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Bear attacks in Colorado
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Christopher Mills
(Hiker816) - MLife

Locale: Denver
Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 19:26:47 MDT Print View

Two people bit through their tents in separate incidents near Aspen:

Bear Attack Article

I did the Four Pass Loop Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, and went through these exact areas. I wonder if they had food or food smells in their tents, or just happened to camp in places where previous campers were sloppy. A little scary, but I hope no one sues over it.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 19:40:38 MDT Print View

Rule of 4 or more didn't work:,0

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 20:53:37 MDT Print View

"Some of them were trying to get to their bear spray. They never did. There wasn't enough time."

That's sort of my fear about bear spray, in the actual situation it usually doesn't help

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 21:25:30 MDT Print View

In the Bear Attack article out of Aspen the last paragraph said -

"The Post noted that three weeks ago, a 13-year-old boy asleep in his tent near Twin lakes was bitten by a bear who attacked through the tent wall. The bear was found and killed, authorities told the Post."

As I mentioned before, that problem occurred because the Bow Hunter camp-out group had left coolers full of food out during the night. Things progressed from there.

No fault of the bear, IMHO.

Chris Goldberg

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 21:49:37 MDT Print View

I've never carried bear spray in Colorado but I'm headed into RMNP, where bear canisters are required (presumably because of problems), and wondering, in light of these recent attacks, if anyone out there carries bear spray or might be thinking about it, now?

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/20/2011 22:12:44 MDT Print View

It sure sounds like the authorities didn't kill the right bear after the 1st attack on the 13 year old near Twin Lakes. Either that, or there are TWO rogue bears in the same area, both with the same M.O., which seems unlikely to me.

Edited by wandering_bob on 08/20/2011 22:14:53 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/21/2011 09:55:09 MDT Print View

I'm thinking that there were two different bears involved. Twin Lakes is on the east side of the Divide, and a good distance from the pass. The 4 Pass route is on the west side, with a lot of wild country between it and the Divide.

Regarding RMNP, the Park instituted the canister rule a couple of years ago to try to ward off a potential Yosemite situation. The only bear issue at the time was a series of a few events where some bears figured out the Thunder Lake Trail, along which were 5-6 campsites. It was fairly easy pickings, if the campers were sloppy. The critters seemed to just move on down the trail until they got lucky. Funny, but I've never seen a black bear in my 35 years of hiking in Colorado. But after meeting my first grizzly (with 3 baby cubs) last month in GNP, up close and personal on a popular trail, I have realized how vulnerable I am to those guys. I'm thinking of taking bear spray now, wherever I hike, especially when I go alone.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Bear attacks in Colorado .. bear spray. on 08/21/2011 20:29:06 MDT Print View

I gotta stop reading these threads or else I'll never do solo hikes. Yikes.

Personally, I carry bear spray all the time. I don't care if the bears in the area are "problem" bears or not. I also don't understand the notion, "I only carry spray in grizzly country", a black bear will f*@k you up just as bad.

Some of the times I feel really stupid because the trail turns out well travelled with day hikers and little old ladies etc.

Though, I hardly feel it strapped to my hip and it really isn't a pain to carry properly at all. I just consider it a luxury item (to mollify my overactive imagination).

Is it me, or are there more attacks this year? You think the pine beetle infestation, and loss of food/habitat has anything to do with it?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/21/2011 21:42:06 MDT Print View

I'll be in that area (Crater Lake) Tuesday. Seems like there have been several nighttime attacks this year. I thought most attacks were sow-cub related (or stupid people). Makes me think maybe I should be "stealthy" in my site location so I'm not near the designated spots. I'll conveniently not let my wife know about this.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/21/2011 22:24:37 MDT Print View

Do the Glacier National Park method of going directly to food hang and then go set up camp several hundred feet away from food/smellables. In some campsites they sorta had the different area for cooking and food hang, but others seemed to mix the cooking/food hang.

Edited by jshann on 08/21/2011 22:26:15 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Bear attacks in Colorado on 08/22/2011 10:00:22 MDT Print View

Suspected bear killed
No doubt the result of past careless people.

Peter Sustr
(czechxpress) - F - M

Locale: Boulder
Bears in Colorado on 08/22/2011 10:29:04 MDT Print View

The only place's I've ever encountered bears in Colorado was outside of Durango and RMNP. I don't carry any spray even after a couple of close encounters in/near RMNP. What I've stopped doing is camping anywhere near a designated site. The bears have learned that they can find food here and so I don't go there anymore. Stealth camping is the best option to avoid bear encounters in my opinion.

I've always wondered what the stats are for bear encounters for Experienced campers/backpackers vs. non-experienced.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Stealth Camping on 08/22/2011 11:16:49 MDT Print View

I always stealth camp and have only had a couple of nightime e counters in thousands of nights. One was a Grizzly in the north end of the winds where I was camped in a narrow chute on a game trail late in the season. The bear seemed more annoyed than anything since it had to step over the guyline at the end of the tent.

The other nightime encounter was in the Kern river valley where a small black bear spent some time unsuccesfully attempting to pull down our food bags. I have had other sightings and encounters during daylight hours but they seemed more interested in avoiding contact than I was.

Outside of whistler BC I ran into a dozen or more bears while mt biking one afternoon but once I realized that I was unknowingly coming up on the city dump, it made sense.

I don't carry bear spray but might on a solo hike. Honestly, people scare me more than animals and I suspect that bear spray would be very effective on a local yahoo as well.

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
re: bear spray on 08/23/2011 05:52:45 MDT Print View

John said "I don't carry bear spray but might on a solo hike. Honestly, people scare me more than animals and I suspect that bear spray would be very effective on a local yahoo as well."

Precisely why I carry bear spray on solo hikes. And I completely agree on stealth vs campsites. An area where I frequent recently had a "seemingly habituated black bear" upon further investigation a campsite farther back off the trail was littered with tuna cans etc!! Educating people appears to be a losing battle. You're either preaching to the choir, or to folks that don't care to be educated.

Mary Bernsen
(Krispickle) - F
Recent Bear Attacks on 06/28/2012 09:47:27 MDT Print View

Too many people plus too many bears in any given area can spell disaster. The bears are losing their fear of man and the bears are stressed. Bears are becoming more and more aggresive, entering established camps with one objective, which is to eat. They will do whatever they deem necessary to fulfill that objective. No matter how clean a camp you keep, once the bears have discovered human sandwiches wrapped up in sleeping bags and rewrapped in canvas, they will continue to return. Bears have an incredible sense of smell. A bear determined to eat can smell you very plainly. My insight would be to close temporarily all established camps where there has been ANY bear activity - not just maulings. Set up other campgrounds until the bears start putting them on their route. At that point, reopen the other campgrounds. Might work. The present policy of allowing people to camp where bears have made the campground a part of their daily routine is asking for more trouble.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Recent Bear Attacks on 06/28/2012 10:27:31 MDT Print View

Mary: "No matter how clean a camp you keep, once the bears have discovered human sandwiches wrapped up in sleeping bags and rewrapped in canvas, they will continue to return. "

Ah, I see you get your "insight" from Gary Larson -


He also has some good cartoons about trolls.

Edited by greg23 on 06/28/2012 10:30:38 MDT.