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Old 08-31-2007, 12:09 PM   #29
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Thing to remember about bears, whether black or Griz, is that they're strong individualists (like us human beans), and so are not especially predictable, and are prone to neurosis (also like us). You just can't say with much credibility that a bear "will" do so and so.

I've lived much of my life in the open in black bear country, and have counted a couple of bears as good friends. I've been chased off my camp by grumpy bears about as often as I've grumpily chased them off mine. I generally don't mind having them around, which is more than I can say about some of the folks from town, and probably more than most bears would say about me.

Fellow I knew back home in the Rockies was eaten by a black bear. He wasn't the brightest bulb in the marquee, and kept a dirty camp around his old hard-sided travel trailer in the backcountry. When he told us of problems with a returning agressive bear, a friend loaned him a 30.06.

When we missed him at the bar for a few weeks we went up and found his trailer door, riddled with bullet holes, ripped off. And we eventually found part of the guy under a dirt mound. Local folk did finally kill the offending bear (sadly killing the wrong one first), and he had a mostly healed scar on his forehead where a 30.06 round had glanced off. Bear skulls are thick and steeply sloped in relation to your point of aim. Shoot for the chest or side if you have to shoot. I killed one with a .22 when I was a little kid, but it took all day and most of a box of shells.

I live full-time in my Airstream, almost always in bear country. It would be inconvenient to say the least to always cook and store food away from the trailer. But when I see signs of a particular bear (or mountain lion for that matter) becoming threatening, I readily resort to preparing, hanging, and eating food far from camp. Heck, I even designate special food prep clothing (in season ) that gets hauled up into the tree with the food. When the situation is less extreme, I just put aromatic food in the refrigerator, where the door seals do a pretty good job of limiting wafting smells. Only canned food and the like goes in cabinets.

Anyone who has figured out how to survive in New York City likely already has most of the skill set necessary to live with bears. You just have to realize that there's probably not a cop on every third corner, and that even a young bear is a lot stronger than a full-grown crackhead, and possibly just as agressive.

Having big dogs around generally helps. Note use of the plural. Many bears have no compunction about attacking a single dog, no matter how good a scrapper, but few will approach two large, confident dogs. My two dogs do a very good job of keeping bears and mountain lions at bay. One is an enormous Husky / Bernese Mountain dog that looks the bear himself, but is quite deferrential to actual bears. The other is a small-ish Husky / Grey Wolf that'll jump bears for sport. It's risky to be in bear country with either of them alone because the one has no intent of offering protection while the other is more likely to provoke than prevent confrontatiion. Together they make a fine anti-bruin team.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:14 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhunt
Perhaps most revealing is that, so far, nobody has a story of a bear peeling off the door or ripping a hole in an Airstream. More than anything else, this seems to say it's very unlikely. I'll wait to hear someone with a solid harrowing story of bear attacking AS before I want to take this whole issue very seriously.
You are correct, it is unlikely. Why is it unlikely? In no small part this is the result of better educated campers over the last 30 years. As campers have become better educated about bears and how to camp in bear country, much of the needless bear-human conflicts have been avoided. However, it can, and has, happened. Silvertwinkie (I think) has posted a picture of a airsteam that had been worked over by a griz. I can also come up with photographs of bear inflicted damage to objects far more substancial than airstreams.

Paradoxically, not taking the issue seriously is what directly leads to problems. Why is that? Not taking bear county discipline serious leads to messy camps. Messy camps lead to fed/habituated bears. Habituated bears lead to damage and injury. Hence, in order to keep these events rare, good camping habits must be maintained and bears taken seriously.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:18 PM   #31
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[quote=bhunt]Perhaps most revealing is that, so far, nobody has a story of a bear peeling off the door or ripping a hole in an Airstream. More than anything else, this seems to say it's very unlikely. I'll wait to hear someone with a solid harrowing story of bear attacking

I have been known to tear the lid of a cooler to get at a beer...
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:55 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
I think that restriction is only at fishing bridge. We have camped many times at Madison when we had our popup.
Four years ago we camped at Madison with our Popup. (However, it snowed , in June, when we were there, and that is the reason we went with an Airstream)

I appreciate the words of wisdom spoken here, and the reminders to keep a clean camp.

Sam
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:43 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
...I wonder if I ought to write up an article for the forums about black bears this winter. If there is sufficent interest and I can fit it in I will consider doing so, but I dont want to go to the effort if there is no interest.
Rodney,

I would be very interested in reading your article. One vote cast, anyone else?
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:36 PM   #34
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Thats a solution.A bear enters my trailer its dead .We do have the right to protect our homes from these criters.Yes ,I am a bear lover.I also carry fire crackers as a first resort.
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:28 PM   #35
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I support the right to arm bears!

I have lived and worked in Brown and black bear country, hands on with bears. We deal with it.

Bears in your food / camp ground is not a bear problem…it’s a people problem.
Bears are creatures of habit and once habituated to equate humans with food tend to repeat the pattern. Dog food seems to be a favorite.

No attractant…no bears.

They tend to be curious and seeking easy path to a free meal. If that’s your trash can or camp stove smelling of cooked meat…..there’s the bear.

Loud noise, yelling works best on black bears.

I have had to threaten to close down campgrounds because careless campers wanted me to “remove” a “problem” bear.

There’s even a law here against putting your residential trash out before 6am on pickup day.

Keep your camp clean and food odor free. Food stored inside, OUT OF SIGHT, in sealed containers

A fed bear becomes a dead bear.

I wouldn’t try to use 00 buck to stop a 1200 lb charging brown bear. 12ga slug head shot MIGHT. .44 mag usually will. Hitting vitals is near impossible from head on.

I have used pepper spray on noncharging brown and black bears (to alter their behavior). I have seen them walk right through the cloud, sometimes it works to change their “attitude”.

How do you tell if a bear charge is a bluff???.....if they stop!!

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Old 08-31-2007, 04:40 PM   #36
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...

I wouldn’t try to use 00 buck to stop a 1200 lb charging brown bear. 12ga slug head shot MIGHT. .44 mag usually will. Hitting vitals is near impossible from head on.

...
Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is a bear that is dead but doesn't know it yet can cause a lot of damage to one's day.
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