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Thread: Bears

  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Bears

    We have been discussing potential problems with porcupines, mostly concerned about damaged gear. But in Utah the other day, an 11 year old boy was snatched out of his tent, carried off in his sleeping bag and killed. A similar thing happened in Utah a few years back, but the teenager escaped with only injuries. In NC a year or two back, a mom and her small children were at a popular campground swimming hole, when a bear walked out of the woods and killed one of her children. And I can think of a couple of maulings in the smokies in recent years, on backcountry trails. I can't remember if deaths resulted. We Pinatas need to be cautious.


    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...a144935D30.DTL

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/West/07/09/bear.attack.ap/

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n1498833.shtml

    http://www.imagesbuilder.com/gsmnp/b...n-smokies.html

    http://www.tennesseehistory.com/archive/GSMNPbear.html

    These were all black bears, no Griz.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    Bears are generally after food - and an adult isn't small enough to be considered prey (note: the 50 yo lady killed in the GSMNP several years ago was barely 5 ft tall and weighed about 100 lbs).

    A normal bear won't be interested in a pinata unless it contains 'candy'. Keeping food and food odors away from the hammock area should keep you safe from 99.9% of bears. Any wild animal that is exhibiting aberrant behavior is a danger to humans and should be avoided.

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    slowhike's Avatar
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    yes we should be cautious about our food, surprising bears & respecting their space, but at the same time we should be able to walk in the woods (& sleep in the woods) with peace of mind.
    we are often times our own worst enemy.
    here's a quote taken from one of the articles...

    "Rangers said black bears rarely attack humans and that the animal may have been suffering from a disease that affected its behavior.
    "It's a pretty rare thing, black bears generally don't attack people. I can't think of any time other than, just really rare circumstances," said Monty Williams, park ranger."

    and here's a quote from the article on the 2000 attack...

    "The incident marked the first time in the history of the National Park Service that someone had been killed by a black bear, which led to the formation of a committee to study the issue and recommend any changes to help avoid future incidents when visitors encountered black bears in their natural habitat."

    i've said it many times & believe it whole heartily... "you're far safer when you leave the car & start walking down the trail than you were driving down the road to get there"
    probably safer than being where you live in many cases<g>. ...tim
    Last edited by slowhike; 06-27-2007 at 07:39.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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    Don't put your picnic basket in you hammock or Yogi will eat you!

    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~George Smith Patton

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    Senior Member cameronjreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    Don't put your picnic basket in you hammock or Yogi will eat you!


    LOL...Well said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    yes we should be cautious about our food, surprising bears & respecting their space, but at the same time we should be able to walk in the woods (& sleep in the woods) with peace of mind.
    we are often times our own worst enemy.
    here's a quote taken from one of the articles...

    "Rangers said black bears rarely attack humans and that the animal may have been suffering from a disease that affected its behavior.
    "It's a pretty rare thing, black bears generally don't attack people. I can't think of any time other than, just really rare circumstances," said Monty Williams, park ranger."

    and here's a quote from the article on the 2000 attack...

    "The incident marked the first time in the history of the National Park Service that someone had been killed by a black bear, which led to the formation of a committee to study the issue and recommend any changes to help avoid future incidents when visitors encountered black bears in their natural habitat."

    i've said it many times & believe it whole heartily... "you're far safer when you leave the car & start walking down the trail than you were driving down the road to get there"
    probably safer than being where you live in many cases
    <g>. ...tim
    That's what I tell people when they worry about me when I hike. After I explain what I mean by it, they usually understand. The most unsafe thing I do is walk the 3 blocks from where I park to campus.


    I think Rock said it best on WB when he said something to the effect of, my camera is my bear replent. Every time I have it ready to take a picture if I see one, I never see any.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Wink sign seen in Banff, Alberta

    Banff, Alberta is in the Candian Rockies and the hiking areas around it have significant populations of both black and brown bears.

    A sign I saw when visiting (a paraphrase)
    WARNING--both black bears and brown bears frequent these trails. You should carry bear bells, and have pepper spray close at hand. Keep aware of signs of bear presence, particularly spoor, and know the difference between that of black and brown bears. Black bear spoor will have partially digested berries, with bits of leaf and twig. Brown bear spoor will contain little bells, and smell faintly of pepper.
    granted, I saw the sign in a gift shop....

    Grizz

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    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    Banff, Alberta is in the Candian Rockies and the hiking areas around it have significant populations of both black and brown bears.

    A sign I saw when visiting (a paraphrase)


    granted, I saw the sign in a gift shop....

    Grizz

    cool, I will be near there in Aug on a trip. We are heading to Mt Robson Provincial Park

    http://www.britishcolumbia.com/Parks...etails/?ID=178

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    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Personally, though I have to forego this in NParks, (at least regarding firearms), I still prefer a weapon of some sort. I know this will offend some of my fellow nature lovers, but so be it. Bear spray at the very least, or maybe even first choice, but preferably backed up by a firearm. Though it(death, not injury) has happened seldom in NPs, I have read - according to some who write books on the subject- that a black bear is far more likely to stalk and kill a human for food purposes than a Griz. An encounter is probably more likely to end in attack from a Griz, due to their bad temper, or defence of cubs, etc. They are probably equally likely to follow food smells into a camp. But from what I've heard, when it comes to choosing the human to actually be the food, the black bear is the bigger threat.

    There was an article in Backpacker a few years back, by a couple who were canoeing the deep backcountry in Canada. At one point, they had to stop for a lengthy portage. After a mile or so, they became aware of a black bear following them. They shooed it away and went on. Soon they were aware of the bear being closer, and shooed it off again. This kept occuring, finally they started throwing rocks. After awhile, the rocks didn't work. I think this went on for a couple of miles. The bear was never indicating any aggresssive tendancy, no fear or anger, just sneaking in closer each time, apparently trying to get in closer each time before being seen. I believe they evn finally fired some warning shots from their 12 gauge. Much to their dismay, at very close range, they shot the bear. I sure would have hated it, but I probably would have done the same. I think if they had not done this, they would have ended up like the lady in SMNP, or the mother and children down the road nearer to Murphy, NC.

    I also remember this article generated some mail from a coulple of ladies accusing them of murder.

    The opposite from me on this subject was the Grizzly Man, crazy (IMO at least ) Timothy Treadwell. He would not even consider bear spraying even the most aggressive of his Grizzly friends. He loved them so much he could not stand the thought of stinging their eyes, and he felt that just having a weapon with you changed the atmosphere/vibe so as to invite aggression from the bear. As long as you loved them you would be OK, and anyway, the idea was to become one of them. And he would rather become bear scat than harm one of them. Unfortunately, by the time he got this opportunity, he had finally convinced his girlfriend to join him in camp. And in an event more horrifying than a Stephen King novel, and all recorded on tape(audio), first he was injured by one of the bears, but the girlfriend managed to chase the bear off beating it with a frying pan, I think. But while she was trying to tend to Tim's severe injuries, the bear returned and dragged him off for food. The last sounds on the recorder are his girlfriend standing by the tent screaming hysterically as she waits for the bears to come back for her, which they did. After the bears realized old Tim really was a good snack, they did not hesitate to stalk the float plane pilot who came looking for them, and later the heavily armed rescue team he returned with.

    "Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance" by Stephen Herrero, makes for very interesting reading on the subject and has surprising accounts of black bear human predation. Also, some other books out there. But I can't remember what those others are right now.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 06-27-2007 at 13:20.

  10. #10
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    I should add that if I was in an area really in the middle of nowhere where people usually are not found, I would consider carrying bear spray. I think, just my opinion without a lot of research, that bears not used to seeing people would be more likely to approach you and see what you are and if there was a food oportunity.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

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