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  1. #1
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Question Hammock Hiking and Bears :eek:

    So, besides the bear bags and bear containers. What is the best way to deal with a bear if one wanders into your campsite at night?

    I have never had to deal with one yet. . . but I am going deeper into the woods soon, and we had a frost mid-spring that killed all our berries and nuts. Because of the lack of food I have heard reports of bears going places and doing things that they usually do not. Our bears are usually small black bears, but a bear is still a bear.

    I have heard of people using whistles, lights, alarms, etc.., but what have ya'll encountered, tried, tested?

    Thanks

    P.S. I always use a lot of prayer
    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."

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    I've never had a bear encouter in camp either, but this seems like good knowledge to have.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Wow Sparrow, that is an awesome page. I was always told to "play dead", but I never really wanted to. Thanks for the info.
    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."

  4. #4
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I've never had a bear encouter in camp either, but this seems like good knowledge to have.
    most of that seems to be accurate info, but i have to question at least a couple things, like the emphasis the writer (i didn't see the writer's name) put on black bears stalking people as food. i've only herd reference to that one time & that was what our friend billybob had read in a book. but i've never herd it discussed in listening & reading from those who study bear behavior.
    i'm not saying that it couldn't in some remote cases be true, but i i'd like to hear a little more about it from the experts & how often that behavior has been documented.

    and about bears having trouble running down hill.... those who research black bears will tell you that when a black bear needs to run down hill, it can still out run any human.

    the thing is that people love to pass along what they have herd when it seems to confirm their own fears.

    i'm in no way, shape, or from an expert on bear behavior, but i have tried to pay attention to what's being said & who's saying it over the years, & i'd much rather separate fact from fiction.
    there's a very real need to know what to do & what not to do in bear country, but it's important to separate fact from fiction. when we do those two things, we can go into the woods & be at peace.

    i've many times discouraged people from telling "ghost stories" around the camp fire because even though it can be fun to get the old adrenalin going, i'd much rather teach people to be realistic & not sit around at night wondering what might be lurking out there, or go to bed & have nightmares.

    if i'm wrong about any of the things i say about the black bears of eastern north america, then i'll gladly admit it & correct my thinking, but i really hope we can find the best information available on our black bears & put to rest any unnecessary fears.
    and of course we can discuss our different views w/o getting overly defensive & offensive i hope
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #5
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacha Man View Post
    Wow Sparrow, that is an awesome page. I was always told to "play dead", but I never really wanted to. Thanks for the info.
    You were told to "play dead"? Wow, never heard that one before.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  6. #6
    Senior Member RockStar's Avatar
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    I ahve also heard to play dead but then, most people tell you to play dead for any animal attack around here. lol Funny Story:

    For a friends B-day when I was younger, we all went to ride horses. My friends mom was a bit larger and was worried her horse would give out. In the middle of our trail ride we hear her yell "AHHHH" looked back and she was laying on the ground motionless. I turned my horse around and high tailed it back there assuming she had been knocked out by the fall or something. Everyone elses horse wouldn't budge, knowing that when it ended the trail it would be back in the barn with food and no human on its back. So while Im trying to get a response, her horse is just standing there. Finally she whispers "Is it gone?". I was confused and said "No, are you okay?". She replied "Yeah, it threw me off so I was playing dead in case it tried to attack me." BWAHAHAHAHAHA WHAT! She said she thought you were suppose to play dead so horses wouldn't attack. Attack horses!?! I love Alabama. *still laughing*
    "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
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  7. #7
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    most of that seems to be accurate info, but i have to question at least a couple things, like the emphasis the writer (i didn't see the writer's name) put on black bears stalking people as food. i've only herd reference to that one time & that was what our friend billybob had read in a book. but i've never herd it discussed in listening & reading from those who study bear behavior.
    i'm not saying that it couldn't in some remote cases be true, but i i'd like to hear a little more about it from the experts & how often that behavior has been documented.

    and about bears having trouble running down hill.... those who research black bears will tell you that when a black bear needs to run down hill, it can still out run any human.
    I'm also not a bear behavior expert, and I posted the link above because I'd read it recently, and it seemed to be written from a common sense perspective. I can't vouch for the specific validity of any of the writer's views.

    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    i'm in no way, shape, or from an expert on bear behavior, but i have tried to pay attention to what's being said & who's saying it over the years, & i'd much rather separate fact from fiction.
    there's a very real need to know what to do & what not to do in bear country, but it's important to separate fact from fiction. when we do those two things, we can go into the woods & be at peace.
    That's a good way to say it.

    Here's another link with some good information, IMO.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  8. #8
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    You're supposed to play dead for brown bears...go fetal and cover your ears. Sometimes they'll bat you around for a while and walk away. But if they start eating you, fight back. If you fight a brown bear from the start, they won't back down and you're probably not gonna win.

    Black bears are smaller and more timid, and will often run away if you make yourself appear bigger, louder, and more aggressive. That's why whistles work for them.

    But you have to know how to tell the difference b/c some black bears have brown fur! It's really not hard for most folks b/c brown bears have a pretty small range in the US. The easiest way to tell is the big hump over the front shoulders on a brown bear.

    I had a blackie come right next to my camp at Delaware Water Gap a while back. I just crawled out of my HH and heard a snarl...looked up and a big ole black bear was about 100' away. Poor guy had a hurt front paw...we were on the side of a steep ridge and he was going down, so he'd take a few steps, then sit back on his haunches and look around sniffing the air...looking right at me every time. I just stood there watching him. Then I realized that if he's hurt, he might not be eating well, and I drew a straight line between him and my food bag...and I was right in the middle of it! No worries, though...he went on down the ridge. Saw a mama with two cubs the day before, too.

    Here's what works for me...know if you're in brown or black bear country. If you don't have brown bears, don't worry about it. I only hang my food when I'm in heavily used areas where the bears have come to associate people with food. Other than that, I don't worry about it.

    Brown bear country is different...you should read up on details if you're going there.

    If you're not sure if brown bears are in your area, learn how to identify bear poo. Black bear poo usually has berries and bits of fur in it, like from a rabbit. Brown bear poo has little bells in it and smells faintly of pepper spray.
    “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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  9. #9
    Playing dead is what you tell they guy you're hiking with. Gives you more time for running away.

    I don't believe there is one recorded case in history of a bear attacking anybody in a hammock.

    You know what'd be cool would be a pocket sized bundle that auto inflates into a 20-foot Macy's parade bear. Maybe with integrated compressed air horn. If you're threatened by a bear, just pull the string.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RockStar's Avatar
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    lol thats cute! Then everyone would think hangers are crazy!
    "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
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