Bear Bangers

Discussion in 'Americas' started by mnesci, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. inbred

    inbred Sweeter than Yoo-hoo

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    TheTourist: Something tells me if they were still alive, Raymond Jakubauskas and Carola Frehe would likely challenge your conclusions. Same thing with Jacqueline Perry who died after a brutal black bear mauling at Missinaibi River in Ontario. Lets not even ask the opinion of twelve year old David Alexander who was dragged from his tent and killed in La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve in Quebec.

    Predatory Black bear maulings DO OCCUR. Planting one's head in the sand and wishing they didn't is contrary to what this adv-cat thinks is prudent adventure preparations. I agree, it's remarkably rare, but worth preparing for, especially when camping alone.

    I camped ALONE on Bates Island five summers before Jakubauskas became bear excrement. When I read of their deaths, I thought, "Holy crap, that could have been me." I remember the precise moment I dragged my kayak up to the same area they died at. I'm seeking real answers to my real questions. I'll be spending three weeks in Labrador this summer. In Eastern Canada, this is expected to be the summer of hell when it comes to animal attacks. Don't ask me how I know that. I do not want to have my DNA pass through Bear Bowels. Does anyone? Not that there's anything wrong with that. :puke1
    #21
  2. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I wasn't being trite, it is how I really feel. Bear fear is like being afraid of the boogey man or dying in a fiery airplane crash. It just isn't that high of a risk. You'r riding a motorcycle, be afraid of that.

    I've been saving this for awhile.

    http://bucktrack.blogspot.com/2011/02/bears-should-you-be-afraid.html

    If you believe these stats you'll never ride a horse or pet a dog.

    Granted statistics can be warped. A very small amout of people have actually been close to a bear. If you look at actual numbers...1 1/2 deaths per year for the US and Alaska is pretty small considering how many tourists and bears are in Yellowstone.
    #22
  3. mac10

    mac10 Adventurer

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    Search this site for some information sources re bear tactics. Brains and intelligent behaviour first, using real information from expert sources. Avoidance and prevention tactics based on a real and modern understanding of what is effective, are your first responses In an encounter with a bear, bear spray is your first physical defense response-it is very effective in deterring bears.

    Bear bangers are basically a loud noise which may help in some circumstances, at the right time. Used alone, without spray backup, is not as reliable a deterrent, and is not recommended. Suppose you fire your banger, and the bear ignores you?

    To use them reliably, fire them straight up above you. They are hard to aim accurately fired at a target, being they are only a pen type flare launcher. You don't want to shoot one at the bear and have it overshoot and go off behind the bear. An air horn, or your bike horn are equally as effective as loud noises go.
    #23
  4. mnesci

    mnesci Adventure Dad

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    Ive got my bear spray and will get one of thos loud horns for inside my tent......if I hear some noise I dont like Ill wakeup the entire campground.......Ive seen those horns for less than $15 at walmart
    #24
  5. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    [​IMG]
    We bumped into this extremely large Black Bear up in the mountains on V.I. about a half hour hike from the bikes... This bear is about 60-70 meters away, about the distance to where a bear banger would be a good option as a deterrent... If the bear didn't react to the shock and closed in then the pepper spray would be next...

    Of coarse we had non of the above deterrents and were only armed with a sheath knife... In this case we made sure the bear was aware of our presence and then calmly waited to see what it's next move would be...
    [​IMG]
    Well as in 99.9% of the cases he took off running in the opposite direction as a good bear should ...
    [​IMG]
    Then he stopped and for a moment and you could see the reluctance showing about leaving that juicy blueberry patch... After a few moments he continued on thus ending the encounter... With black bear this is pretty near always the outcome of an encounter like this, with a grizzly you can't be so sure... I also find that bears in the more remote regions that rarely have human contact are also a little bolder than the ones in common encounter areas...


    In the above mentioned tent scenario I would think a blast from the air horn would freak the bear away and buy you some time...
    #25
  6. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    There is no "right" answer. Bears are individuals and react differently. The best you can say is XXX has the best chance of working.
    #26
  7. GaM

    GaM Long timer

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    Well I tell you what I did, I lay in my sleeping bag with my bear spray clutched to my chest and prayed. I was camped at a back country site called 50 mountain on a week long backpacking trip through Glacier NP. There were some back country rangers there who had come in on horseback with mule carrying a new bear safe for the area. Late that night the horses started to stomp, snort, and whinny like they wanted loose. About that time I heard something big snorting right outside my tent, it was big enough to snap sticks as it lumbered around out there. It didn't help that I read “Night of the Grizzly” before the trip and that the trails were covered with bear scat. That morning I had glanced at tree and there was bear hair stuck in resin, I had to look up to see it. I imagined some big grizzly standing up and scratching his back there. So I'm laying there petrified when the beast takes off like a shot crashing through the underbrush. A few minutes later the ranger is poking his flashlight into my tent inquiring to whether I had seen his mule. The mule had untethered himself and headed my way. I told him something was outside my tent and asked him if that was just a mule, why were the horses acting up? He said they just pissed because the mule was running around loose and they weren't. So it wasn't a bear, but I got to find out what I would do if there was a bear outside my tent.


    There were other people at the site, and next morning I got to find out what I would do if I was charged by a grizzly, which was run like hell, in spite of that not being the best advice. I heard people talking about a bear so I went over to see what was going on. There was a grizzly and two cubs making their way down a mountain slope but they were long way from us. Well one guy just had to keep getting closer and closer, his camera shutter just a snappin. Although he was still at least over 200 yards from them, he apparently entered their space because here momma came charging down the slope. I ran like the hounds of hell were after me. It was just a bluff charge, she stopped, but I didn't until got back down to where those rangers were because I was hoping they were packing heat.


    I couldn't count all the black bears I have encountered in the Southeast, never had one do anything but run away. But every so often a black bear will maul or kill someone around here. Bears are just like any animal, including us, there are some that just are out at the edges of the bell shaped curve. They may be sick, they may be starving, or maybe just mean.
    #27
  8. Nc987

    Nc987 Adventurer

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    "I heard people talking about a bear so I went over to see what was going on"

    In a thread about how to avoid encounters with bears, that sentence had me scratching my head.

    In all seriousness, I drive a ninja 250 so bears leave me alone......
    #28
  9. sorebutt

    sorebutt Long timer

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    The link posted by "The Tourist" shows how unlikely you are to be killed by a bear. Most of the attacks are caused by someone doing something stupid. Hunted bears are not a problem because they are afraid of humans. Park bears have less fear. That is why the rangers have all the information about keeping a clean camp and what to do to keep bears from being a problem. Feeding a bear is killing the bear, but some people just can't resist.

    I had a black bear rub against my tent in the middle of the night. I was bowhunting for elk and sleeping in a small backpack tent. I came in late that night and ate a can of something and just left the can laying there. The bear came in to clean up after me. I just punched it through the tent wall and yelled as it was rubbing against the tent. That scared it away. It was my fault for not keeping a clean camp. It did come back every night to see if I left something for it. I use to hunt bears with a bow a lot. I've had a lot of close encounters but the threat was to them, not me. I've actually treed two different small bears by chasing after them and barking like a hound.

    I have played with the cans of compressed air. I use to carry one on my ATV for a horn to make it road legal. What I found is that they don't work when they have been on their side or shook up. The old freon ones worked find, but the new ones make more of a hissing sound, especially when new. Hold it still and up right and they will make the loud blast, but only after some hissing.

    The odds of being attacked by a bear are so low that it just isn't worth worrying about. Just use common sense and you won't have a problem. I do have a handgun or spray with me when I camp, but that is just as much for crazy people as an animal.
    #29
  10. RiderJones

    RiderJones sketchy

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    This picture was taken a few years back, at the north end of Kootenay Lake (Trail to Monica Meadows) at about 7:30 a.m. (sorry for the crap image, its a scan of a print)
    Its taken with a 50mm lens, I'm guessing that the bears were maybe 150ft from us.
    I was with two friends, chatting away, laughing as we hiked....this big grizzly sow and her two cubs were busy with berries and didn't hear us. As soon as we saw her, she saw us, and she pretty much freaked out. She stood up, started woofing, and made a number of insanely fast bluff charges toward us. The two guys I was with just froze in their tracks, I managed to unholster my bear spray, go down on one knee and get ready to unleash a pink cloud of pepper if it all really went to hell in the next few seconds. I tried not to look at her, or face her directly. It was really, really quiet up on that mountainside, so her huffing, snorting and woofing were really freaking loud. After 30 seconds or so, you could see her decide that we were not an imminent threat, and her and the cubs got the hell out of there. My legs felt weak after that one.
    I've had lots of closer encounters with Black Bears, they seem more dangerous. Partly because the ratio of black bears sightings/encounters is so weighted towards blacks as opposed to grizzlies. You will rarely encounter grizzlies motorcycle camping.

    One of the guys I was with was a pro photographer, and had just bought a new motor drive Nikon....this pic was taken after the bears had started their retreat...I was thinking "I really want a photo of this!" so I was muttering to Greg 'SHOOT!' "SHOOT!" This was the only frame he took.

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. Spud99

    Spud99 Been here awhile

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    Originally Posted by inbred
    "Always wondered what was the right course of action. You are alone in your tent. In the middle of the night you hear a bear or two prowling just on the other side of the tent's wall. Let's assume it's a very hungry pair of male black bears. Your fully in your bag and next to you is a small compressed air horn, small container of bear spray and a seven inch Gerber dagger. What do you do?"



    This happened to me (but close to dawn). When I opened the tent I looked out to discover it was a porcupine eating the leather on my boots for the salt content.
    #31
  12. riotwarrior

    riotwarrior n00b

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    I realize this thread is not that current, but where did you get that setup? It is exactly what I'm looking for, I would like to find a supplier of those. Our SAR group members and a few other locals would likely get some as well.

    Thanks in advance!
    #32
  13. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    Black bear scat has grass, berry seeds, and bits of hair in it.

    Grizzly scat has bells in it and smells like pepper.

    :D
    #33
  14. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    One of the members of our reserve unit picked up a bunch of these from a wholesaler at a very good price... I paid a share to get one and I think it amounted to about $25 apiece including a box of bangers and a box of flares...

    I did not get the contact info as had nothing to do with the original purchase, but I have seen them since for sale in fire/safety supply stores and some military surplus stores... A place up here in Canada called Ono Trading may have them or can get them...
    #34
  15. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    Prevention is the best cure. Camping in groups, maintaining best practices with food, making noise to warn bears of your presence, and carrying bear spray. Using a large tent as opposed to a backpacking-one man tent is also wise. Bears have been known to grab the whole tent with the person in it. A larger tent with you sleeping in the middle of it may give you an extra second or two to cock that 45 and get one shot off.

    As far as defensive weapons go, the Forest Service did an analysis and determined that, by far, bear spray was much more effective than firearms.
    #35
  16. riotwarrior

    riotwarrior n00b

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    Thank you for that info, I have found one similar unit at a cost of $50.00. I'd rather find a supply that other sar members and family could purchase if desired. These can be used for more than bangers and that is a key for me. I can have bear banger loaded or flare. Both usefull in signalling in a search situation. One more effective in wildlife confrontation.


    Clearly this is the best method, use ones head...one thing I do know is that no matter how prepared or knowledgeable you may be....encounters can and do occur., stay calm, if far enough away....and can do so safely bear banger can be effective against a wildlife encounter be it bear or cougar or what not. If not safe to use, hopefully you can use pepper spray safely. Hopefully you are not having to spray into the wind....ugh

    Ifn I had a choice....shorty shotgun with slugs be my #1 defence against attack!

    In a search situation you are with no less than two other people, in contact with command via radio so quite well covered.

    One time on a search while climbing up a rather long draw, I came across a significantly deteriorated deer carcass, then a couple hundred yards, another deer carcass less so than the first, then a bit further another one a week maybe 10 days old, thus walking into a cougar hunting ground/den. As I was with others it wasn't a big deal, call name walk call name walk so on. The animal was very clearly well fed and would have no reason to attack us unless backed into a corner.

    All in all the best defence is edumication, and awareness paired with the right tools, be it bangers, flares or spray!

    Stay safe ya'll
    #36
  17. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    A different kind of bear encounter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP7h27BsUwY

    But seriously, if you camp in bear country, especially tent, then you do need to take some precautionary steps.

    For those who say bears will leave you alone, they are mostly right but the problem is that the *^&% bears never read that memo when it was circulated and every year, some poor shmuck gets to be bear turd despite all the expert comments on how unlikely an event it is.

    I have both bangers and spray (but I like mash with my bangers at the local) and know how to use them.

    Would not go into bear country (which is almost all of rural Canada) without them. And as a BTW, moose are extremely dangerous and agressive during rut not to mention when they run out on the road a dusk....that dark brown fur is really hard to see, much worse than deer.

    So my suggestion is to combine all of the advice given, but ignore the bits about it will never happen to you. It could, not likely, but possible.
    #37