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Old 01-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #91
theshnizzle
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So Aquadog, are you saying for a grizzly to play dead but for a black bear,fight back? Also, you mentioned that grizzlys respond well to bear spray, but if it doesn't work,THEN play dead? Would the bear then be aggravated after being sprayed?

I have been lucky to only see bears at the side of the road, if one came into my camp, I would shit bricks.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:16 PM   #92
aquadog
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As far as I know, current thinking is to stand your ground during a charge (which may well be a bluff) unless you're actually contacted. If it's a grizzly, many times they simply seem to want to eliminate a threat, so playing dead is your option - it's highly unlikely you could discourage a grizzly by fighting. If a black bear has been stalking you and appears to have predatory intent, and it contacts you, fight back. Rules of thumb only, from joint work done by Alaska, Yukon, B.C. bear biologists. Resulting videos are "Staying Safe in Bear Country" and "Working in Bear Country".

Bear spray works pretty well. I don't think sprayed or not is going to change what a bear does if it manages to continue the attack...and there is also some evidence that "looking big and tough" may deter a threat. Being Canadian, we say to "hold a hockey stick over your head" which gives you a bigger profile, that's the idea. Groups are less likely to be attacked than individuals, again a larger profile. Wild animals live a risky life, so have to do a cost benefit analysis of actions - is it going to hurt me, or is it worth it? Mothers with cubs aside, who have a different motive...and like people, I've met biologists who claim to have observed 'crazy bears' - they are individuals.

The chances of meeting a bear is pretty remote, even here. At certain times of year and location, I could probably take you places where you are likely to see a bear, but most of the year they're scarce. Lucky to see one. When you do meet one, 98% of the time it's going to move on, ignore you, or at most, want you to carefully move out of it's territory.

It's one of those "what's the real danger" things. My weather trivia calendar says that lightning kills more people in the U.S. annually than hurricanes and tornadoes combined, but what gets the big press?
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:31 PM   #93
h2o_snow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
Most of us that camp in bear country are still around. I think your odds are pretty good unless you do something utterly stupid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashmo View Post
You won't keep the bears away...bears are bears...

Keep a clean camp and 95% of your problems are taken care of. Cook away from the tent, store food away from the tent, brush your teeth away from the tent, apply deodorant away from the tent, keep sweaty riding gear away from the tent.

...make sure you can run faster than your riding partner...if you have one.

+1 on these observations. Bears are attracted to an easy food source. Don't make it easy and your odds are good. I have spent some time in the Bob Marshall Wilderness where the bears use the trails as do we - travel corridors. Unnerving to see more bear tracks than horses or humans on some trails. Sleep in clean cloths away from all food/food smells and greasy clothing and you will be OK.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:59 PM   #94
theshnizzle
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Ha! I amgoing to sleep fully geared including my helmet and then I am going to pull my bike over on top of me to save myself!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #95
triplenickel
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Quote:
Resulting videos are "Staying Safe in Bear Country" and "Working in Bear Country".

Whoa bear!
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #96
StriderJim
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Originally Posted by 568V8 View Post
Bear spray might work well; I carry it but I've no experience using it. At least the spray can't kill anyone like a stray bullet could. Personally I wouldn't want to camp within range of anyone who sleeps with a hand gun.
Then you probably don't want to do any camping in the U.S.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #97
atravlr
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Camping?

Just work a little harder, save a little more money and splurge for a decent room. There will always be time to camp in other areas. It is not enjoyable to sleep with one eye open in bear country. I've been there and learned my lesson. My trash was stolen/rummaged in the night and I did not hear a thing. Maybe my snoring was enough of a deterrent.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #98
GrizGirl
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Originally Posted by atravlr View Post
Just work a little harder, save a little more money and splurge for a decent room. There will always be time to camp in other areas. It is not enjoyable to sleep with one eye open in bear country. I've been there and learned my lesson. My trash was stolen/rummaged in the night and I did not hear a thing. Maybe my snoring was enough of a deterrent.
If you hadn't left your trash out where a bear could get it you would not have had a problem. CLEAN camping is the key. Safe camping in bear country is not that big of a deal as long as you respect where you are and who you are sharing the woods with.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #99
atravlr
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Trash

My trash was out from my camp and not near my tent. I was camping in the woods not in an area where there to be containers, showers, or restrooms. I feel sorry for the person who keeps their trash and food nearby overnight.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #100
Montague
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The book sounds interesting, and I haven't read it, but (tongue in cheek you understand) I wonder if the bears have either! People don't really fully understand other people, much less another species. But, one can always play the odds and gather as much info as possible, especially when it's about a criter that could possibly view you as food!
As all bears (and other wildlife) often "do not get the memo" that they should not eat us superior humans, you are correct.

But that is one of the strong points of the book, the author doesn't make them into saints or demons, just predators that we must respect.

For many years I have heard "there has never been a recorded case of XXXX attacking a human without provocation" and similar dogmatic statements.

But nature is an opportunistic and evolving force, so don't expect hard and fast rules, 'cause there never are. You can only mitigate risk to a reasonable extent.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #101
bikerfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atravlr View Post
Just work a little harder, save a little more money and splurge for a decent room. There will always be time to camp in other areas. It is not enjoyable to sleep with one eye open in bear country. I've been there and learned my lesson. My trash was stolen/rummaged in the night and I did not hear a thing. Maybe my snoring was enough of a deterrent.
but then you miss camping is some truly awesome places. Hell, most places worth camping are gonna be bear country.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:57 PM   #102
Xylx
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Brown v. Black

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Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Spot on! I agree, game officials have conflicting motivations in cases like this. There are wolves in Northern Maine. The State and Fed deny this. About ten years ago, a hunter and guide shot a coyote. After viewing it up close, they had their doubts. They took it to the State lab and had it tested. It was a wolf. The Fed fined them 10,000 dollars and to this day still denies that there are wolves in Maine. The same applies to Mountain Lions.
$10K for the wolf? Feds have a thing called the McKittrick policy. Look it up. Assuming the facts are as stated feds would not normally go after someone for those facts. Unfortunately the locals sometimes don't get the memo. Maine still insists mountain lions went extinct there in the 40s. I have a photo of a dead one from a roadside in the 60s. As for guns- Bullets will bounce off a brown bear skull. Only firearm I used to carry for them in AK was a sawed off shotgun with double aught buckshot interspersed with slugs. I gave up on that in the 80s and carried only bear spray for years. Never had a problem. But the advice about cooking is very good. Especially changing clothes. The best idea listed here was cook early and drive down the road for camping. I've heard of brownies going down from a .357 but that was a shot in the mouth. Black bears are scarier than browns, they will eat people for food. Brownies tend to attack for defensive purposes only. Don't surprise them and if you smell something really disgusting it's probably a kill site and get away fast. They protect their kills (after they pee all over it). Guy and a women got it 3 miles from my house in Anchorage, just out for a run. Finally, polar bears are the worst if you're way up in the arctic. Unlikely on a bike. People I know who run rivers up there use a bear fence. It's an electrically charged fence you put up around your tent site. Here is a link. Thing weighs under 4lbs. with the battery. Maybe you could power it from your bike's battery and save some weight.

http://www.udap.com/bearshock.htm

Xylx screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 02:13 PM Reason: added link to bear fence
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #103
Motoguy
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While backpacking in my backyard here in Oregon and Washington I've had encounters with black bears and in all but one of these situations the bear has turned and run away. Although, while backpacking solo on Mt. St. Helens I encountered a rather large black bear who engaged in a "stare down" with me. He didn't move but just stared at me. He saw me before I saw him. I was high on the mountain in an open meadow and he was no more than 50 yards away. I was absolutley petrified, but remained still, stared back, and after what seemed to be an eternity he lumbared off. I still had a couple of nights to go before I was done with my trip and let's just say I didn't sleep well after this encounter.

However, I've spent a lot of time in bear country and I always hang my food if there is not a bear locker available. I also cook at least 25 yards away from where I am going to sleep. Also, the advice of keeping your cooking utensils, toilitries, etc, away from where you sleep is also sound advice.

Last summer I went on a solo motorcycle trip through Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons and camped the entire trip and had no problems following those rules.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #104
bauerboy
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My buddies and I rode offroad through Colorado and into lower eastern wyoming. We camped during this trip and I never even worried about bears even though they scare me something fierce. We are picking up our trip in Montana this September and will be camping, maybe. This ride has made me nervous since we planned it because of the bears. I have decided either we go and take all precautions and enjoy it or don't go and cancel all of our rides that take us to places with potential danger. I hope to see some of you in Montana, I'll be on the GSA with a Riverside BMW plate frame.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:02 PM   #105
Solarbronco
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I backpack in areas heavily populated by Grizzly in the summers. A few pieces of advice that I have learned.

1. Never sleep in public campgrounds, unless in an RV. Too many fat assed idiots with food in their tents and on the ground. (this means stay away from ATV owners).

2.Pistols are worthless, leave em at home. Fish and Game find Grizz with multiple bullets in em, that have been in them for years all the time. You also will not have enough time to shoot them in their few weak points. Shooting them in the head is almost worthless because their skull is like iron. It will only piss em off worse.

3. Playing dead? Good phucking luck. If a pissed off Grizz gets that close, you will hardly be able to control yourself.

4.Carry bear spray, it works. Just aim in their general direction, their sensitive noses and nerves will feel like one thousand bee's on fire just flew in their head, they will drop to ground and start freakin out, letting you escape.

5.Avoid early spring and fall (pre/post hibernation). Simply put, when they are hungriest and don't give a shet what they eat, as long as it its warm.

6. Hike with a bell or two on your pack, this lets them know you are there and 80% will just haul ass, and the sound of which will still make you piss yer pants the first time.

7.Hang food up wind, about 250 yards away from where you camp. Hang food in a bag with a long parachute type cord. Hang it 6 feet out from tree on a branch at least 12 feet high. This takes practice tossing, but you will get it.

Years ago a hunter here in Idaho shot a Grizz four times with a 308 rifle. It still ate him and spit the bones out, wondered off bleeding, and ate another hiker 20 miles away two weeks later before Fish and Game shot it down with a 12 guage slug.

Other than that, sleep well and have fun up here!!

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