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  #1  
Old 06-22-2017, 04:40 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Black Bear Encounter Today!

Hannah (German Shepherd) and I were out on our usual forest hike today.

She's off doing her thing, treeing squirrels and sniffing in the underbrush and I'm walking along lost in lala land.

I don't know what happened first, if she barked which sent a baby bear up a tree or if the momma bear sent the baby up the tree which made her bark. At any rate the two things happened almost simultaneously.

So I heard something go *scrape, scrape* up a tree and thought "that's way too loud for a raccoon". I look up through the trees and there's a black, fuzzy baby looking down.

"Shit..." I thought and followed the tree down to the base and sure enough, there's momma, standing at the base of it, looking at me. The base of the tree was about 15 feet away.

I whisper/yelled to Hannah and told her to go back the way we came, which she did. I could see the whites of Momma's eyes and she was sniffing and starting to huff and chomp her teeth. I put my hands up, started backing away and saying "we're going, we're going! you're fine, we're leaving!" and kept moving away as fast as I slowly could. You're not supposed to run, which I didn't but I walked fast.

About 50 feet away I checked over my shoulder to see what was happening and Momma had come out to the path and was sniffing where we had been standing. The path is windy and I couldn't see her after that so I kept looking behind me to make sure she wasn't following, which she wasn't.

Anyway we quickly walked the few kilometers back to the road. It took 20 minutes or so for the adrenaline to stop pumping!
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:00 PM
beowulff beowulff is online now
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Where was this?
  #3  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:01 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Scary. I've never encountered a bear, but on Mt. Lemmon, near here in Tucson, the bears are out and about and people are running into them. Several hiking trails and camping spots have been temporarily closed until bears have left the area.
  #4  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:09 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Where was this?
Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Scary.
It was! Though, after, I had to laugh at the fact that I raised my hands like a cop had a gun on me
  #5  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:24 PM
beowulff beowulff is online now
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Scary, but very cool.

The only time I've seen a bear in the wild was in Yellowstone, and there were about 100 other people watching it from a hill, with a Ranger keeping everyone away. Still it was a great experience.
  #6  
Old 06-22-2017, 06:37 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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Wow. Glad it worked out. Raising your hands isn't a bad instinct at all. Bigger is better. It just won't help you with an angry mama.

I think my adrenaline kicked up just hearing about that!
  #7  
Old 06-22-2017, 07:29 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Two people have been killed by bears this week in Alaska, one a 16-year old in a foot race. Be careful!

StG
  #8  
Old 06-22-2017, 07:35 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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You're lucky it was a black bear. They have brown (grizzly) bears in B. C., too, don't they?
  #9  
Old 06-22-2017, 07:36 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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You handled it exactly right. Well done, you!

I live with bears in my area and though I haven't yet had a face-to-face encounter, there's a good chance it will happen one of these days. I find their scat around my house, like 12 feet from the dwelling, and they tore apart a stump about 30 feet from the back corner last week. They're very active at this time of year.

I hope when my time comes, I'll handle it as well as you did. Bet I'll raise my hands, too.

Mothers and their cubs... ugh. The worst. I'll bet that was a long walk back to the car!!
  #10  
Old 06-22-2017, 07:59 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Damn aggressive panhandlers!

(Has this clip worn out its welcome, yet?)
  #11  
Old 06-22-2017, 08:21 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Those stories were on my mind when I was out there today (but not during the encounter. The only thing on my mind was "DANGER!! DANGER!!"). I do have a bear banger but, fortunately, didn't have to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
You're lucky it was a black bear. They have brown (grizzly) bears in B. C., too, don't they?
Yeah if there were grizzlies on the island, I would not go walking in the forest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
You handled it exactly right. Well done, you!

I live with bears in my area and though I haven't yet had a face-to-face encounter, there's a good chance it will happen one of these days. I find their scat around my house, like 12 feet from the dwelling, and they tore apart a stump about 30 feet from the back corner last week. They're very active at this time of year.

I hope when my time comes, I'll handle it as well as you did. Bet I'll raise my hands, too.

Mothers and their cubs... ugh. The worst. I'll bet that was a long walk back to the car!!
Thank you! I've stressed for the last year wondering what I would do if I ran into a mom and cub (it was only a matter of time) and today I found out.

The thing that leaves me feeling a bit freaked out still is that we were so close before my dog knew. If I'm going way out into the wilderness, I take a bell and make a lot of noise but this was in a fairly well-traveled area so I was caught off guard.

It was a freaking long walk back to the road!!! Funny enough, the dog wasn't in the least bit phased. Shortly after leaving the bear she was jumping in creeks like nothing had happened at all. I guess in her mind, nothing had really. There was an animal in a tree, she barked and off we went.
  #12  
Old 06-22-2017, 09:59 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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You do know about looking for fresh scat on the ground when you're in bear. country, don't you?

SPOILER:
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.

They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.

Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
  #13  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:19 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
You do know about looking for fresh scat on the ground when you're in bear. country, don't you?

SPOILER:
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.

They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.

Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
Booo!
  #14  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:26 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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My last black bear encounter was a couple of years ago in Yosemite.

I was driving down to Hetch Hetchy when a medium-sized bear came crashing down the hillside and ran across the road right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes--couldn't have missed it by more than a couple inches--in an instant it was across the road and disappeared down the hill on the other side. Scared the shit out of me. Good thing I was going a little under the speed limit-otherwise it would have been pretty nasty.

There are signs all over Yosemite where bears have been hit by cars...if you visit in the future, please obey the speed limits!

Last edited by blondebear; 06-22-2017 at 10:26 PM.
  #15  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:34 PM
Biotop Biotop is online now
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I remember hiking years ago in a remote area of the Shenandoah National Park. I was with my girlfriend and my black lab, who was supposed to be on a leash. Pedro was usually a fairly obedient dog though, so we were breaking the rules...

Anyway, we rounded a curve in the trail, and there was Momma black bear and cubs up ahead. They were moving up the side of the mountain towards the ridgeline above the trail AND my usually smart dog starts chasing the bears!! While I was freaking out and calling for my dog, the bears disappeared over the top of the ridgeline with my dog at their heels. About 10 minutes later Pedro returned panting heavily looking like he had just had a grand old time. Bad dog.
  #16  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:42 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
You do know about looking for fresh scat on the ground when you're in bear. country, don't you?


Quote:
Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
My last black bear encounter was a couple of years ago in Yosemite.

I was driving down to Hetch Hetchy when a medium-sized bear came crashing down the hillside and ran across the road right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes--couldn't have missed it by more than a couple inches--in an instant it was across the road and disappeared down the hill on the other side. Scared the shit out of me. Good thing I was going a little under the speed limit-otherwise it would have been pretty nasty.

There are signs all over Yosemite where bears have been hit by cars...if you visit in the future, please obey the speed limits!
I live in a very high-density bear area so I see them often when I'm driving. About a mile down the road is a large farmers field that abuts the forest. When the fields are growing the first, lush grass of the spring, there are often 2, 3, 4 bears all out there, munching away along side of deer and geese.

I've had a couple dash out in front of me but I always drive slowly around here and (knock wood) haven't run into one, yet.
  #17  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:40 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Black bears are pretty common around here. We've had to call kids in from recess because a bear was in the neighborhood. Once when I was taking a walk with my kids, a bear came strolling up a driveway, not exactly toward us, but on a vector that could intersect with ours if it wanted to. We were eating dinner once when a bear wandered through our (suburban, not forest) yard.

I guess I'm a little blase about them; I'd rather see a bear 30 feet from me than a large unleashed dog at the same distance. Black bears generally don't care about people and won't come up to them. I can't say the same about dogs.
  #18  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:38 AM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Bears are bigger than me. Bears are faster than me. I don't talk 'bear.' I leave them alone. I am still alive. Plan to keep it that way.
  #19  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:44 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Back when flip-phones were a thing, I saw a bear in my backyard. It was eating berries. I stepped out on to my back porch and took a picture. It was too far away fro a good picture, so I walked a few yards toward it and tried again. Still not a good pic, so I kept walking.

I eventually got a good picture, then ran back to my porch. Enlarging the picture, I saw a tag on the bear's ear. The Pennsylvania Game Commission was able to tell me from the number on the tag that it was a "nuisance bear" that had destroyed a neighbor's pool liner. It was trapped and relocated 60 miles away, making it back in less than a month.
  #20  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:30 PM
Cornelius Tuggerson Cornelius Tuggerson is offline
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I've only ever seen bears at the zoo and on TV so not much to contribute, but I find the phrase "nuisance bear" very amusing.
  #21  
Old 06-23-2017, 01:50 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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... I find the phrase "nuisance bear" very amusing.
Much less amusing to the folks as have to deal with them, though.
  #22  
Old 06-23-2017, 02:47 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
Those stories were on my mind when I was out there today (but not during the encounter. The only thing on my mind was "DANGER!! DANGER!!"). I do have a bear banger but, fortunately, didn't have to use it.



Yeah if there were grizzlies on the island, I would not go walking in the forest



Thank you! I've stressed for the last year wondering what I would do if I ran into a mom and cub (it was only a matter of time) and today I found out.

The thing that leaves me feeling a bit freaked out still is that we were so close before my dog knew. If I'm going way out into the wilderness, I take a bell and make a lot of noise but this was in a fairly well-traveled area so I was caught off guard.

It was a freaking long walk back to the road!!! Funny enough, the dog wasn't in the least bit phased. Shortly after leaving the bear she was jumping in creeks like nothing had happened at all. I guess in her mind, nothing had really. There was an animal in a tree, she barked and off we went.
Bells are a poor bet. Bears are only intimidated by noises they are not familiar with. Since most hikers carry bells, bears are usually not deterred by them. One of the best things to carry is one of those personal alarms that emits a piercing shriek when the lanyard is pulled. I knew a guide who carried one; she said every bear she pulled it on, including grizzlies, took off on a high lope. Cheap and effective.
  #23  
Old 06-23-2017, 02:51 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
My last black bear encounter was a couple of years ago in Yosemite.

I was driving down to Hetch Hetchy when a medium-sized bear came crashing down the hillside and ran across the road right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes--couldn't have missed it by more than a couple inches--in an instant it was across the road and disappeared down the hill on the other side. Scared the shit out of me. Good thing I was going a little under the speed limit-otherwise it would have been pretty nasty.

There are signs all over Yosemite where bears have been hit by cars...if you visit in the future, please obey the speed limits!
Username/post combo FTW.
  #24  
Old 06-23-2017, 03:45 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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About a month ago, my mother saw a black bear in her backyard in suburban south central Connecticut. This is an area in which the homes are on one-acre lots with lawns and some woods (so that about a quarter of the property is wooded). My point is that the bear would have to have crossed roads and cut through lawns to get to where she lives. Later that day I found an article on the local Patch site that someone on the street behind their house also saw a black bear (probably the same one).
  #25  
Old 06-23-2017, 04:22 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Bells are a poor bet. Bears are only intimidated by noises they are not familiar with. Since most hikers carry bells, bears are usually not deterred by them. One of the best things to carry is one of those personal alarms that emits a piercing shriek when the lanyard is pulled. I knew a guide who carried one; she said every bear she pulled it on, including grizzlies, took off on a high lope. Cheap and effective.
I think the reason for the bells (well, at least my reason) is to alert them to my presence and give them a chance to vamoose before I get closer.

I actually used to carry a personal alarm till the battery died. Depending on where I'm going, I carry a bear banger/flare, bear spray, a knife and wear a loud bell. Today I wore the bell but I don't think it was necessary as I was sure to make as much noise as a rampaging elephant

It was a bit spooky out there today, every twig snapping was a bear, every bird or squirrel in a tree was a bear...
  #26  
Old 06-23-2017, 04:26 PM
Murph1111 Murph1111 is offline
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I have a breezeway on the second story which connects the main house with a "mother-in-law" apartment. It overlooks a paved parking area.

Walking across one day, I see in peripheral vision an old black VW bug parked there. I take several steps before remembering that I don't know anyone who drives an old black VW,
nor was I expecting any visitors.

When I stop to take a closer look, the "VW" looks up at me, gives a sort of "whuff" and wanders off.
  #27  
Old 06-23-2017, 04:55 PM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Bells are a poor bet. Bears are only intimidated by noises they are not familiar with. Since most hikers carry bells, bears are usually not deterred by them. One of the best things to carry is one of those personal alarms that emits a piercing shriek when the lanyard is pulled. I knew a guide who carried one; she said every bear she pulled it on, including grizzlies, took off on a high lope. Cheap and effective.
The purpose of a bell is not to intimidate a bear. It's to let the bear hear that somebody is coming. Bears don't want confrontation any more than you do, but many attacks occur when a bear is surprised by a human. It's especially important when there are cubs around. Black bears are usually quite timid, but surprising a mother with cubs can be dangerous.

As for pepper spray, it's a dubious tool, in my opinion. There is evidence that it is sometimes effective when used correctly. But correct use involves waiting for a bear to come fairly close before discharging the spray. Faced with a charging grizzly, what proportion of people are likely to use it correctly? It's almost guaranteed that anyone who is not highly trained and experienced will discharge the spray far too early, leaving a diffuse mist of pepper that's as likely to blow back into the hiker's face as deter the bear.

Of course, if faced with a charging bear, you'd rather have spray with you than not. But the important question is whether carrying bear spray influences the probability of having an encounter in the first place. The false sense of security from bear spray may lead to risk compensatory behaviors, such as making people feel that it's safe enough to hike alone.

In grizzly territory, by far the best safety strategy is to travel in a group. Grizzly attacks on groups of 4 or more people are almost unheard of.

Last edited by Riemann; 06-23-2017 at 04:57 PM.
  #28  
Old 06-23-2017, 05:06 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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The purpose of a bell is not to intimidate a bear. It's to let the bear hear that somebody is coming.
You mean like a dinner bell?
  #29  
Old 06-23-2017, 05:18 PM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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You mean like a dinner bell?
You realize that it's extremely rare for bears (polar bears excepted) to prey on humans, right? No safety strategy is premised on hiding from a predator. You want them to know that you're there, so that they are not surprised and forced in to a quick fight-or-flight decision.
  #30  
Old 06-23-2017, 05:29 PM
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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You mean like a dinner bell?
Years ago I thought that would make a great farside comic but nobody else agreed with me. Something like a hiker with a bear bell and the momma bear calling out "dinner!" to the kids
  #31  
Old 06-23-2017, 06:53 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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In grizzly territory, by far the best safety strategy is to travel in a group. Grizzly attacks on groups of 4 or more people are almost unheard of.
Anecdotal evidence, I know, and not in the U. S.:

I was watching an episode of Man vs. Wild which was filmed in Romania. Host Bear Grylls mentioned an attack the previous week in his location by a brown bear on a group of seven people who were picking mushrooms. Not only were they all severely mauled, the bear even attacked a group of emergency rescuers who came to the aid of the victims.
  #32  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:24 PM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Anecdotal evidence, I know...
I said almost unheard of, not completely unheard of. There was also a group of seven NOLS students attacked in Alaska in 2011. But the incident was remarkable because it was so unusual. Statistics do show that hiking in a large group is the most reliable safety strategy in grizzly country.
  #33  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:46 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Bear encounter scene from the movie Shoot to Kill.

"Maybe we can throw it some food?"

"We ARE the food!"
  #34  
Old 06-23-2017, 07:59 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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You realize that it's extremely rare for bears (polar bears excepted) to prey on humans, right? No safety strategy is premised on hiding from a predator. You want them to know that you're there, so that they are not surprised and forced in to a quick fight-or-flight decision.
Yeah, I'm from Alaska and have more than a nodding acquaintance with our bruinous friends.
  #35  
Old 06-23-2017, 08:24 PM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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Local gunshop guy* I know hunts carabou in Alaska. He and his buddy had bagged one cow each, and called for pickup - The plane was flying in the next moring. They'd dressed their kills, but there was no place to cache them (tundra, you know). That night, a sow brownbear invaded their camp (mind you, it was the time of year where there was basically three hours of twilight, counting as 'night'), stolen my friend's kill, dragged it some three hundred fifty yards, and eaten 3/4 of the kill - all without anyone noticing until the plane was on it's way. The bear was still present - it moved off another hundred yards when they went to investigate. My friend salvaged the head, neck, and one shoulder.

Oh, and the offal pit they'd dug 500 yards away? It was empty, too.

Evidence caught on video (not the theft, obviously) - including waddling bear and stripped carcass (even bones had been consumed).

Big bears can be shockingly stealthy - and have AMAZING appetites.


*NOT the guy as had to defend himself from an Alaskan Brown with the Big Fucking Pistol.

Last edited by Tranquilis; 06-23-2017 at 08:26 PM.
  #36  
Old 06-23-2017, 08:56 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
You do know about looking for fresh scat on the ground when you're in bear. country, don't you?

SPOILER:
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.

They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.

Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
Would the small bells contained in the grizzly scat be the ones worn by the park visitors? Perhaps sautéed with bell peppers?
  #37  
Old 06-23-2017, 09:18 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Something sort of freaky tonight. I went down to feed the horses and had to tip out their feed pans because it'd rained today. In one, there was the bottom jaw of some small animal - maybe about 3" long. And then, as I was crossing the creek to go back up to the house, there was a 2nd one. Both looked fresh. My guess was they were possums, but I don't know. They didn't seem to have the dentition of rodents or rabbits. I have a barn cat, but I've never seen him go after possums. Coyote or fox kill? I don't know.

StG

Last edited by StGermain; 06-23-2017 at 09:18 PM.
  #38  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:08 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Would the small bells contained in the grizzly scat be the ones worn by the park visitors? Perhaps sautéed with bell peppers?
Or more likely sautéed with the pepper spray the park visitors were advised to spray at the bears.
  #39  
Old 06-24-2017, 01:27 AM
race_to_the_bottom race_to_the_bottom is offline
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I carry this, but the bears always take off running when they see me. Many times you have advanced notice that a bear is near as bears are not very quiet as they crash thorough the underbrush.
  #40  
Old 06-24-2017, 02:43 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
You do know about looking for fresh scat on the ground when you're in bear. country, don't you?



SPOILER:
The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.



They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.



Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.



It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.



Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.
We were told by the Rangers another way of distinguishing between the two.
SPOILER:
Climb a tree. Black bears will chase you up while grizzles will shake you out.
But I like yours better.
  #41  
Old 06-24-2017, 09:19 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by race_to_the_bottom View Post
I carry this, but the bears always take off running when they see me. Many times you have advanced notice that a bear is near as bears are not very quiet as they crash thorough the underbrush.
I used to carry a small air horn while hiking in Alaska. An occasional blast from that screamed "Human approaching!" Bells are not nearly loud enough.
  #42  
Old 06-24-2017, 03:17 PM
qfo_jb2013 qfo_jb2013 is offline
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For a deeper respect for the dangers of bear encounters, one may wish to view the lumber camp [ or some such camp ] trailer in Eurasia-Russia somewhere where a webcam or similar camera onsite shows bears charging into the trailer the men lived in... which had a wide open door for the bears. Thankfully the scene ends before the people are eaten...
  #43  
Old 06-24-2017, 06:07 PM
Shamozzle Shamozzle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
...Yeah if there were grizzlies on the island, I would not go walking in the forest ...
FYI, here are grizzlies on Vancouver Island now.
  #44  
Old 06-24-2017, 06:13 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is online now
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I have never felt threatened by a black bear in California, they have a pretty good reputation for not being aggressive. There are some places in the country that black bears are more likely to be aggressive. I have never seen a grizzly in the wild and I don't want to, they scare me.
  #45  
Old 06-24-2017, 06:25 PM
standingwave standingwave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Bells are a poor bet. Bears are only intimidated by noises they are not familiar with. Since most hikers carry bells, bears are usually not deterred by them. One of the best things to carry is one of those personal alarms that emits a piercing shriek when the lanyard is pulled. I knew a guide who carried one; she said every bear she pulled it on, including grizzlies, took off on a high lope. Cheap and effective.
The purpose is not to intimidate the bear but to merely let the bear know you are there. It avoids the surprise encounter. Startle a bear, even a small black bear, and anything can happen, most of them bad for the hiker.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  #46  
Old 06-26-2017, 03:55 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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When I lived in Klamath Falls, Oregon many years ago some jerk went out at night to deposit trash in his garbage can and found a black bear rummaging through the garbage. He went back in his house, secured a .45 automatic pistol and went back out to kill said bear. Shot the bear's lower jaw off, ran back inside and called the police. Squad cars were out for hours using loud speakers to alert residents to remain in their houses until the poor bear was located and put down. I don't remember any penalty being levied against the jerk who caused the incident. The shooting took place about a half-mile from where I was living; bear was found about three hundred yards from my house. I was hoping the bear would return and eat the shooter but it didn't happen.
  #47  
Old 06-26-2017, 11:48 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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I've seen a few black bears at distance in the Uinta Mountains. Far enough away that I'd call it a "sighting" instead of an "encounter", but even that was enough to get me a bit on edge. Ten years ago a boy was pulled out of his tent and killed by a black bear, but that was, I believe, the only fatal bear attack in Utah's recorded history.
  #48  
Old 07-01-2017, 02:16 PM
qfo_jb2013 qfo_jb2013 is offline
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Four hours or so up in the Sierra Nevada. late evening, a bear ambles toward my campsite. I crouch behind a tree and hiss at the bear as if it were a huge Fido and I were a huger Lion. He paused, and retreated, glancing at his food source, as I had put the backpack on a tree branch by a cord or something.
Later, rustling outside my tent as his jaws [ recollection a bit hazy, long time ago ] tested the empty food cans and/or canteens or whatever outside the tent. I procured a flashlight and went tracking him in the night. I do not remember encountering him however, and he may have just retreated... to bring down the backpack, mauling the backpack before dawn... [ as I said, hazy recollection.]
Leaving camp, the other party by the small lake were having their food stores eating/thrashed by the bear, and banging pans from a safe distance.

Inquired at a ranger station as I left the NF. He/she had been green tagged on the
ear meaning relocated from the car camping bear-friendly [ as in here is food, break something ] large campsite to the backcountry.

Sorry if any typos, grammar, etc, and it was decades ago...

Last edited by qfo_jb2013; 07-01-2017 at 02:17 PM. Reason: spelling errors.
  #49  
Old 07-01-2017, 02:41 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I was sleeping in my tent at Cook's Forest, PA when I heard somebody dumping trash in the dumpster, maybe 50 yards away. It was around 3 am, I was cold and pissed off at the inconsiderate assholes making all the racket.

When I carried some trash to the dumpster the next morning, it was off its concrete pad and there was garbage strewn around. Big paw prints on the dumpster from the bears that had raided it.
  #50  
Old 07-03-2017, 11:03 AM
Carryon Carryon is offline
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A black bear is more apt to run away from you than harm you. A brown bear is another thing.
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