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Old 02-11-2021, 10:37 AM   #1
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Da Bears

Has anyone here spotted a bear while out hiking, pulled out their bear spray and sprayed him, and can attest to how well it works?
Additionally, does anyone have any wildlife close encounters with the Airstream or TV while camping?
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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Had a coyote saunter by the AS a couple nights ago.
Black bears who live in truly wild areas are not a big threat. I had a close encounter on a Portage in the BWCA 2 years ago. Within 20 feet. He wanted nothing to do with us. Just making ourselves look big an d hollering at him sent him packing as fast as he could.
Now black bears which are humanized, may not be afraid of you and be more assertive. I wouldn't trust any who live close to towns, in national parks, etc.
If you want to know the effectiveness of bear spray, have your loved one spray you.....just kidding. It is potent stuff.
It should be used hesitantly, after it is clear the bear isn't leaving you alone.
Grizzlies are a different discussion.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:48 AM   #3
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Lots of stories on the web about the effectiveness of bear spray. Lot's of examples where it did not dissuade the bear, some where it did. The conclusions seem to be it is much better than having nothing, but it is not as good as having a pistol. It is about equal to having a long gun as bears tend to be able to swipe the riffle away. From the stories, dangerous encounters happen suddenly with little warning.

There are several threads here with photos of close encounters with wildlife while camping.
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Old 02-11-2021, 10:51 AM   #4
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There's these...Anyone else had a bear climb in their Airstream? and Bear Admiring our Airstream. Neither involve pepper spray though.

We have bears stroll through our yard rummaging all the time. They are usually only a nuisance when we leave the trash cans or bird feeders out in the fall...

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Old 02-11-2021, 11:37 AM   #5
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The fly fishing guide that we use when we go to Montana has personally attested to the fact that bear spray is effective against grizzly bears from a distance of less than 30 ft. In fact more effective than a sidearm because unless you are carrying something in the .50 caliber range, you are not going to stop a charging grizzly unless you hit him square in the forehead at close range and with adrenaline pumping, in that scenario, the average person wonít make that shot. And.... seing how grizzlies are still federally protected, using lethal force even in a self defense situation is going to get you a date with the feds. Bear spray, being non-lethal, there is no issue.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by drmox View Post
Has anyone here spotted a bear while out hiking,
Yes! I think he was more surprised than I was. He flopped out across a trail in the Smokey Mt. NP. Probably 15' in front of me. He kept going. I remember thinking how big his feet were.

Quote:
pulled out their bear spray and sprayed him, and can attest to how well it works?
No. He was not at all aggressive. I waved goodby as my blood pressure returned to under 500.
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Old 02-12-2021, 05:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by drmox View Post
Has anyone here spotted a bear while out hiking, pulled out their bear spray and sprayed him, and can attest to how well it works?
Additionally, does anyone have any wildlife close encounters with the Airstream or TV while camping?
Some survival tip's for the MillennialsÖ.


You can make a fire by vigorously rubbing elk together, Also beavers. Rub those beavers.

You can make a signal fire by burning Celine Dion CDs.

Thereís no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently.

If you encounter a black bear, attempt to cross the road or distract it with rap music.

If you encounter a grizzly bear, attempt to punch it in the eye. This will not scare the bear off, but youíre dead anyway so you donít want to go out like a WUSS.

You can determine which direction is north by asking someone.
Failing that, float a stick on a still body of water. North will be the direction that is opposite of south.

Never make RIGHT turns when youíre lost in a forest. Right turns attract left wing zombies.

Punch squirrels to vent your frustrations

Plant a garden. Vegetables can sustain you if you plan on sitting still for the better part of a growing season. And you have vegetable seeds handy.

If you brought a cow, milk it.🥴

Bob
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POI...if you're so inclined, stock up on the 'bear spray' now. It may soon be banned.
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Old 02-12-2021, 07:14 AM   #8
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I've encountered many bears in 50 years of travel in bear country - black and grizzlies. Never had a problem, fortunately. Bear spray is very effective when used properly. I carry it (as does my wife when she fishes) but haven't had to use it. It requires less accuracy than a gun, as the spray fans out.

The best protection is learning how to travel in bear territory- don't travel alone, make noise, be aware.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:40 AM   #9
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I have encountered several black bear and one Grizzly while hiking. I had bear spray when we spotted Mr Griz and fortunately he was more interested in the dead tree that he was tearing apart. We didn't press our luck and turned around.

An acquaintance of mine was dressing an elk when his companion yelled "Grizzly!"Where? Right behind you. He had just enough time to turn and spray. It worked.

They left without the elk.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:59 AM   #10
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Always check for bear scat in your camping area, a good sign bears are present. You can tell it's bear scat because it has bits of cloth, some buttons and smells like bear spray.
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Old 02-12-2021, 11:42 AM   #11
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We are in bear country a lot in the summer...Montana, Wyoming, Canada area. We have seen many bears, and have had in our yard in MT. Our neighbor shot a grizz that was charging him few years ago while hunting elk; after several shots, the bear dropped 15 feet away. Bearspray from what I have heard talking with rangers and others who have used, is not 100% effective; but is works most of the time...just not 100%.

We had a 3 year old grizz walk right by our dinning window on our 28' while playing cards in Signal Mountain, Tetons last year...exciting.

But the real excitement was while camping next to the creek in Swift Currant (Many Glacier) enjoying a glass of wine around 5pm. Not unusual to see/hear bear encounters in this campground. Across the creek, moma black/brown bear and cub decided to head our way...I got excited, grabbed the camera and started shooting...not thinking about danger...even whistling to get her to look my way! Whistle startled the cub sending it up a tree; mom stopped half way across creek, and decided to head back to find the cub...adrenaline for sure...but great encounter. Stupid of me to whistle and stay around shooting pictures, but was pretty cool!
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:41 PM   #12
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I carried bear spray attached to my backpack while out and about in bear country. It may or may not work but I'd rather have it. It's some piece of mind while hiking in the city also, not that I expect to run into bears. One thing I can say for certain concerning bear spray, if you happen to be sitting at a traffic light on a busy road, do not reach behind you for a cold beverage and accidentally let loose a dose from your back pack sitting next to the cooler. Green light or not you will exit the vehicle, as will any passenger.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:21 PM   #13
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If we're showing pictures, I'll add some of mine:
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmox View Post
Has anyone here spotted a bear while out hiking, pulled out their bear spray and sprayed him, and can attest to how well it works?
Additionally, does anyone have any wildlife close encounters with the Airstream or TV while camping?
During a recent thread here on boondocking safety, I researched Bear spray Vs same spray pepper spray ( containing OC ) but designed for human use.
I assumed the bear spray was much more powerful, but the reverse is true.
Bear spray contains only 10 to 20 % of active OC that human spray contains.Its sprayed in a cloud about 30 feet, compared to a solid stream spray for humans.
Its effective (hopefully) because of the bears hightened sense of smell.
I would compare it to a human smelling skunk spray, you don't want to get any closer.You want the bear kept at greatest distance from you as possible, so that's the 30 + foot spray.
According to the experts, the bear spray is not designed to stop a human.The human won't like it, but bear spray is much less of OC, and may not stop a human.
Its the old "Anything is better than nothing" deal.
In bear country, make a lot of noise.Given wind direction, you want to announce human presence from long distance.Also, spotting a young bear cub, puts you in great danger.Stop immediately and back away.
Given how people need to get cell phone pics of everything, possibly a selfie with a bear cub, it may be the last mistake they ever make.
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:50 AM   #15
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This on CNN this morning, about a back country guide mauled to death by a grizzly bear a few days ago.

It appeared to be protecting a food source.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/us/gr...rnd/index.html

The video tells specifically how to deal with encounters by black, brown and grizzly bears.

Copying the link appears to delete the actual video, but googling it should produce the short clip.


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Old 04-20-2021, 09:54 AM   #16
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In Colorado, weíve only got black bears. The last official Grizzly bear sighting was in the mid 1980s. Every year there are reports of Grizzly sightings, but none have been confirmed. I regularly see a cinnamon colored black bear in my neighborhood that could be mistaken for a brown bear from afar.

I tend to worry more about mountain lions than bears. Iíve encountered a cow moose with a calf before, which can be very dangerous. Fortunately for me, they ran away when I saw them. Colorado just voted to reintroduce wolves in the state, much to the chagrin of ranchers and many outdoorsmen. The folks in the cities of Denver and Boulder who voted for this will likely never see a wolf in the wild. For the ranchers, back country hikers, and campers, things may be different.

I took this pic in my backyard last fall. My experience with bears has been that they will run if you get close and if you make enough noise that they hear you. Personally, Iíve never carried bear spray into remote areas. I have carried a .45 caliber handgun.
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:38 AM   #17
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I have bear spray, tho I have never encountered a bear and hope I never do.

Mountain lions are a little sneakier, and Iím afraid of them, too.

I saw a mountain just south of Ashland, Wisconsin, last summer.

It was startling, to see him, but when I reached out to DNR they told me a) they were not uncommon, and b) that a young male had been seen in that area the fall prior, and it was likely the same cat.

I neglected to mention in the post about the CNN article that this mauling occurred in Yellowstone... last Saturday.

Yikes. Itís why I donít go hiking out in the woods where these animals live and roam.

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Old 04-20-2021, 11:05 AM   #18
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I am not sure why anyone worries about encountering while animals when hiking. IMHO neither bear spray or weapons are necessary. Just make sure you can out run your hiking partner and you will be ok. Again just my humble opinion.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:20 AM   #19
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I am not sure why anyone worries about encountering while animals when hiking. IMHO neither bear spray or weapons are necessary. Just make sure you can out run your hiking partner and you will be ok. Again just my humble opinion.

But I'm the slow one.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:39 PM   #20
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Most (not all ) bear attacks seem to be instances where a single individual encounters a bear, and the bear is startled or as mentioned in the post above, is protecting a food source or cubs. There is safety in numbers, so I would not venture into grizzly bear country alone as a hiker, biker, backpacker, fisherman, hunter, whatever.
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