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Old 08-30-2007, 01:18 PM   #1
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Bear problems?

We are newbies awaiting delivery of our 2008 23' Ocean Breeze International, and we'd like to know if anyone has had problems with bears trying to break in when they smell food. If so, what's the solution?

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Old 08-30-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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Guns!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Welcome to the forums. If someone has encountered this, you can be sure they will post soon.

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Old 08-30-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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Hi Batch.

Your post does not specify black or griz, I will assume from your location that you are refering to black bear. Frankly, either species, if they want in your camper, will be coming in. The thing to do is not to encourage the desire for them to break in. Generally speaking, a campground where this type of damage is likely to occcur will have a documented or at least verbal history of a "problem" bear in the area. Pay attention to local knowledge and heed the warnings of campground host and rangers.

Over all, the best thing to do is maintain good bear country disipline at all times. This means not allowing garbage/scraps (or any other "bear bait") to be left about the campsite and putting food up when not in use. There is more to this and I can add to it later if you want. The big thing to remember is bear problems tend to develop incrementally from small issues to physical damage and human injury followed by destruction of a bear. So, safty for all of us is best secured by not setting up circumstances in which bear become habbituated to humans and veiw campgrounds as a source of food.

Having personally been involved with bear-human issues for an extended period I would also urge you to always camp as though you are in bear county. This develops good habbits and lessens the chance you will slip up and get someone, or some bear hurt or killed in the future. I can add to this or suggest readings if you like.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Pitch a pound of ripe hamburger on top of the neighbors SOB when he isn't looking.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:39 PM   #5
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You must have a hardside to camp in Yellowstone because of bears. I'm surprised at the RV industry's ability to sell lightweight full-size trailers and include the slide out canvas covered beds.

Even a raccoon could cause a lot of damage just trying to get in. I'd think a black bear would have to get very lucky to solve your aluminum Rubik cube and actually get inside. It took countless attempts before black bears learned from each other in finding the key to breaking car windows to get inside cars in Yosemite. Like Rodney says, that was a people problem from leaving coolers, food, wrappers and daypacks where they could be smelled. Rangers out there now patrol the parking lots and impose heavy fines if they see such items through the windows. The point is - cars are familiar and all similar. Each RV is different.

In the drought year of 1976 I had a hungry sow come into a tent camp at dinnertime. She got some brownies, jerky and licked the mac and cheese pan clean. Thank goodness the bearbag was already hung -- but she still checked the tree trunk for a rope. It was tied off on a neighboring tree and that was beyond her experience. They know what they know - see food, eat food. The other stuff is harder to learn.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #6
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Cook and eat your food away from the camper when possible. Clean up immediately. This was a similar situation when out on patrol in the Army. You eat somewhere different from your RON(rest over night) site. We did not worry about bears, just the two legged animals that where looking for us. Their claws carried AK-47s/RPG-7s.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:20 PM   #7
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Bear problems?

Thanks for the reminders regarding the prevention of bear problems in campgrounds. Having had a home at Lake Tahoe for many years, we know the rules for co-existing with our furry friends. On the other hand, should one attempt to scratch its way into our new Airstream because the aroma from dinner was just too tempting...

Glad to hear this isn't a problem........yet........

Batchelors
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
You must have a hardside to camp in Yellowstone because of bears. I'm surprised at the RV industry's ability to sell lightweight full-size trailers and include the slide out canvas covered beds.
I think that restriction is only at fishing bridge. We have camped many times at Madison when we had our popup.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:49 PM   #9
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Some friends that had an SOB parked in the timber all summer arrived to find that a bear had opened a hole in the top to gain entry and another hole in the side to leave. Didn't bother the door, any of the vents, or windows. Just made a big hole where he wanted. I fear they could do the same to our A/S. In that case a 12 GA loaded with slugs would be the best deterent. Much better to observe good bear country proceedures and avoid the problem if possible.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:00 PM   #10
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Last year while we were camping at Yosemite, they were having such awful problems with the bears, we put all food in the bear proof lockers that are located at each campsite. We came prepared and even brought an ice chest and took the food out of the fridge! Absolutely no food, shampoo, soap, etc. in the trailer. All in the metal locker at night. I have seen what they do to car doors, they rip them off like a paper plate! We "restocked" the trailer when leaving to camp in less bear inhabited areas.

I agree with a post above... read the local signs, ask the ranger (if there actually is one!) and take heed. While at Yosemite a bear was right outside our trailer and actually walked over the hitch (still connected to the truck) during the night. I happened to be looking out the window!

Bears, will it seems, take the easiest route to food... so if it seems like work at your camp, they will look elsewhere. The do follow their noses... If you live in the woods, and have an occasional bear, I would suggest not storing food in your trailer when not in use.

Good luck! Happy camping!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royce
Some friends that had an SOB parked in the timber all summer arrived to find that a bear had opened a hole in the top to gain entry and another hole in the side to leave. Didn't bother the door, any of the vents, or windows. Just made a big hole where he wanted. I fear they could do the same to our A/S. In that case a 12 GA loaded with slugs would be the best deterent. Much better to observe good bear country proceedures and avoid the problem if possible.
All summer? After trying a number of storage situations with variable rodent issues, I never store my Airstream with any food inside whatsoever -- give 'em food and all sorts of critters will get interested. In fact, if the woodpeckers don't stop soon I'm thinking of not keeping any food in my house!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
All summer? After trying a number of storage situations with variable rodent issues, I never store my Airstream with any food inside whatsoever -- give 'em food and all sorts of critters will get interested. In fact, if the woodpeckers don't stop soon I'm thinking of not keeping any food in my house!
You can redirect the woodpeckers efforts. They are looking for a resonate surface to attract a mate. A hollow wooden box, like a tone drum, placed easy to get at and they may leave your house alone. Use a hardwood with at lease 1 inch of space between front and back, five sides, leave the bottom open.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royce
Some friends that had an SOB parked in the timber all summer arrived to find that a bear had opened a hole in the top to gain entry and another hole in the side to leave. Didn't bother the door, any of the vents, or windows. Just made a big hole where he wanted. I fear they could do the same to our A/S. In that case a 12 GA loaded with slugs would be the best deterent. Much better to observe good bear country proceedures and avoid the problem if possible.
Actually - unless you have hunted bear at close range and have shot a predator that can kill you as easily as you can kill him than you should re-think your choice of loads. I would tend to lean towards 00buck - wider pattern - lots more pellets to hit vitals and easier to aim while you are shaking so much. This goes for the two legged type of predators too.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:56 PM   #14
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Actually - unless you have hunted bear at close range and have shot a predator that can kill you as easily as you can kill him than you should re-think your choice of loads.
Actually, NO. The easiest and most effective (short of a dog of any variety) not to mention safe way to get a black bear out of your camp is to make LOUD EXTENDED noise. PERIOD. Black bear go way out of their way to avoid physical contact with humans. If you look at bear related injuries (which I do) you will quickly appreciate that there are basically 2 types of issues. 1 where the bear gets "crowded" and takes a slap at someone, and 2- the extreemly rare case of predation (almost always by a yearling and not germain to this thread).

Black bears ARE NOT generally agressive and waiting to pick off the random camper. Even though I am a gun owner and advocate, they really have no reasonable place in dealing with black bear.

Disclaimer: I know a number of the gun comments have been made in jest, which I am prone to myself. This is one of those topics that I take pretty sensitive, if you want to have a long talk over drinks sometime to find out why we can do that. As for capping 2 legged problems, I have no beef withGlancy's suggestion.
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