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Old 10-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #34
Joined: May 2012
Oddometer: 32
Other suggestions

Been living in S.E. Idaho for 35 yrs, backpacking in Yellowstone for over 40. Have had several bears in my camp and met while fishing. No "close encounters" yet..... Some additional suggestions are:

- Do not camp near trails, streams, or lakeshores - bears use trails (especially at night) and patrol waterways for chow.
- Where permitted, camping away from popular campsites is a good idea.
- Do not approach winterkill or other carcasses - bears gnaw on winterkill for weeks and often sleep nearby to protect their (somewhat rank) dinner. If you see coyotes or ravens/eagles on the ground, stay away from that area (yes, eagles will scavange)
- Make noise while hiking, especially where visibility is limited (or autumn berries are present). This is sometimes overdone to a comical degree.

Pilot/guides on bear-viewing tours in Katmai carry railroad flares instead of weapons or pepper spray. Of course, forest fires may be worse than bears.

To the best of my knowlege, Rocky Mtn bears (especially in the Yellowstone area) don't associate people with food and generally avoid humans, unlike the Sierra black bears.
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