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Old 07-22-2009, 05:24 PM   #43
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I read your story, left to go have dinner and came back - and my heart rate is still elevated. Great story - well told. You are like the Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods) of the Forums!

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Old 10-06-2009, 06:37 AM   #44
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I know this is an older thread, but I just came across it and was mesmerized by your story. Whoa... What an experience! Glad to hear everyone is OK.

I've only had 1 close-up with a bear, nothing quite like Carol's though. It was this past summer, we were camping in the Adirondacks (Old Forge - ugh, never again, but that's a different story). It had started to rain, and since my hubby was lying in bed b/c he strained his back, I had the lovely job of going out and making sure all the chairs were put away, and the awning was lowered on one side. Now, I had recently suffered total deafness in one ear, and partial in another ear due to a virus, so if a foghorn had been sounded next to me I wouldn't have heard it... At any rate, I finish my jobs and go back inside. A friend who was visiting us was on her way outside to go back to her cottage, at which point she was going to take her cooler. We only leave drinks in the cooler outside, no food. But she had come for dinner and brought goodies. So anyway, she exits the trailer and I have never seen anyone back into a trailer so fast in my life. She's babbling "bear, bear, bear". There was a black bear right there, beside the front door. Which is of course wide open and latched onto the side of the trailer because it was warm and we were all still awake. So all we had between us and the bear was the screen door... Luckily it was a black bear, they're mainly skittish of humans and just want some grub. Other campers started noticing and before long car horns were blaring, folks with their flashlights were waving, lots of shouting. Bear left. But I had to wonder - was Mr. Bear watching me shuffling around behind the trailer in the dark/pouring rain? Most likely. Made for an exciting evening - the kids were pumped up with excitement.

A friend of mine went camping in New Mexico years ago with his family, in a tent. He was awakened one night by noises in the campsite. His immediate thought was 'bear'. He lay still, hoping the bear would just amble away. But the bear came closer and closer to the tent to investigate. Having just a very thin piece of material between him and this bear was disconcerting enough, but he said he could smell the rotten death-like smell coming from it - it was overwhelming, almost - can I say - unbearable? (groan, sorry ). The bear was sniffing around the perimeter of the tent, making these snuffling/grunting type sounds. My friend's wife, who was sleeping on the other side of the tent (kids are all in the middle) starts to snore. The bear stops his snuffling as soon as she snores. When she let out another snore, the bear answered back in a louder growl. Back and forth this went a couple times, with my friend frantically stage whispering "Maxine! Maxine! Wake up!!". Eventually Maxine woke up, stopped her snoring/bear calls, and the bear eventually did end up ambling off.

Never a dull moment when you're camping.


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Old 10-06-2009, 09:06 AM   #45
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Wow, and I missed this by not lurking around the forums?!

Great read!

Here's some input from an Idaho boy that spent his portion of time in the great outdoors with bears, cougars, bobcats, elk, deer, and most recently, wolves. And sorry in advance for crossing the etiquette line here, sometimes that’s just the way it is . . .

If you want to deter a non human-adjusted bear (one that hasn't learned that humans have/equal food), then drink a lot so you can pee around the object you wish to protect. As a hunter, I protect my game that must be left overnight via this process. Most predators will leave once they get that particular smell of human. This is particularly effective for alpha or territory type animals: it’s how they mark their territory!

Menstruation attracts predator animals. A woman in menstruation will also want to avoid stud horses.

Your dogs are way safer with a bear then with wolves. Yes, dogs do get killed by bears, but usually only when backed in a corner by the dog(s). They hunt bear with dogs.

As for Wolves: pet owners beware: wolves are second as a predator only to humans. We have had many dogs taken from their owners’ yard/leash by wolves. They are killing machines that utilize every opportunity to teach their young how to pack hunt and refine their skills, hungry or not!
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:20 AM   #46
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If yer gonna hike/camp/live/visit bear country, then carry a damned gun. A big one with a lotta ammo. And know how to use the thing, and where to shoot a bear. Like in the eye or through the roof of their mouth, whichever presents itself best. Or, if you have enough ammo, just let 'em have it.

I have no respect for anyone who takes themselves into bear country, and then is attacked or killed because they refused to carry a gun. A gun is a tool, just like a hammer. It's not evil, and it won't jump up and start shooting people.

I've seen the results of a bear encounter went bad - and the sad part is I had told them to carry a gun and they didn't.

So, if you have kids, or pets, or simply like staying alive and maintaining possession of all your limbs, consider carrying a firearm. And don't say I didn't warn you.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:07 PM   #47
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ont , Ontario
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human-moose conflict

Hmm, I'm not sure why you all are so worried about bears! In Canada, you know, more people are actually injured by MOOSE than bears!

Most Canadian airstreamers have no idea how much danger they are in. Moose have notoriously bad eyesight, so when a male moose comes across an airstream in the woods, awnings out, jacks down, this is what he *actually* sees:
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:33 PM   #48
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Bear Country (our back yard)

I woke up IN VIRGINIA BEACH one morning about 10 years ago - listening to the radio report that there was a brown bear climbing a telephone pole just off of I-264! We are talking down-freaking-town Virginia Beach, Folks!

Virginia Beach is a BIG city and I-264 was at that time a six lane divided highway. We always knew there were bears in the Great Dismal Swamp and in the fens and swamps of rural areas. One apparently went adventuring a bit far from his normal home.

I spend a lot of time in "rural" Virginia Beach and on my campground I see great blue herons, egrets, eagles, peregrine falcons, red tailed hawk, owls, deer, fox, more raccoons and rabbits than you can count - and frankly I wouldn't be totally surprised to see a bear.

BTW - I don't know if this is a good idea for bear or not, but a friend sent me a very sensible e-mail. It contained the idea that those wimpy little cans of pepper spray that are supposed to fend off human attackers would better be replaced by a WASP SPRAY can. It will shoot a spray 10 or more feet and when aimed at the eyes will temporarily blind an attacker (Which might just piss off a bear). Our business is a 24/7 answering service - so having something effective for our midnight staff? HMMMMM...

Last point - if you're female and menstruating stay in the city for a couple of days. Seems that YOU smell like a bear in heat. The bear might not be attracted to your FOOD. (My cousin a forest ranger for 24 years is the source of this tidbit.)

Anyway Bear Country is closer than you think.

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Old 10-06-2009, 05:54 PM   #49
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Moose warning: a moose—car or truck collision is often death for the motor vehicle passengers since moose have very long legs and their bodies end up going through the windshield and landing in your face. Moose are spreading through the US too. I never hear of bears colliding with cars and trucks—and they have bad eyesight too, though not as bad as moose—mostly deer around here. I know people who have hit deer twice in a space of several years, though now that I think of it one of them hasn't the best eyesight either.

Wasp/bee spray will go 20' or more so you can get the nests at the ridge line of a roof or a nest in the tree. We have serious paper wasp infestations here. Ortho's spray button is very hard to push, so I'll buy a different brand next time. I wonder what a bear would do if sprayed with it? I wouldn't want to find out. If you want to use wasp spray on a human attacker, this is a pesticide and some people are hypersensitive to them and can die. Pepper spray will stop most people, but will not kill them or cause major allergic reactions. Using deadly force in many situations can get you in a lot of trouble with the law. I never pushed the button on a can of bear spray so I don't know the range.

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Old 01-01-2010, 12:46 AM   #50
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Happy New Year Everybody!

Stay tuned for more good stories...............

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Old 01-01-2010, 01:59 AM   #51
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Happy New Year Carol.

We just found your thread. Wow! That was quite an experience you had. Great story and great storytelling skills. We felt like we were there with you-well almost.

We're so relieved that you and your loyal companions came out of it relatively unscathed. We're also glad you were in an Airstream and not in a tent.

When were in Yosemite two years ago, camping in the valley in our 1974 Tradewind, we were awakened at around three in the morning with nearby campers yelling, "BEAR, BEAR!". We were so glad to be safely ensconced in our little aluminum home away from home. Gemma's brother and his family were camping in a tent right next to us. Gemma remarked that she was surprised that we didn't have four extra guests right after that incident. We thought that the experience might push them over the edge to buy an Airstream. So far they seem to perfectly content to borrow one of ours.

We'll look forward to reading about more of your adventures!

Until then, happy and SAFE journeys,
Gemma and Murray
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:38 AM   #52
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Great story.....

can you see our bear inside?
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:10 AM   #53
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OK, Reading back through the posts on this page brings up a few new questions on this subject. I can just see me trying to pee around my entire trailer, men seem to have it a lot easier in that department. How often do you have to do the pee dance? Every night? Menstruation wasn't the issue during that event either. I STILL cannot figure out why that bear was so determined to get in. Believe me, I hadn't seen a bear in the entire year I had been staying up there, only an occasional scat. I have never seen the bear since, though I walk here often. Bears have been showing up more often locally lately, coming right into downtown Ojai.

I spent New Years Day walking the ranch with my dogs. It was so lovely and my bear companion must have been off in the wilds doing his perambulations. The funny part was that some people I have never met were also walking up there. We said hello and talked about what an incredible place the ranch was. I told them about the good fortune I had in having my Airstream up there during the last year and the next thing out of their mouths was, "So YOU'RE the BEAR LADY!!!

So far, no moose...
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #54
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I hear that moose, especially the momma's, can also be very aggressive---so be careful, and keep those pups close!

We were in Northern MN or the UP, I think it was (lots of traveling in 2009), this past year when a dog bolted out of a tent about 30 feet from us and scared off a black bear who was trying to break into A COOLER THAT HAD BEEN LEFT OUTSIDE WITH BACON IN IT!! The dog had never seen a bear before, and didn't know to fear it. Just did what dogs naturally do.

Love them pups.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #55
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Thumbs up Hi Carol...

An amazing story of you're true Grit! I'm happy that you and the puppies came through it all on the brighter side.
Of many great things that came out of this, was a list from you and others on very important carry-ons. Keep them maintained and in good working order so as any emergency can be kept from getting out of hand, and or, the percentages in your favor.

I always carried two Co2 fire extinguishers with flex hoses and the funnel shaped discharge ends. A good shot in the snout, from either, would have frozen the eyeballs, cut down the smell, or the noise would have sent him, or her running. They Bark pretty good!

Thank you.

PS, sorry Carol for my poor spelling...

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Old 01-03-2010, 12:41 AM   #56
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After it was all over and I was breathing normally again, I asked my friend, "What would YOU have done?" First thing out of his mouth was, "Where was your fire extinguisher?"
I had three of them in the trailer, but for some reason, the synapse never fired in my brain....

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bears, defense

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