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Old 05-14-2009, 10:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by purman View Post
I would get yourself a can of bear pepper spray, I'm sure someone has mentioned it, and it works on people too.
purman, how do you know about how it works on people? Please expand on that.

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Old 05-15-2009, 08:17 AM   #44
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More people are injured by Bison than bears every year. See YS web site.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:21 AM   #45
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More people are injured by Bison than bears every year.
But bison are, unlike bears, vegetarians, so at least there's something left to bury.

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #46
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Include pretty much anything with a strong odor in that list.

Several years ago, one of the Boy Scouts over at Cimarron (Philmont) was killed by a bear when it entered his tent. The only thing anybody could figure out was that the kid had some nice, strawberry-aroma shampoo.

Lynn
If you're talking about back in '86, there were a couple kids, but they were scalped pretty badly as the bear drug them out of the tent by their heads. Neither died, but it was traumatic. We had a deodorant war and wrestling match the night before, and I think one of them got the worst of it, thus him getting targeted due to the perfume smells.

It was the result of many things coming together which I can see happening in Yellowstone. It was a sick female bear that was very hungry and had become conditioned to seeing hikers walking by. She learned that the orange things had easy prey inside due to an interaction a week or so earlier with another hiker.

The camp was actually a group of treks in the same area, all camped in the same valley, but spread out a bit. There had been quite a few deer in the area munching on the lush grass the night before as well, so the bear had to know that was a great place to get something to eat.

Tie in the stupid idea of some kids smearing deodorant all over each other, a bunch of tents in the middle of the valley lit up by the moonlight, and a hungry, desperate bear and the result was actually surprising that nobody did get killed.


So for the original poster of this thread, respect the bear. Especially in a place where they are used to people. Go to Yellowstone and enjoy it, just take the recommended precautions. I would also suggest not even cooking in your Airstream while there. Cook outside as far away as is convenient. I've seen a minivan passenger door folded down at the window frame where the bear stuck his claws in at the top, and just pulled. If he wants in to your airstream, he's getting in, so make him think there are easier targets by not keeping smelly things like peanut butter in the RV.

I would also consider having a large handgun, or a shotgun in the trailer. Better to pay the fine if you have to take him out than to have a family member attacked while inside sleeping. Prevention and stopping it are a whole lot better than waiting for a rescue and a medivac while an angry, hungry bear is circling you until dawn. Trust me.

The other thing I've learned while being out in the wild since then is that if you see a black bear... She's stalking you. She wants you to see her so you let your guard down. This doesn't necessarily apply in Yellowstone because bears are fairly common looking for handouts. If you see a grizzly, it's because it's pretty much indifferent to your presence, and then usually just wants to get away. Unless you're waving a salmon at it perhaps,. or between a momma and cubs.

Regardless, it's the sick, injured bear you really need to be wary of.

I don't mean to scare anybody off from camping. I still go all the time. Just do what you can to minimize any exposure to the bears, and be prepared to go to war with nature if you have to.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:06 PM   #47
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The chances are pretty good that no matter how hard you try, you will enjoy the typical camping/yellowstone adventure. The masses of folks are very well guided by the rules that prevent CNN from doing a primetime show about campers getting eaten by Yogi and Boo-boo.
They will insist that you dont have any ice chests unattended and no grills left outside. The first thing the camp host will tell you is they are pet-unfriendly. We took our dog, Mac, and we were warned thet but they don't like feeding the local Coyotes, so keep the pets close by. We never were able to get a true remote experence, kinda like a boondocking version of 6 flags with some unbelievable views.
"stay on the board walk, keep moving"

My bet is you will enjoy the Tetons much better....
I agree. There's also a nice lake and campground that hardly has any traffic NE of Jackson up in the mountains' bout an hour or so out of town. I don't think it has much in hookups though, but you can maneuver a rig around.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:11 PM   #48
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Just curious, are the local campgrounds with hookups (e.g., KOA, etc.) any safer, as far as bears are concerned? We are also planning a trip to Yellowstone, but will stay at KOA-type parks for the convenience (grandkids); and will disconnect and take day trips into the park.

In similar excursions into Yosemite, we didn't see any bears...

My experience was that the park campgrounds along the river on the east side of the highway north of Jackson (it's a side road) were quite enjoyable, though typical first come, first serve. I was tent camping at the time, so can't tell you how good the RV sites are.

We also have stayed at the commercial campground (forget name) just south of the yellowstone south entrance.. Lots of generators running, folks who had moved in for the summer, and bored teenagers wandering through campsites. They take reservations however, and do have a convenience store across the road.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:05 AM   #49
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For a POSITIVE bear experience, if you are in the vicinity of Cades Cove in Smoky Mountain NP, black bears are out in force! We are near there with kids/grandkids and had a wonderful time yesterday driving Cades Cove, taking the grandchildren to see how people and their ancestors lived long ago (when people had to pee outside, giggle, giggle, per the 6 & 4 year olds) and watching the BEARS!!! Saw a momma with three cubs, another adult bear and a young bear eating so close to the roadside that we got some really great photos. (I find posting photos rather arduous, sorry) Also lots of deer. The kids were enthralled, as were grandma and grandpa and mommy & daddy. The word was apparently out, as there were lots of cars cruising the Cove. Great fun!
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:54 AM   #50
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When I lived in the Adirondacks, back in the day dumps were dumps and not sanitary landfills, (the 70s) favorite pastime on Saturday night was get a couple of six packs and drive down to the dump and play with the bears. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were a big hit. The bears would climb all over the cars. Some bears also discovered that ripping off the vinyl from car roofs was great bear fun. The bears also enjoy a good brewski.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:27 PM   #51
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Near Haines, Alaska, where a river enters the Lynn Canal (part of the Inside Passage), when the salmon are running, there's a bridge across the river where people congregate and watch the bears (black bears only I believe) feed. We even saw a school bus there. Sorry, we didn't take any photos of that, but here's one of a mother and 2 cubs just south of the Arctic Circle along the Dempster Highway in Yukon Terr.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:07 AM   #52
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We long to see Griz, are going back West next year and up into Canada in a few years, God willing and the creek don't rise. Hoping for a not-too-close encounter at some point. Have talked with people who have done the Grizzly Bear encounter thing at Denali NP in Alaska---where they teach you how to keep from being eaten and then take you out into the wilds to get REALLY close. Not quite up for that, but sounds like an amazing experience.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:41 PM   #53
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