed to ever see one.

What we have to consider here is that Texas is mighty big, and most of it is privately owned. It wasn't that long ago that there weren't any bears at all there. None. Even now it'd take an invasion of bears and a few more decades to make encounters common on public land there. Before you ever get to the point where that happens Texas will create a hunting season for them.

I really don't think you have a thing to worry about.


_________________________
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#172677 - 12/05/12 04:03 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Quote:
I still don't understand why bear spray is considered a weapon. It seems odd to me that it is considered one, and illegal.


One definition of a weapon is anything used to defend one's self; Bear spray certainly fits that description. It's basically the same as spray mace (or pepper spray) only used against bears and other animals instead of people. Bear spray is not illegal everywhere, just in particular areas. So you need to ask someone or look on-line if you were planning to bring some to a particular National or State Park. Why is it illegal? I don't know for sure, but probably someone used bear spray inappropriately, caused a huge uproar and ruined it for everyone else, so to speak.

Bear bells. I have not seen any study done on them. I have done a lot of reading of late on bear behavior and attacks. I'm pretty sure that at least 2 of the books do not mention bear bells at all (Bear Attacks; Their causes and Avoidance by Stephen Herrero, and Hiking with Grizzlies; Lessons Learned by Tim Rubbert). From my point of view, bear bells have a few problems. First the jingle bell ones are too high pitched to hear at any distance. If you wear a goat or sheep bell, then you might sound like a potential food source. Second, being alert is your best defense and if the bells give someone a false sense of security, the alertness may drop. Anyway, in the Sierra Nevada it really doesn't matter if you wear bear bells, except for the annoyance of those around you. I have to admit, I have not heard bear bells in quite a few years now.


I've been reading up cause I plan to visit B.C. and return to the Beartooths (and possibly the Bitterroots). Better to be prepared, I think. How does that go?...better to put yourself in the position to be lucky than to rely on luck.

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#172682 - 12/05/12 06:22 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
wandering_daisy Offline
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Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
You have it backwards. Wardens carry bear spray because it is more effective than a pistol. The bear spray would be used FIRST. In their general patroling, they do not carry rifle around - that is usually on the horse. A pistol is not very effective against grizzly bears. The pistol is more for self defense, since they are dealing with a public who all are carrying guns. In addition, the Game and Fish are supposed to protect wildlife. It is preferable to deter the bear first with a non-lethal means. Nobody who deals with wildlife management wants to kill a grizzly (federally designated endangered species) unless it is the last resort.

Many areas have a hunting season on black bears. It has been my experience that bears are less of a problem for backpackers in areas where they are regularly hunted.

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#172683 - 12/05/12 06:32 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
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Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
If you are threatened by a bear at close range, it is not likely you will stop to test the wind direction. If you shoot into a wind that is blowing back at you, the spray can end up on you. It does not take much to cause problems.

I do not think it is only women who need practice. There is limited amount of spray and there are specific techniques to use it most effectively. I think it is quite normal to freak out if a bear were attacking. Some people freeze for a few seconds. Practice breaks the "freeze" so that your action is instinctive. Very similar to stoppping yourself with an ice axe on steep snow. Just having an ice axe in hand does little good. You need to have practiced enough so that the technique is flawless and instinctive. Same with a gun. Just carrying a gun is useless unless you are trained and practice.

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#172685 - 12/05/12 06:53 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: wandering_daisy]
rodwha Offline
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Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
A weapon would be my last resort. I'm not sure if I misworded something, but I'd prefer not to have to fight with or shoot a bear. You have to be a good shot to take a bear down with a pistol, and under stress at that!

I'm not in grizzly country nor would I likely be hiking it unless we went to the upper half of the CDT, which is certainly possible. I love Colorado and northern Arizona!

i certainly understand the importance of testing and familiarizing yourself with the bear spray, but it sure is expensive!!! How many times can you use them?
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172687 - 12/05/12 06:58 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
rodwha Offline
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Registered: 06/25/11
Posts: 131
Loc: Texas...for now
I know that black bears are omnivorous. But what do they actually kill to eat? Would a small child be potentially viewed as food if hungry enough? I know they are typically scared of people and will usually run away under most circumstances.

I'd actually be more concerned with mountain lions, of which we've had many sightings near town. But attacks around here are almost nonexistent.
_________________________
Bob


"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day

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#172689 - 12/05/12 07:18 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
rockchucker22 Offline
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Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By rodwha
I know that black bears are omnivorous. But what do they actually kill to eat? Would a small child be potentially viewed as food if hungry enough? I know they are typically scared of people and will usually run away under most circumstances.

I'd actually be more concerned with mountain lions, of which we've had many sightings near town. But attacks around here are almost nonexistent.
Black bears eat anything, but would almost never go for humans. If you act like prey when confronted by a bear you may become it, but if you are at all aggressive, bears see this as too much trouble. Mountian lions are even less likely to get you as thier food sources are much more specific. Most lion attacks are old lions with bad teeth starved to death and desperate.
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#172694 - 12/05/12 08:34 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rockchucker22]
Wasatch Offline
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Registered: 09/13/09
Posts: 54
Loc: California
I have sprayed 100's of dogs in my mailman career. Almost very letter carrier in our town has. I always knew which way the wind was blowing, unless it was a light wind not enough to matter. However, Halt is not bear spray and I have no experience with it. Halt can be purchased at any bicycle shop (it is NOT bear spray, nor mace) it is cayenne pepper spray.

Yep, in California not a single grizzly has been sighted for decades.

No person has ever been killed by a black bear in 150 years of Yosemite park history.

Many hikers I know, and those I have seen, hang their bear canisters (I do too). On the other hand it is easy to see all the canisters in the trees, the ones on the ground you don't see, so maybe lots more folks actually do not hang them than those who do, I'm not sure.

There are places on the net to see how to properly hang a bear bag or canister, so that the smartest bear in the world will not likely defeat the system. But it is lots more effort to do it and sometimes the bear wins anyway.








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#172702 - 12/05/12 09:17 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Wasatch]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Wasatch

Many hikers I know, and those I have seen, hang their bear canisters (I do too). On the other hand it is easy to see all the canisters in the trees, the ones on the ground you don't see, so maybe lots more folks actually do not hang them than those who do, I'm not sure.



Not to sound like I am shouting at you in particular, because I know this is a common misconception --

YOU DO NOT HANG A BEAR CANISTER. That is not what they are for. They should be placed on the GROUND. The bear cannot pick it up that way. If you attach a rope to it that will give a bear a handle to drag away your food, and even if it never gets it open, your canister and food will be GONE.

Place it on the ground, a fair distance (100 - 200 feet) from the tent, in a place where there's no easy way to roll it away down a hill or into water. As mentioned earlier in the thread.

Follow the instructions. Lock the lid, place it on the ground. If you can legally hang food, use bags! Canisters are made so you DON'T have to hang food, and to keep bears that know very well how to get hung food bags away from food. A bear dropping a canister out of a tree is a bear that will learn to drop canisters off other things - we definitely do not need bears to ever learn how to break them on rocks!

Until you understand this - for the love of creation, do not ever backpack in Yosemite! EVER.
_________________________
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#172715 - 12/05/12 11:19 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
Rick_D Online   content
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Registered: 01/06/02
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Loc: NorCal
This was pretty instructive. Darn things are persistent.

Mama and cubs pull down go after hung canister.

Cheers,
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#172716 - 12/05/12 11:27 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
In Yosemite that thing would have been gone, for good.

And you also would face a really hefty fine for not having an approved canister and using it properly.
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#172817 - 12/09/12 02:23 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rodwha]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
First off the OP wrote about illegal Mexican bears and as far as I know - there have not been any grizzly sightings in Mexico in recorded history

I consider bear spray to be far more (dangerous) to carry around than the (danger) of meeting a black bear. I have had conversations with bears in the Sierras and I consider myself lucky to see a bear and converse with it. I've heard of people getting bear spray on their body or in their eyes and it sounds pretty horrible. A bear should never be close enough to you to spray - instead you go ballistic when the bear is still 20-30 feet away and throw rocks at it AND throw a large rock down onto another rock - that is a rockslide sound and in my experience - all bears run from it.

THE ONLY PROBLEM BEARS THAT I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED WERE IN NATIONAL PARKS.... and thats because of the way rangers and visitors treat them. Most animals avoid the parks, it seems, and hang out further from man - but not bears. I've never heard of a mountainlion incident in Yosemite, for instance, but they are thick other places in the Sierras. Somehow its the "teddy bears" that we have our problems with.

Unless you live in grizzly country - forget about bears. I mean don't be foolish - just don't worry and for (insert fav diets name - sake) do not shoot at bears, as they take offence at being wounded and if you're not bear hunting, whatever you're carrying probably won't drop a bear fast enough to keep it from killing you anyway. Sometimes I carry in bear or lion country when I have my dog or wife along - to protect them, but mostly to make a loud noise to scare things off - my concern being not to kill anything, but my .44 growls real loud. Anything that doesn't leave the area after a .44 goes off should be considered sick or insane and you maybe better shoot it - it could be rabid.

Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#172839 - 12/10/12 04:18 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline
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Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I think a lot of the national park bear problems (besides hordes of tourists either actually feeding bears or at least leaving their food where the bears can get it) is that there is no hunting allowed. In national forests, where bears are hunted, they are generally quite shy. The exception, of course, is where they have gotten hold of food and realize that humans have food with them. This often happens around car campgrounds, but it can also happen in the wilderness. I'm sure I cited the case two years ago where some idiots went off for the day leaving an slab of bacon in their tent. Of course the bear followed his nose into the tent and learned that tents = bacon! The next group in the area was a trail maintenance crew; I understand they lost a couple of tents to the bear who was of course looking for more bacon. That's why, IMHO, even in areas where bears aren't (yet) an issue, we should protect our food. We don't want to train any more bears to go after human food! It's not just to protect our food; it's to protect the food of the hikers that come after us and especially to protect the bears--"habituated" bears invariably end up being shot.

Jim is correct that we don't need to carry bear spray for black bears in the US (although I understand there have been some problems with black bear in Canada). Grizz are, of course, another story!

It's interesting that so many people worry about wild animals when by far the biggest hazards to hikers are hypothermia, falls and auto accidents driving to/from the trailhead. The chances of getting killed or hurt by wildlife are quite minute, unless you do something utterly stupid. That's why the rare instances when it does happen make headline news (the "man bites dog" thing).


Edited by OregonMouse (12/10/12 04:21 AM)
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#172842 - 12/10/12 09:08 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: OregonMouse]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I think a lot of the national park bear problems (besides hordes of tourists either actually feeding bears or at least leaving their food where the bears can get it) is that there is no hunting allowed.


I do not correlate the problem bears with no hunting zones.

There are plenty of problem bears in other parts of the Sierra. They break into cabins at Huntington Lake, or along the east side of the Sierra, climbing into third story windows to do it. They have done so for decades.

I correlate them with the hordes and hordes of people - the more people there are doing stupid things like feeding them or leaving easy access to food, the more bear problems there will be. And the stats on the Yosemite website are wrong - would you self report a bear incident if you knew there was a potential that you would pay $5000 fine?
_________________________
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#172848 - 12/10/12 10:08 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
rockchucker22 Offline
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Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I completely agree OM. In the southern sierras like monachi and tempelton meadows, where the bear population is very high, but also hunted. There is very little problem. I have a summer camp set up in Monachi and the tents never get messed with. Shoot the cabins always stocked full of food yet the bears never even atempt to break in. We see bear all the time on olancha mountian and they always run full speed away. We saw a 500 pounder this year that looked as big as a cow, belly dragging, grass hanging out of its mouth, once it saw us he bolted. If a bear never learns to fear humans they will take advantage of the easy opertunity. I'm NOT promoting mass shooting of bears, but responsible hunting and game management.

In ca bear hunting is pretty big and yet the populations are still exploding. Bears are encroaching western Nevada in places they've never been seen. Eastern side of the whites, the excelsior range, Benton range. Fish and game denies they are there but I've seen them multiple times. They are there. A bear who fear humans is a safe bear.

Remember for the 200 thousand years humans where/are the top predators. Many animals evolved in conjunction to this. It's only been since we started hunting groceries stores has the balance been lost. As well as overpopulation.
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#172853 - 12/10/12 10:24 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Jimshaw]
ETSU Pride Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
I have had conversations with bears in the Sierras and I consider myself lucky to see a bear and converse with it.

Jim


You should record the next conversation, I'd like to know the philosophical thoughts of the common bears. grin
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#172862 - 12/10/12 12:43 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline
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Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
Quote:
I do not correlate the problem bears with no hunting zones.
...
I correlate them with the hordes and hordes of people

I suspect it's a bit of both, but have no data --- just gut feel. They're pretty smart and (where it counts) social animals, so I expect that their behavior is impacted by us hunting them! Certainly your example of them getting out of control where their territory overlaps population centers (outside of National Parks) is a big (perhaps indeed the dominant) factor too.

Quote:
"And the stats on the Yosemite website are wrong - would you self report a bear incident if you knew there was a potential that you would pay $5000 fine?"

I expect it's rare, but in fact I do know of one such case. A girl who thru-hiked when I did was breaking the rules by sleeping with her food. She woke to a bear asking her for her food fairly politely, and then a bit more aggessively when she demurred (the bear put its paw on her thigh, she said it became very clear that she was going to have to give up her food). Talking to her about this at Tuolumne Meadows she said she had (or perhaps was about to) call and report it via a pay phone --- she felt responsible to report it, but wasn't inclined to be fined. So it can happen, but I agree with you; I suspect that at least some rule breakers care less or are just more oblivious to the results of bears getting their food. While I didn't agree with her choice of how to (not) protect her food, at least she was going to make sure the authorities knew what had happened.

Hmm, as pay phones continue to get more rare on the ground, I wonder how significant it is that well meaning people won't be able to anonymously report various things in future?
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#172869 - 12/10/12 03:41 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rockchucker22]
Rick_D Online   content
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Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
CA DFG estimates of California's bear population are available through 2010. It would appear to be a gradual increase for the last two decades, peaking in 2008 (20k-35k). This last year was tough on them due to the dry winter and greatly reduced food supply, which resulted in big upticks in bears coming into populated areas (e.g., Lake Tahoe) looking for food.

I'll speculate there was a big drop in 2012 cub survival rates, which will have an impact for the next few years.

DFG bear population graph

The CA deer population has dropped by about half during the same period.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#172874 - 12/10/12 04:55 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Deer populations have suffered greatly in Ca for a host of reasons including the outlawing of lion hunts.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#172877 - 12/10/12 05:44 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rockchucker22]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
That's perhaps a small part of it, but there's only an estimated 4-6,000 total in the state and per DFG "...there are indications that mountain lion activity, such as depredation, attacks on people, and predation on prey populations, peaked in 1996, then decreased somewhat, and have remained stable for the past several years."

Decreased deer population is primarily from habitat loss and poaching. We're talking a net reduction of nearly half a million, meaning the gross loss is rather huge.

Originally Posted By rockchucker22
Deer populations have suffered greatly in Ca for a host of reasons including the outlawing of lion hunts.


Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#172878 - 12/10/12 06:12 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
My brother in law works for dfg as a biologist, 90% of the studies he does get shelved incomplete and never used. Most of the info is limited to a few off based studies and extrapolated through out the rest of the state. The sad truth is they have no real idea and remain politically fractured/ influenced by powerful lobiest.

Thanks for the info Rick! Sorry for the off topic derail! I intend no hard feelings!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#172886 - 12/10/12 07:34 PM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: Rick_D]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Decreased deer population is primarily from habitat loss and poaching.


When times get tough people who live in rural areas will take game out of season. I hear shots around here now and then, and my dogs drag stuff home.

For the most part, that hasn't been a big problem here though. Not enough to have our Conservation Dept. bring it up as one. We have a lot of deer where we live, and this past couple years have been good to them.

Right now, no one here would get too upset if they knew someone who took a deer to feed their family. But it'd be unwise to push it too far because the Conservation Dept will show up on your doorstep and check all your freezers and fridges. I know a couple people who got visited and they haven't taken more than their limit since wink



_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#172900 - 12/11/12 01:07 AM Re: Bear Precautions [Re: rockchucker22]
Rick_D Online   content
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2912
Loc: NorCal
No worries, I didn't take it that way.

F&G have an unpossible job--enhancing native wildlife while enhancing hunting and fishing. The two roles are frequently in direct opposition and the F&G commission is no help, being packed with cronies.

Here's a typical tale.

this is hunting?

We have fewer than 400 wardens in a state of 38 million.
_________________________
--Rick

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