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Old 09-26-2014, 09:23 AM   #15
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A bear story

My son used to live in Vail, CO. After a long day at work he went to the grocery rather late. It was well past dark when he got back to his apartment, which was on the second floor of a large house in a secluded neighborhood.

He took 2 armloads of groceries from the carport to the apartment door, propped it open, went upstairs and dropped off the first bags. He went back for the second load and again, went upstairs to the kitchen. When he got there he found two black bear cubs checking out his apartment. They were in the bedroom, living room and mostly, the kitchen.

He didn't know what to do, so he started yelling at them, waving his arms. The bears seemed to think it was entertainment and just sat still and watched him. He tried several times but they would just stop what they were doing and look at him. Finally, the cubs got bored and went down the stairs and outside.

Relieved, my son started back to his truck for the rest of his groceries. Then it dawned on him: where's mama??? He called a neighbor who came over with a shotgun and stood guard while my son got the rest of the groceries inside the apartment. Afterward, his friend said "Do your grocery shopping in the daytime", smiled and left.

My son never did see the mama bear but now he keeps the door closed and doesn't shop after dark anymore.

Other than a bear coming through a resort area where we stay in Wisconsin, I don't have any personal experience with them. But I've been told that you NEVER want to run away from a black bear. They think you're food and will come after you. It's best to stand your ground and make yourself look as big as possible while slowly moving at a right angle to the bear's position. They are excellent climbers so don't even think about going up a tree. They swim well too.

Mostly, they won't bother you; mostly
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:59 AM   #16
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Recently here in NJ we had someone killed by a Black Bear. Recently as in the past few weeks. He was with a group and they all scattered and RAN in different directions. First mistake was the group separating. Second mistake was running. Don't ever forget you cannot outrun them. If you see baby bears, Moma is not far away.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #17
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See page two and three of this NPS publication, specifically "Backpacking and Bears," "Food and Bears," "Recommended Camp Setup in Bear Counrty," and "Bear Pepper Sprays."
Attached Files
File Type: pdf bctrip-planner_2012.pdf (2.47 MB, 20 views)
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #18
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Do not rely on your Airstream to protect you from bears. Bears can and do break into steel cars, an aluminum Airstream is much less sturdy. Your Airstream merely makes you crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside.

The more bear/human interaction there is the less afraid the bears are.

Self defense against bears is a little like self-defense against human predators...
  1. be alert
  2. have bear spray at hand
  3. have a small campfire going, and fuel to make it a BIG one close at hand
  4. stay in groups
  5. never look or smell like EASY prey
  6. be selfish enough to let others look weaker or yummier!
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Do not rely on your Airstream to protect you from bears. Bears can and do break into steel cars, an aluminum Airstream is much less sturdy. Your Airstream merely makes you crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside.



The more bear/human interaction there is the less afraid the bears are.



Self defense against bears is a little like self-defense against human predators...
  1. be alert
  2. have bear spray at hand
  3. have a small campfire going, and fuel to make it a BIG one close at hand
  4. stay in groups
  5. never look or smell like EASY prey
  6. be selfish enough to let others look weaker or yummier!

OooooMg. You guys are so funny!!! And scary!!!
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:21 PM   #20
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A serious suggestion, have a handheld air horn handy to scare away the bears:
Amazon.com: Wolo WOL497 Hand Held Air Horn: Automotive
In addition to making a good bear-scarer, it also lets other people know you're in trouble.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:40 PM   #21
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We really enjoy seeing bears, and actively look for them, though a face to face with a bear is not common. During most of our encounters we have been in our truck and the bears were crossing the road.

My favorite places to camp during summer is in the mountains of NC and VA. There are no grizzlies, only black bear. I have encountered black bear from the very northern end of the Skyline Drive to the southern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountains. Every one of the campgrounds in the Blue Ridge Parkway have bear warning signs. The 15 or 20 bear I have encountered in the last 10 years have run away, with the exception of two times. Those two times there were cubs and a mother. Once we were in our car when we saw 4 cubs and a mother from 50' away. The cubs climbed a tree and mom stood guard on the ground. The other time my wife and were walking down a trail and met a cub just a few feet in front of mother, about 20' down the trail coming right toward us. The mother stood her ground, the cubs ran behind mother, and we quickly moved away from them. No problems! Had we been closer before we saw each other or panicked and ran, that bear might have attacked. Calmly/slowly move away from a bear is my advice, the bear is afraid of you too! The only reason a bear will attack is to protect young or get food.

I have been in campgrounds and on hiking trails where others have had a close problematic encounter with bears. Without exception these bears have been trying to get at food left in the wrong location by tent campers and hikers. A few hikers forfeit their lunch when a bear smells it and comes looking. Tent campers are usually the people that have problems in campground. Children especially, leaving snack food in a tent cause problems. If you are in one of these campgrounds, when finished eating store food inside the vehicles or use the metal food storage boxes provided at each campsite.

From my experience, it would be extremely rare for a bear to attempt to enter your trailer or even let you see them when they are near by. In short, do not leave food out where bears can get at it and you will be unlikely to have a problem.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I want to photograph them one day....with a LONG lens (right now I only have a 70-200mm nikon lens, f4 as my longest lens)

I am guessing baby bears could prove a dangerous scenario as well? As in parent(s) nearby very territorial?
Go to a 500mm cat or add a doubler to your zoom. As an NPS ranger (bear management qualified) I have been face-to face with them, but always feel much better/safer (especially when concentrating on getting the picture) from a longer distance. Even a 12g, 44RM, or 300WM seem insignificant when you are sent in to clear a closed area / trail and are confronted; I also recommend Bear Spray (OC resin) ...although there are many documented cases of it not working on two-legged "bears".

I have observed them go past fruit tree orchards and break through both wooden and metal doors - if they are intent, it is very hard to stop or deter them ... again, suggest bear spray.
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:38 PM   #23
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500 or 600 mm lens one day will happen - but not any time soon - in my retirement - nature photography will occupy a lot of my time - love it (when I get time as a busy parent of babies at this point)

I need to get some bear spray it seems - what is most compact you can get it?


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Old 09-26-2014, 03:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
We really enjoy seeing bears, and actively look for them, though a face to face with a bear is not common. During most of our encounters we have been in our truck and the bears were crossing the road.

My favorite places to camp during summer is in the mountains of NC and VA. There are no grizzlies, only black bear. I have encountered black bear from the very northern end of the Skyline Drive to the southern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountains. Every one of the campgrounds in the Blue Ridge Parkway

This is exactly where we are headed!

Actually can't find a place to camp with the RV toward skyline drive in mid Nov. Most seem to be closed!!!
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #25
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PM me when you know which route you choose to travel. If I have any experience with something along your route I'll let you know.
Are you planning two nights on the road while traveling each way?
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:35 PM   #26
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For the bear experts... 20 years ago we went tenting in Alaska for a few weeks. I took a 12 ga with magnum 000 buck loads. Was that silly? We don't have bears in Kansas just wondering...
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:05 AM   #27
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Another tip for bear country…

If you drive a diesel, avoid using B20 or higher biodiesel. You don't want a bear to eat your tow vehicle because it smells like French Fries!
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:23 AM   #28
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"Recently here in NJ we had someone killed by a Black Bear."

But the time before that was in 1852, that's how rare it is for black bear to kill a human.


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