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  1. #1
    Bigmeats's Avatar
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    Remote Bear Country-Should I hang? (long)

    First, thanks to all the members here on HF for the knowledge and willingness to share it.

    Living in Illinois affords me the pleasure of not having to deal with bears. Hence my hesitations.......

    At the end of May I will be going on a remote fly-in fishing trip to Northern Ontario Canada. We drive up to Red Lake and then take a float plane another 100 miles north to a cabin on the side of a lake. We will be there for 5 days. It is the closest thing to heaven on earth I have ever experienced. This will be my 7th time up there.

    Grabbing two trees next to the lake for a hang makes me want to go even more this year.....but this is bear country. There are actually claw marks on the back side of the cabin we stay in where a bear was trying to gain access.

    I have read all the proper things to do, and not to do when you are camping in bear country, but let me give you a peak into the "normal" Practices up there.

    All food scraps are burned in the wood fire stove daily. Sending cooked food smells lofting into the air. Fish are cleaned right out side the cabin daily on a large plywood table. The guts are brought to a small island 150-200 yards away by boat and dumped in a pile for the eagles to eat. (awesome to see a half dozen or more eagles come in for dinner). We have seen fresh bear scat on that little island. I am not sure what the group before us does with there fish scraps. Could be in a pile somewhere in the back of the cabin.

    We have this entire lake and probably the surronding 50 mile to ourselves. We have started to rent a Sat phone for emergencies, (no cell service that far up)as we are only checked on MABEY once a week, weather permitting. If something were to happen (bear attack) it could definitely turn life threatening due to the remoteness of it all. We do take mile long portages down trails shared by these same Bears and Moose alike and don't think twice about doing that. We do make constant noise as to alert all the creatures in the area of our invasion. But the idea of just hanging there like a giant human taco for some hungry bear gives me pause.

    All advice and comments welcome!!

    Right now I am leaning toward giving it a shot. Barring comments from the collective knowledge here at HF, at least for one night. I am not sure getting further from the cabin would be an answer or not.......

    Thanks

    Carl
    There is no promise of a tomorrow, live life for today!
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  2. #2
    jellyfish's Avatar
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    Are we talking black bears or grizzly bears?

    This sounds so much fun. I would probably do it, but maybe hike a bit away from all the human/fishing action.

  3. #3
    Bigmeats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellyfish View Post
    Are we talking black bears or grizzly bears?
    I am pretty sure just Black. But I could be wrong...........
    There is no promise of a tomorrow, live life for today!
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  4. #4
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    I live in Northern California in prime Black Bear Country, I've had them in the yard at my house eating my chicken, had one stomp my dog and kill it a couple years ago at three o'clock in the afternoon. Yet I've never seen one black bear while out camping in my thirty years of doing so and certainly have never had one approach me in my campsite and I even cook under my tarp and eat in my camp. Unless there is a big state or federal Campground nearby were people make it a habit of feeding the Bears I seriously doubt you'll have anything to worry about, chances are you probably won't even see one. Besides you're no safer in a tent than a hammock. If you are very worried ,the best defense you could bring with you is a dog they will at least alert you to a bears presence and their smells and Barks should keep them away.
    Last edited by Carrico; 02-20-2017 at 18:05.
    By all means, let's argue about whether or not a hammock will hurt a tree. All the while ignoring the fact that there is an island of garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific ocean. Or how about the fact that over 75% of the world's nuclear reactors are leaking...

  5. #5
    Bigmeats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellyfish;
    1747629 This sounds so much fun. I would probably do it, but maybe hike a bit away from all the human/fishing action.
    It is definitely an experience like no other. My son is going for the first time this year as a graduation present. His Grandpa (my dad) will be there too. HE has been going for 25 years and is excited to have his son and grandson up there with him.
    There is no promise of a tomorrow, live life for today!
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  6. #6
    Carrico's Avatar
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    You should ask your pops what his experience with the bear population around that area has been, if he's like man they're out everyday eating fish carcasses, then maybe a bear burrito is not a good idea;<)
    By all means, let's argue about whether or not a hammock will hurt a tree. All the while ignoring the fact that there is an island of garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific ocean. Or how about the fact that over 75% of the world's nuclear reactors are leaking...

  7. #7
    jellyfish's Avatar
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    So long as you get cleaned up so you don't smell like fresh, raw arctic char, it should be okay. But if there is a problem bear in or near the camp, than probably not.

    I think I would still go for it.

  8. #8
    Bigmeats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrico View Post
    You should ask your pops what his experience with the bear population around that area has been, if he's like man they're out everyday eating fish carcasses, then maybe a bear burrito is not a good idea;<)
    No one has come face to face, but we have seen them swimming across in the past. I am leaning towards giving it a try. Much more comfy than the bed in the cabin. Plus what a back drop for a hang!
    There is no promise of a tomorrow, live life for today!
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  9. #9
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    Just take a "bear deterrent" and enjoy the hang but if it's in the back of your mind as much as it sounds like it is then I'm not sure you are going to sleep well enough to enjoy it.

  10. #10
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    Decent sized dogs will typically keep bears away. Bells and noise in general tend to warn them off. Just don't make food available near where you want to be.

    In general they're curious but aren't people fans

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