Bears and Tents in Alaska

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Bigguy136, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. KevinP65

    KevinP65 Been here awhile

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    It sounds as if you put out bait-almonds that would attract bears and hoped that they would just eat them and leave you alone. If that was the case, it may have worked in one way but not the other. Maybe I am misunderstanding this statement.
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  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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  3. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    I figured the almonds would've been eaten first and I would hear the noise. Leaving the almonds and going for my tent makes me think it was more of a curiosity than food thing.
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  4. KevinP65

    KevinP65 Been here awhile

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    Ok then. Maybe a bigger bag of almonds. I can see the bear poking your tent and saying, "Hey dude, you gotta do better than that". Glad you didn't get hurt.
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  5. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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  6. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    That took place outside of Ennis MT, I believe in the Gravelly Range, beautiful prime Elk hunting area. We've camped there multiple times.
    091015 Black Butte Gravelly Range MT.JPG
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  7. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

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    I've hunted all around that area off horseback. Moose on the ID side of the Tetons, Elk out of Gardiner MT (Forbes Ranch) on the north side of YS, in WY for Ram on the east side of the Yellowstone border, whitetails in the Bitterroots.

    Of all the Outfitters I hunted with an outfitter out of Cody was extremely scared of the Grizzlies on the east side of Yellowstone, especially in the late summer/early fall. The bears would feed on the moths that migrate to feed on alpine flowers at higher elevations ever year from the crop land by strewing boulders and digging up the ground. Bears were seen literally everywhere during the day while we were glassing for ram. These guys cooked in camp, slept with side arms on their chests and had bells tagged to all the horses to alert us at night. I've never in my life seen grown men this nervous in camp, even though they were armed with grizz stopping caliber weapons.

    https://trib.com/outdoors/photos-on...n_6c1b76f8-1cbc-11e3-8a5e-001a4bcf887a.html#4


    .
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  8. sharpie1

    sharpie1 Long timer Supporter

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    I woke up in the middle of the night to a bear pushing my tent in with his nose and sniffing my head. I yelled (politely) at the bear to go away and he ran off and left me alone. Of course this was a black bear in Yosemite, not a grizz or Alaska.
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  9. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Had a black bear try to get into my tent in Canada, on my way back from Inuvik. He'd been previously painted by rangers as being a “problem bear” and was shot as a repeat offender.

    It made me very sad as he was just doing what bears do.

    No damage to my tent except muddy snout and paw marks.
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  10. apexal

    apexal Long timer

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    If you use bear spray INSIDE your tent you'll probably get more on you than on the bear! I keep bear spray and a whistle inside my tent but I realize that I'd need to be outside the tent to use the spray or pretty damn scared and desperate to use it the tent. The stuff I carry shoots 35 feet. Can you imagine that stuff blowing back into my face?
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  11. misterk

    misterk Been here awhile Supporter

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    you sure wrote your original post in a much calmer manner than I would have :)
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  12. MarcoSolo

    MarcoSolo Been here awhile

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    I lived in rural Alaska for about seven years - Homer/Anchor Point - Kenai Peninsula - and spent a lot of time in the woods by myself - I carried either a Ruger 44 Mag or a drilling - a side by side 12 gauge with a 30-06 in a third barrel. Bear are not especially difficult to kill under most circumstances. A jogger in Anchorage killed a brown bear with a Glock .40 cal. - the bear attacked him to protect a moose kill - calorie stress.

    I had two acquaintances who had been mauled severely by brown bear - one a trapper who got jumped in late spring while crouched over working on a set and one who approached a black tail deer he had just shot on Kodiak without cycling another round into his rifle and was rushed from heavy cover by a bear which claimed the deer. In the second case, my friend's hunting partner killed the bear when he walked over to see what my friend had shot and saw the bear on him.

    My take is there is a lot of worry about bear encounters and a very low probability of being attacked. Common sense things like not having food in your immediate vicinity, not being or traveling with a menstruating woman, having a firearm and/or bear spray, making noise, whistling, etc., so you don't accidentally startle one, listening attentively when you're walking around. If you have the misfortune of being attacked, play dead with a brown and fight like hell with a black bear. Brown bear tend to attack to incapacitate a threat and leave; a black bear is harder to arouse to attack but, if he does, he will stay and play.

    I did carry bear spray on my bike when I was on the CDR last fall as there seemed to be a lot of bear encounters being reported. A departing elk hunter gave me his can at one of my first campgrounds.
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  13. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    All good info!!
    I stopped in Hyder, Alaska today and asked the bear guy at the summit. He believes the bear found food in a tent before and now assumes all tents have food.
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  14. apexal

    apexal Long timer

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    I've been thinking about this one and don't think that leaving "bait" anyplace is a good idea. The minute that we give them food they will want more and be a nuisance or a risk to you or other future campers. There's plenty of info on the proper way to camp in bear country and trying to bait a bear away from your tent isn't one of them.
    But a bear in the campsite certainly is a scary experience. Once I had a grizzly visit (hanging the goodies) and twice had black bears visit (bear boxes) and luckily they left empty handed and without incident each time.
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  15. MarcoSolo

    MarcoSolo Been here awhile

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    My then wife and I both nearly walked into black bears on the Appalachian Trail at different times. I was doing a 16 mile day hike and was pounding along with a broad brimmed hat looking absently at the trail a few feet ahead when I heard something that sounded like a horse galloping. When I looked up there was the huge rump of a black bear going away from me flat out. I guess he flinched first. The other time my then wife was about 50 yards behind me - she liked hiking with some space - and I heard what I thought was a deer flushing from a draw below us. She let out a scream and started shouting "Bear! Bear!" I turned and ran downhill to her and no bear but her knees were visibly knocking under her shorts. The bear had run across the trail so close to her she said she could have touched it. She was mentally very strong but she was so rattled she asked me what she should think and I told her she should count herself lucky since so few people get to see them.

    Another time - in band camp - a friend and I were hiking the AT and were staying at a three sided hut just past Springer Mt. - lots of campers stay there, lots of food gets tossed. It was early morning and my friend was cooking oatmeal and I was cooking grits on separate stoves which together made a loud hiss, loud enough to mask the approach of a black bear from behind the hut. The bear turned the corner and stared at us and we were trapped in the hut. I had a .357 (Dan Wesson I wish I still had) in the top pouch of my pack, hanging on a peg, and the pistol materialized in my hand almost instantly. We all continued to stare silently like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and the bear turned away and walked off into the bushes. My friend was not a fan of guns but never gave me grief about having the pistol.

    Last one - my grandmother lived 92 years without ever having touched a gun. Remember the trapper guy in Alaska I told you about above - there was an area past his shop at the end of a dirt road that just kind of disappeared that had all kinds of berries and all kinds of brown bear. My grandmother went there whenever the berries were out and picked them alone or in company, walking around in head high grass between berry patches and was completely unconcerned. People who had moved back in that valley moved out because of the problems they had with bear. My grandmother never saw one.
    #35
  16. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Does anyone have the cliff notes from this video? I've seen it posted a number of times, but at well over an hour long I'm just never going to watch it...

    Oh, and I second that leaving food out as bait is a really poor idea.

    I've camped in black bear country and have some in the site a time or two, but I've never camped in grizzly country, so I'm a little nervous about doing so in August...
    #36
  17. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    "I did have my deodorant and toothpaste in my tent and will leave that out with my food."
    This may answer your question of why, but really, I can't speak for the bear. Throw the tent in the washer when you get home.

    Rafting on the Rogue, SW Oregon, I've put cat food cans of ammonia around the boat. Whether it works or not I don't know. But I have had bears in the area during the night & my boat wasn't touched. I acknowledge maybe a coincidence.
    #37
  18. apexal

    apexal Long timer

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    I carry all my camping stuff in a waterproof duffle: tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow, stove, cook set and food. My food is freeze dried dinners, oatmeal coffee, coffee creamer and maybe a couple power bars. When in bear country I use a bear box if available otherwise I hang the food as well as things like toothpaste, deodorant, etc. The problem is that the coffee odor is strong in spite of double ziplock bags and tends to smell up my duffle. So I ask if there's some way to carry coffee so that it doesn't smell up my duffle? I'm not going to hang a whole damn duffle but I also don't want to leave it out where animals/bears can get at it because of the residual smell. I've been bringing my duffle into the tent at night but this thread tells me that doing so is a bad idea. I suppose that I could ditch the coffee and hope to get a cup someplace on the road but I sure do enjoy my coffee while breaking down camp.
    #38
  19. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    What kind of coffee are you bringing? Loose grounds or packets of instant?

    There are odorproof bags that might get it done to keep it from smelling up everything else.
    #39
  20. apexal

    apexal Long timer

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    Loose grounds. Double ziplock bags don't work. Where do I get odor proof bags? Maybe I will try Amazon.
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