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  1. #21
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Probably true. But I think a bigger reason is b/c blackies tend to be more timid and easier to scare away...yelling at them or blowing a whistle is often enough. Not so with a griz.

    Either way, hammockers are in no greater danger than someone in a tent. It's very unlikely that any species of bear would bother a hammocker unless they've become habituated or you cooked near your hammock in griz country...JMHO. But then, if you look hard enough for a bogeyman, you can always find enough stats to convince yourself he's out there.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  2. #22
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder about the usefulness of raw statistics. Take the statement from one of the links: You are 90,000 times more likely to be murdered" by another human than to be killed by a bear. That statement would seem to make it ridiculous to even give a second thought to bear safety in the woods. After all, what are the odds of any of us being murdered, and then it is 90,000 times LESS likely to be killed by a bear? Why even bother to take bear precautions with those kinds of odds?

    But then one might ask: how many of the 300 million folks in the USA ( plus more in "North America") live, work or play within a short distance of another human capable of murder, near a human predator? I'd say that's most of us. Therefore, most of us lock our doors, or have security systems and/or have some form of self defence available. On the other hand, how many of us find out what part of the big city has a murder or assault every night, and then go to this place at midnight and walk around with gold and diamonds hanging off of us? Or if a pretty woman, go there and walk around with a lot of jewelry and very little clothing? Is there anybody here who would do such a thing and not give it a 2nd thought?

    Conversely, how do those first numbers in the first part of the above paragraphs compare to the numbers of humans who walk alone in deep wilderness, among hungry animal predators nearby, people hiking with food on their back ( gold and diamond and mini-skirt human equivalent), without any means of self defence? I'd say the latter number is relatively quite small, while the first number is over 300 million. And if that's not bad enough for causing a flawed statistical comparison, of those who walk alone in the wilderness with bear attractant on their backs, most do so only for a few days a year, or a few weeks at the most. But when in "civilization" the rest of the year, these same hikers always go to sleep every night with a murderer or soon to be murderer/robber/rapist somewhere within a few miles of them. Somewhere in their county or city, depending on size and locale, somebody will be assaulted, raped or murdered. They will read about it in the newspaper.

    So it seems to me, no wonder we are 90,000 times more likely to be murdered near home than killed by a bear! The average north American is probably 90,000 times more likely to be within striking distance of a murderer than a bear on any average day or hour. But not so when they go to sleep in the woods in bear country with the smell of food all around their camp. So I suspect such statistics give at least a somewhat false impression of relative danger. Although, I think I can easily agree that if I never go hiking deep into bear country alone ( just like the average American doesn't ), then I am probably even MORE than 90000 times more likely to be murdered while walking in my neighborhood or sitting in my recliner, like I am right now, than killed by a bear! In fact, if I never hike in bear country, the odds are probably almost infinitely greater of being killed by a human than a bear. Unless- have these statistics somehow been adjusted for these differences in proximity to the potential killer?

    Here would be a good study: In the period during which records have been kept in North America, how many backpackers/hikers have been assaulted/murdered on the trail by a human compared to how many have been mauled/killed by a bear or other predator ( Mountain lion, etc?). That would be interesting figures to see.

    That said, nothing has ever kept me from hiking deep into even mixed Griz/black bear country. Even all alone. And I have never even seen a bear unless I was on a back-country road in a vehicle. Though I have seen plenty of sign. But as for me, if the law allows, I USUALLY, but not always, take protection. Bear spray, magnum pistols or both, depending on if I'm alone or in a group. The odds may be against it, but I don't ever want to find myself or one of my friends/loved ones, in the jaws of a hungry or angry bear with only my fists for defence.

    When that black bear walked out of the west NC woods a year or two back, and walked down to the swimming hole and mauled a woman and one of her children, killing and dragging off the other child ( 3 injured or killed in one attack), how wonderful it would have been had somebody very close by had been armed. Actually, I believe a policeman camper back at the campground came running towards the screaming, and shot at the bear from a distance with his pistol. The bear dropped the child and ran off, but it was too late. Dead child.

    BTW, from that same link about odds that Slowhike kindly provided, there was this:
    http://www.bear.org/Black/Articles/H...ack_Bears.html
    A big revelation to me was how seldom mothers attack people in defense of cubs. Defense of cubs is primarily a grizzly bear trait. Seventy percent of grizzly-caused deaths are by mothers with cubs, but I don't know of anyone being killed by a black bear mother.............................If mother black bears with cubs are no problem, what's the story behind the killings and injuries we've heard about? I put these events into two categories – offensive attacks, which are very rare, and defensive actions, which are easily avoided.

    Offensive attacks include all the killings by black bears. These are generally unprovoked, predatory attacks. Most victims were eaten. Offensive, predatory attacks have almost always been in remote areas where the bears had little or no previous contact with people. ( BB says: obviuosly not in the predatory NC swimming hole or SMNP woman on the trail incidents) Black bears that raid campgrounds or garbage cans are almost never involved. The rarity of the killings goes along with the non-confrontational, timid disposition that's been bred into black bears. 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.

    What can you do in the rare case of being attacked by a black bear? Fight back.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-30-2007 at 18:39.

  3. #23
    slowhike's Avatar
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    if we actually had a way of knowing, one thing that would be interesting is to know how many people have come with in a certain closeness to a black bear but never had a problem, or never even knew it.
    but i still feel safer (& believe i am) when in the woods were the black bears live than i was driving on the hwy to get there
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #24
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    if we actually had a way of knowing, one thing that would be interesting is to know how many people have come with in a certain closeness to a black bear but never had a problem, or never even knew it.
    but i still feel safer (& believe i am) when in the woods were the black bears live than i was driving on the hwy to get there

    And Tim, you may well be!

  5. #25
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    The reason I asked was because my hiking partner's (14 year old neighbor) mom asked him what we would do if we saw, or was attacked by a bear. I told him that it is very unlikely to happen, but his mother is very citified . I told him what I knew (play dead/cover neck), but I knew that there had to be more to know. Researching on the net is -ok-, but most of you men/women have more wisdom on this subject from experience.
    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."

  6. #26
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    And Tim, you may well be!
    i wasn't talking about my driving skills
    i believe anyone w/ a decent knowledge of living in the woods, is safer there than on our hwys. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #27
    Senior Member
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    Tim's driving skills are probably ok, it's his skill at exiting the vehicle that needs working on...

    sorry, had to say it
    Bad spellers of the world Untie!

  8. #28
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    i wasn't talking about my driving skills
    i believe anyone w/ a decent knowledge of living in the woods, is safer there than on our hwys. ...tim
    That's just what I thought you meant.

  9. #29
    Senior Member TDunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmoss View Post
    Tim's driving skills are probably ok, it's his skill at exiting the vehicle that needs working on...

    sorry, had to say it
    Ouch! That made my back hurt.

  10. #30
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmoss View Post
    Tim's driving skills are probably ok, it's his skill at exiting the vehicle that needs working on...

    sorry, had to say it
    yeah, you're right
    i'm going to drive the work truck tomorrow & let some young whipper-snapper do the hard work.
    but since i'm going to have to get up into the back of the truck to show him where stuff is, i'm thinking i better wear my hiking boots for better traction
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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