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Old 08-31-2007, 12:07 AM   #21
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Yes, it is legal in the US in most locations.
(NOTHING is legal everywhere...)
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batch
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?

Thanks.

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The solution is to sleep outside on the ground.

Or, park your trailer over a spot where grease has been poured on the ground.

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Old 08-31-2007, 08:14 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Forrest
I'm surprised no one has yet suggested pepper spray to defend against bears making entry while you are inside. They sell bear strength pepper spray in many sporting good stores now, and I think it is legal to have this in your possession in the US (but not in Canada).
I will carefully wade back into this discussion and leave personal beliefs out, so I will stick with facts that I have been taught. Most Bass Pro shops sell and will give you some training on the use of bear REPELLANT (that's what it is) and the one I purchased mine from allows you to discharge water filled devices for practice. This can be a good thing as you only have 3 seconds of spray in the can and need to learn the proper method of discharging the spray.

(1) One point I remember is that the spray should never be discharged inside a vehicle (I take that to include a trailer) or structure (that would be a tent, too). You will never be able to remove the smell or the chemical agent from the space. You also stand a good chance of getting some on/in you and that would not be a good thing with a bear around (now angry).

(2) You should (flame here because if the situation occurs you are not going to check) try to avoid the possibility of getting this stuff on you. Having been maced (you have to if you carry) - the bear repellant is 10 times worse and has stuff in it that normal mace does not have because of its intended target. BTW - in a pinch this would work well against a two legged animal just as well, you may just have to explain why you used such an inhumane method in court. Nasal constrictors, blinding agents, it causes uncontrolable foaming of the mouth and swelling of the eyes - none of which you will enjoy.

As I was instructed in its use, this is a method of last resort. It is intended to place a barrier between you and the approaching bear (not one in your canp or at you trailer door but one coming for you). The instructor that I had, advised us to leave the area if at all possible, this is not an offensive weapon to chase a bear away from your camper while you place yourself withing range of the bear to apply the spray.

The numbers that I have seen show the spray to be about 80% effective on charging bears but that number drops to 45% effective with charging female bears with cubs. Nothing like a mothers protective zone.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
I'm surprised no one has yet suggested pepper spray to defend against bears making entry while you are inside. They sell bear strength pepper spray in many sporting good stores now, and I think it is legal to have this in your possession in the US (but not in Canada).
The fact is, pepper spray is not needed in dealing with black bears. Loud continious noise will discourage a bear trying to gain entry. Belive me, it really will. 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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:08 AM   #25
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When fishing in bear country (Northern Canada) the recomended method of getting bears to move on was banging the oars aganst the sides of the boat. Load noises will work in most cases. When hiking some people will attach bells to their shoes just to make alot of noise as they go along. One of the worst situations you can get into is when you surprise a mother bear who is with cubs. This will cause the bear to defend her cubs. If they hear you before they see you, they will move away.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:24 AM   #26
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In thinking about this it is tremendously important to distinguish between black bear and grizzly bears. Behaviorally, they are quite different and your approach to dealing with a bear should be predicated on the knowledge of which species you are in contact with. For the most part this thread has dealt with black bear since that is the species the average traveler is most likely to encounter. Having said that: if you are traveling in grizzly country, a whole different set of rules of interaction apply. Be a smart traveler and educate yourself before going into bear country.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:57 AM   #27
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I try to keep a close eye on my beer...no intruders are allowed.

Unless of course they are fellow Streamers'
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:00 AM   #28
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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.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:09 AM   #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, 11:14 AM   #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, 11:18 AM   #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, 11:55 AM   #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.

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Old 08-31-2007, 01:43 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, 02:36 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, 03:28 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, 03:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64
...

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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