Camping in Yukon- Bear Danger?

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Nwrider206, May 24, 2017.

  1. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    53
    So working out the final details of a trip. Flying into Fairbanks, rent bikes. Heading to Prudhoe Bay, then over to Dawson. Then down and around to Denali. We plan on camping whenever possible, occasional hotel when needed, wanted. 12 days, June 23-July 4.
    My riding buddy originally planned on bringing a weapon for bear protection. I believe I have talked him out of it. Just seems like more of a hassle then it is worth. And since we are going over to Dawson in Canada, there is that issue. Pistols are not allowed. Rifles take paperwork. Etc.
    Not trying to start a debate about usage of weapons. etc.
    My recommendation is we pick up some bear spray and air horns in Fairbanks. I feel that is adequate, in what I think is the very unlikely event we run into a bear. We backcountry camp in Washington often, so understand bear etiquette. Food away from camp/ jerky in my buddies pack and run faster then him etc.
    But for those experienced, is it much of a concern? I believe the odds are very, very low of any situation and a weapon is unnecessary.
    #1
  2. tiny-wheel-200

    tiny-wheel-200 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Wasilla AK
    Odds of seeing a bear are not as high as you think. Most bears just want to be left alone and are more afraid of you than you are of them. Also depending g on your skill with a firearm you will have much better odds of disabling a bear with spray than with a gun. Also make sure that your bear spray says bear spray and not self defense spray. Self defense spray is illegal in Canada whereas bear spray is not!!!! It's the same product with different words on it. They will ask you this at the border!!!! Also be careful you don't accidentally discharge the bear spray. If you get any on your skin or eyes or throat it feels like you're on fire and if it's in your airway it CAN cause it to constrict and you can DIE!

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. beemerphile

    beemerphile Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,876
    If your trip is like my trip you will come back with a full bottle of bear spray and completely out of DEET.
    #3
  4. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    53
    lol... All great points. And I had forgotten about the Bear spray vs self defense spray into Canada.
    (reminding myself, bring extra DEET)
    #4
  5. hugemoth

    hugemoth Big Brother is watching you!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,886
    Location:
    RESIST!
    The bears in Yukon are just like anywhere else but there are more of them than you'll find in Washington state. They frequent campgrounds where they have found food in the past. I don't bother with a weapon or bear spray, just use known safety practices.
    #5
  6. Suitcase

    Suitcase 2 wheeled hobo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Deep Cover
    Simply the facts...I live in weirds of BC, frequently hiking into the outer weirds, and have camped in the Yukon many times and the cannister of "Bear Spray" I bought over 5 years ago got used once...to demonstrate to some tenderfoots the proper way to use it in a retreat defense. Aim a little high, in the direction of critter, squeeze off a short burst ...retreat a ways then lay down another cloud of spray ..repeat as needed.

    Seems that bears may have developed a taste for spicy imported foods, so don't get the spray on yourself. Upon close examination of Grizz stools, it would appear that small hiking "noisy bells", "Columbia" outdoor apparel and "Eddy Bauer" gear are also favored by Ursus Arctos. Amazing that they would show such good taste.
    #6
    Harry Swan likes this.
  7. The Dick

    The Dick The Brick

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    621
    Location:
    Dawson City
    Get f----ing real and actually take care of your self, have I ever heard of a bear attack on a biker, NO, have there been a shit load of dumb asses with bald tires, no plan, no spare tubes, no chains or master links, sprockets, any experience or practice taking care of their shit, YES, just pray and trust the lord, er your head up your ass!
    #7
    Bacca, skierd, WWW and 1 other person like this.
  8. beemerphile

    beemerphile Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,876
    Good to hear @The Dick is still as sweet as ever. He pulled my fat out of the fire, the whole time telling me what a clueless dumbass I was. I remain grateful for both the assistance and the sermon. Cheers!
    #8
    phreakingeek likes this.
  9. 4951tomm

    4951tomm Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Fairbanks Alaska
    The ONLY biker/bear story Iv'e EVER heard was in the mid seventies......A grizz knocked a couple folks off their bike......Can't remember if they lived or what......Read about a wolf chasing a bicyclist on the Alcan a couple a years ago, he found refuge in someone's motorhome......A jogger got chased down, mauled and killed a couple a years ago by a wolf pack somewhere here in AK.....I think it was the second documented wolf/human kill in 100 years in North America......You'll be fine with a horn and spray..........Probably not a good idea to camp anywhere near the Yukon river bridge on your way to Prudhoe Bay without a gun tho......I almost always see bears in that area.....Here's the Canadian regs on firearms......And some interesting bear/human encounter stories from 2016.....he he he

    http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/visit-visite-eng.htm

    https://www.adn.com/tag/bear-attacks/
    #9
  10. The Dick

    The Dick The Brick

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    621
    Location:
    Dawson City
    Okay, here we go, when was the last time in human riding history has a motorcycle rider ever killed a bear in self defence? Some crazy gun loving shit all this is and don't get me wrong, I love my damn guns!
    #10
    Bacca likes this.
  11. 4951tomm

    4951tomm Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Hmmm, I 'm sensing that your feeling chafed about this subject.....Not really sure if it matters to the bear weather your on a motorcycle or not...What you call crazy shit, I call common sense....When camping in Ak, Yukon, BC, Washington and Oregon, I don't sleep good without a gun. Why? Because of my instincts, I tend to trust my instincts. Why wouldn't I bring a gun? It's legal, It costs me $25, the time to pre fill out 3 easily downloadable forms (the above link), and whatever time the customs agent wants to take processing me......15 minutes last time......I don't drink, so booze isn't an option anymore.......Ya, I love my guns too...
    #11
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  12. tiny-wheel-200

    tiny-wheel-200 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Wasilla AK
    Also worth noting that bear spray loses its effectiveness of the canister is over about six months old.

    Sent from my Z798BL using Tapatalk
    #12
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  13. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    53
    From the way I understand/read things. A hunting rifle can make its way into Canada for $25 and paperwork. But anything else falls into the restricted category. Correct me if I misunderstand.
    But I certainly do not want to strap a large hunting rifle to the outside of my bike.
    And I have camped all over the northwest area, never needed a weapon.
    #13
    Suitcase likes this.
  14. Kiwi Mo

    Kiwi Mo SONS OF ARTHRITIS - IBUPROFEN CHAPTER

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Crikey ! Your mate obviously is not on ADV?
    #14
  15. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Nine hour flight and a two-hour drive to Tipperary

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Where the climate hates riders
    City rube here with twenty years of back country hiking and camping in grizzly territory and haven't been eaten once. Only ever equipped with a bit of common sense. Is it scary? Occasionally. But so is motorcycling or a cab ride to the airport.

    Don't keep your gas station pepperoni sticks in your tent, put them in your buddy's tent.
    #15
    See-Double-You and Nwrider206 like this.
  16. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    53
    Nope. ;)
    #16
  17. 4951tomm

    4951tomm Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Fairbanks Alaska
    I don't know about rifles, I brought a 20 inch short barrel shotgun with shoulder stock (39 inch OAL), no pistols .......I was thinking about this the other day, and the most convincing piece of info that would convince me to bring a shotgun, if I didn't live here already, is that both governments allow each other to bring them in........Therefor confirming the possible need........The link in my previous post will give you access to both the legal dimensions, and the 3 forms needed. Here is what I am considering for the next trip http://www.gunbroker.com/item/652660678 According to my interpretation of the legal dimensions allowed, it should be legal.....It is over the 26 1/2 inch OAL required......Am not sure how they are about the pistol grip in Canada, there is a number that can be cald on the link, it does look a bit evil., but would sure fit on better and be alot less noticeable......There is an element of risk in bringing a shotgun along, a custom agent CAN refuse you, simply because he doesn't like your looks......So best to have some kind of back up plan on where you could perhaps store it......It is a privilege, not a right......Enjoy.....
    #17
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  18. Nwrider206

    Nwrider206 2012 Triumph Bonnie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    53
    All reasons I have given my friend for not bringing a weapon. More hassle then I think it is worth. My friend said he could bury it near the border and come back for it on the way back. lol. Yes, bad idea.
    #18
  19. 4951tomm

    4951tomm Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    Fairbanks Alaska
    he he he.....Sleep tight.......
    #19
  20. Suitcase

    Suitcase 2 wheeled hobo

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Deep Cover
    From a Canucks point of view
    ..it is hard to understand the fear that the average Merican has of Northern Canada's bears and other large critters. The apparent need for a firearm while traveling in Canadian wilds is a mystery.

    Suck it up buttercup...put your balls in place and leave yer Fu**ING cannons at home. If you are so freaked out with the perceived dangers of attack from a wild critter..stay at home.....

    And thus endeth the first lesson.
    #20