depends upon the particular humans, oh...and the particular bears. on some sections of the AT near more populated areas, CT & MA, unless i were hiking with some others (rare), i wouldn't go near the shelters. is that b/c of bears or humans? don't get too many bears round these parts! (though have seen one some yrs ago - it was road kill..oh...the pick-em up truck that hit it...judging by the trail of debris leading away from the impact site, sorta' like drops of blood, the truck was....mortally wounded too.)
BTW, in case anyone is thinking "handgun" defense for griz. back in the 60's there was this program called "American Sportsman". originally, they took TV/Movie stars & atheletes on various types of "hunts" or fishing trips - later on a kinder, gentler Am. Sportsman developed, cameras were usually used instead of guns (yes, fishing was catch & release). one episode took this NFL player, a big guy (was it Dick Butkus??? can't remember), hunting for brownies in alaska - with a handgun. can't remember if it was a Ruger Redhawk (not even sure when it was first mf'd, but as i recall it had a chrome alloy color to it and no blueing), but it was identified as a .44 magnum handgun and had a scope mounted on top of it (i don't think 'Dirty Harry' was even out yet). some yrs later, when i first handled a Redhawk - scope and all - (way too much gun for me), it reminded me of that gun in that Am. Sp. episode.
well...to cut to the chase...they approach this innocent bear foraging in the ground for whatever an innocent bear forages in the ground for that time of year ...as they slowly approach (stalk) real close (50ft or so, maybe less), out of curiosity, the bear "pops tall" to get a gander and try to pick up a scent. guide whispers "now", NFL player aims for the heart. one shot. one kill. game over, man. of course, a predatory bear isn't gonna be adopting this "go on, i dare you, shoot me in the thoracic vitals pose", is it now?!! it already knows "what" you are (i.e., din-din) and "where" you are. so no need to pop to attention. that bear was a big, big, big, big bear. seen some like it in the Yale University Peabody Museum of Natural History (~1500lb and over 7' tall - move over Shaq!). NFL player was dwarfed by the size of his kill. very formidable looking animal.
y'all out west can keep your griz and brownies. i don't want to be messin' with even a 300lb hungry black bear. hope my bear spray works. REAL QUESTION: anyone know if "Counter Assault" is a decent product, or should i get the product Dr. J uses?
oh...one more thing. as if y'all don't have enough problem with griz. read in the news recently, some real intelligent folks are attempting to get permission to set up African game preserves complete with large herbivorous mammals, plus lions and hyaenas out in the flatter parts (savannah-like) of your neck of the woods. they say it's the only way to insure survival of these dwindling species. oh...yes...i've read that bear spray does work on lions, but then, generally speaking (if it's not a young or very old lone male), don't the females of the pride generally hunt in groups of at least 3-5 (one or two chasers and an ambush group)!!! better carry 2 or 3 cans of bear, er...i mean lion spray with you at all times.
in most food chains, there is room for only one "apex" predator. go ahead and intelligently cull (not wipe out) the bear "herds" (you get my meaning, right? maybe there are too many? don't know.). how many human lives equals one bear's life?...or...is it the other way around??? wonder how PETA would ans. that ques?
i'll take the 0400 watch.
"Fun" Factoid for the day: just in case anyone is not aware, and enjoys learning about animals. Dr. J mentioned the predatory bear going for the mid-section. here's what i've read some years ago: wild cats, wolves, etc do the same. in packs the alpha beast gets the mid-section. why? they eat first. why the midsection first? partially digested food in the small intestine & the internal organs - both good sources of nutrients - that's why they can stay alpha the longest - they eat the best. remember, not bears (being omnivores, though they still exhibit this mid-section first behavior), but carnivores don't eat much vegetable matter, so they try to get it (and its nutrients) from the prey's small intestine and internal organs (store houses for some nutrients).