angrysparrow i liked that second article you linked. the over all tone was that in black bear only country, it's highly unlikely that you'll run into a serious problem w/ one... especially if you follow a few guide lines.
if i'm not mistaken, the only black bear attacks in the east involved either a bear that had learned to depend on careless food handling by people (like in the "Great Smokies Nat Park") or a bear w/ an abnormal physical or mental condition.
i like to relive fears by looking at the statistics (& i need to find a source to share here). but you're far less likely to be attacked by a bear in the eastern U.S. than you are to be struck by lightening. i'm pretty sure that way more people die from bee stings each year than snake bites... much less bear attacks.
on a recent two night stay in the mount rogers area, Va., i talked to a ranger about the blacks in that area. i had herd that they were there, but have never once seen one.
he said that actually there's a healthy population of black bears there... prime habitat w/ all the blue berry's, etc, but they have a healthy fear of humans... partly because of the hunting season each year.
don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!
here are more links that some of you may want to take a look at.
they do indeed talk about deaths by black bears in the last decade being predatory, but you have to look at the whole picture.
"But why approximately one black bear in 600,000 becomes a killer is a mystery. None of the killers had rabies. Some had common physical problems. There is no consistent explanation."
Full-blown attacks by black bears are rare. Black bears attacks are usually not at campgrounds and are usually not by black bears that are familiar with people. The campground killings that have so widely publicized have been almost exclusively by grizzly bears. Recorded killings by black bears this century total only 28 across North America. Most of these killings were unprovoked acts of predation. How likely is a black bear to be a killer? The 500,000 black bears in North America kill fewer than one person per 3 years, on the average, despite hundreds of thousands of encounters. To put this in perspective, for each death from a black bear across North America, there are approximately 17 deaths from spiders, 25 deaths from snakes, 67 deaths from dogs, 150 deaths from tornadoes, 180 deaths from bees and wasps, 374 deaths from lightning, and 90,000 homicides in the United States alone (data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 1980-1983). In the rare event of one of these attacks, the best defense is to fight with fists, feet, rocks, or anything hard. Playing dead is usually not the best action with black bears.
Last edited by slowhike; 07-29-2007 at 23:05.
don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!
Hey, I'd be up for a cool scar and a good story. hehe I'd rather die by bear attack than sleeping in bed at 92. Ask me again post bear attack.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
Thanks guys! I was never really worried about it, but it is good info to know and have. I know that in Western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma there is a good population of Blacks, but all I have ever seen is traces (prints, poo, and clawed up trees). It would be kind of cool to see one at a distance, but I have no desire to just come across one
Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."
I have grown up in Black Bear county and the only attacks I have every heard about of when some one gets between a sow and her cubs and even then if you back out slowly keeping your eye on them you will be fine. I have come face to face with bears many times and the only time they have not run was when one was eating a hunters kill that had been left. With that one I just gave it a wide berth and it never took a step away from its dinner. It comes down to being aware of what around you at all time and taking a couple extra steps to keep safe. (hanging your food, bear canisters) When walking in a known bear area I do make sure that I make noise (cup smacking BP frame, bells, off key singing) at those time I really ever see them.
However, it seems somewhat obvious that the most recent events in the lower 48 that I am aware of (the lady on the trail in SNP as her husband fished in the creek, the lady with her children at the swimming hole in western NC, and the 11 year old dragged out of his tent/killed in Utah last month) were all black bears in predatory mode, killing people for food.
Also, I saw at least one site claiming the black bear was UNLIKELY to attack because of cubs, at least compared to Griz.
Preacha Man, do a search- there was a recent thread on this subject.
Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-30-2007 at 16:57.
Of course, if the Griz has you on the menu, it's all the same. But apparently the majority of Griz attacks are due to surprise or rage or cubs, and maybe not so wih black bears.