We took a week and went to southern Oregon, partly to see Henry V at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, and partly to camp a bit in the Cascades. We stayed in a camp on Lake Odell, a beautiful place. On the second day, we took a hike up towards another lake. Now, in Alaska, bears were a given. You had to be careful where you hiked, and it was usually advisable to carry at least a loud noisemaker, if not a firearm. Grizzlies are nothing to fuck around with. When we left there, my wife the orsophobe breathed a large sigh of relief.

So we’re hiking along and stopped to take a photo and drink some water. I always keep a sharp lookout when in the woods, whereas she is more the type to gaze at scenery with a beatific smile on her face. I also have a real knack for spotting movement. As we started forward again, I caught a brief glimpse up-slope from the trail of something black moving uphill through the brush. I stopped my wife and said: “pretty sure I just saw a critter of some type.”

We walked on, slowly, while I kept scanning up-slope, expecting to maybe see a deer, or flush a large crow. Suddenly, there’s a crashing noise to my right, on the down-slope side, and I see the ass-end of a black bear charging downhill in an absolute panic. When he got near the creek, he bolted up a tree, which is often cub behavior. My wife says “do we go back?” Hell yeah, since the movement I saw was UP-slope and this yearling-sized guy was DOWN-slope from us. Blackies are usually shy, but no mama bear is going to give ground when a cub is involved.

Time to replace the batteries in the noisemakers.

Black bears are pretty common in western WA and OR. There have been lots of back yard sightings this year.
There are also cougars, the furry kind, not the old lady kind, too.

Both are shy, but as you said, will attack if provoked.
Stay safe.

My older brother used to go up to Alaska with a few of his idiot friends. On one trip, they were pulling into a campsite in either northern Montana or just over the border in Canada. In any case it was grizzly country. As they pull in, they see a grizzly who just ambles away. They kind of hope that he doesn’t return.

They put up camp, with two in a tent and the third on top of the truck with a gun. The bear did return. The guy on top of the truck was freaking out, but realized shooting the bear would only piss it off. The bear just looked around, took a swipe at the tent, and left. The tent pretty much collapsed. My brother in the tent slept through it.

When I first heard the story, I thought that he was making stuff up or embellishing things. Then I went camping with him. We used the same tent from his bear encounter, which had three strips of duct tape holding together three parallel 18 inch tears. Instead of a nice aluminum pole to hold up the front of the tent, he had a smooth branch that seemed to work.

I’m still not sure how he is still alive, because he has about a dozen other stories as crazy as that one.

When we lived in the foothills near Seattle we had 'em knocking on the door. :slight_smile:

I blame myself. I’m normally very aware of security needs, both urban and wild. I’ve let myself get lulled into a false sense of same, although I carry a firearm in the RV.

Had one walk down the street in Tahoe while I was working on a boat a couple weeks ago. Came by, went across the street and climbed to the top of a tree. Didn’t disrupt me too much, but I was keeping a lookout for his momma, cause he didn’t look all that old to me.

I was recently driving through the interior of BC and was given the Supreme Zoo treatment of animals. First we saw a lovely, fat black bear on a hill trying his best to rip open a tree trunk.

Further on was a coyote trotting along. We saw countless deer and prairie dogs who would stand literally inches away from the passing cars. There there was a badger rambling along by the side of the road ( he was awesome).

BUT! We saw something even awesomer!

About 20 feet or so off the side of the road was a mom moose with a baby! We were the only car around so I pulled over and the baby started to run away but mom didn’t seem concerned so he came back. He was all fuzzy and so cute. He was also bigger than a full grown deer.

Super cool!