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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Bears on 04/28/2012 00:53:08 MDT Print View

"Bears are not out to get you, unless they are starving in a place like Katmai"

The best-fed bears that I ever saw were in Katmai, and three of them just ran by me on the trail like playful puppies.

--B.G.--

James Demetriades
(jtd@mventerprises.net) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles
Thanks dale on 04/28/2012 01:13:14 MDT Print View

That puts my concern to rest forever in black bear territory! You are much more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a bear!

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: B.G. on 04/28/2012 08:37:32 MDT Print View

I was referring to Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, doubt they used the 100yd triangle rule.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re B.G on 04/28/2012 09:38:16 MDT Print View

Treadwell and his girl friend definately did not use the 100 yard triangle rule. That guy did almost everything wrong but got away with it for 13 seasons. I am not saying thats a good idea but if he got away with it that long people who take reasonable care shouldn't have too much too worry about.

According to the author of "Death in the Grizzly Maze" Treadwell may not have been killed by the straving old male that rangers shot over the body. His theory is that Treadwell was killed by a young subadult (the second bear shot by rangers). What he believes is that Treadwell finally pushed that young bear too far and it took him out in a defensive attack (not a predatory attack). After that the older male may have moved in and claimed the bodies.

Either way Treadwell and his girlfriend would probalby be alive today if they hadn't done so many dumb things.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Bears bears bears on 04/28/2012 11:30:48 MDT Print View

> They *can* tell if it is real food or just the smell of food.

+1 James.

My dog does this, too. Based on the "signal strength" of the smell, you'd think a crumb up close would smell like a whole cookie at distance, but scenting animals can tell. It has to do the ratio of fast-diffusing to slow-diffusing odor molecules. I find it to be so subtle as to be subconscious, but with experience, I can tell the size of a dead animal at distance pretty accurately. And human noses and brains (and my food gathering habits) are lousy in comparison.

Can you *see* a shiny penny far down the sidewalk? Yes. Would you divert to go get it? No. But if you saw something that even hinted at being a big bundle of currency, you'd put some energy into checking it out.

We see. They smell. They smell well enough to tell residual odors from an actual large amount of something tasty.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re Re B.G on 04/28/2012 14:55:35 MDT Print View

"Either way Treadwell and his girlfriend would probalby be alive today if they hadn't done so many dumb things."

Agreed.

I've been to within ten miles or so of the Treadwell site, and the bears seemed pretty normal.

--B.G.--

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Triangle on 04/28/2012 20:59:22 MDT Print View

Edit: David made a good point about black bears up north of the lower 48 being more dangerous. Perhaps those should be treated like Grizzlies? I'll qualify my comments as being about black bears south of Canada in the States.

I'll never buy into the triangle concept for black bears. I do see it recommended a lot. Grizzlies, I don't know much about. But it's well known that black bears have one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, sense of smell. So what's the point of doing the triangle thing? Here's my thoughts on it.

So I do the triangle. When I'm done heating water for dinner, I eat and place my freezer bag in my ziplock trash bag. This goes into an Opsack and into my mesh bear bag. I brush my teeth and brush and paste go into the Opsack. I hang my BB 100 yards from camp and head back. I do not have extra clothes so I don't BB the clothes I "cooked" in. And the pants I'm wearing has had snacks in ziplock bags in the pockets all day. I'm probably pretty stinky from hiking all day. I now have minty fresh breath from brushing. So of the 3 locations, camp is by FAR the location with the strongest odors. Which do you think a black bear would head to? And if it did go to the other sites, you don't think a bear could smell you 100 yards away from them? They are known to smell things miles away. I've seen people say that you should be upwind of the other sites. That's fine if the wind is only blowing one way but where I live and go, the wind shifts all the time.

My main concern with black bears is not being attacked, because that is extremely unlikely, but keeping them from getting my food. I do use an Opsack, although I'm not sure how effective they really are. But I hang my BB close enough to camp that I can hear any commotion so I can chase off a bear trying to get it. Which is negative reinforcement for the bear. If you BB away from camp and the bear does happen to get your food, they just got a positive reinforcement. Which is not good for anyone, especially the bear. This for black bears only. I certainly wouldn't try to chase off a grizzly.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what they should do. I just don't see the advantage, or the need, for the triangle system when in black bear country. Certainly not where I go. I don't see why it would be different for habituated bears. Although they'd probably just get to one of the triangle sites and start walking off 100 yards to find the camp. :)

Edited by rlnunix on 04/29/2012 08:58:48 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Triangle on 04/28/2012 22:38:25 MDT Print View

Randy: I agree with you on (1) being around to negatively reinforce black bear behavior (in California, at least. In the northern Rockies, some black bears can behave more aggressively). (2) Don't mess with girzzlies. And (3) why are we trying to teach geometry to bears?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Triangle on 04/28/2012 22:44:22 MDT Print View

"Why are we trying to teach geometry to bears"

David its all there in the new school standards, didn't you here about the "No Creature Left Behind Act"

Edited by Cameron on 04/28/2012 22:45:16 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re Re Re Triangle on 04/29/2012 16:33:30 MDT Print View

"David its all there in the new school standards, didn't you here about the "No Creature Left Behind Act""

Left behind? He!!, I'll bet the bears would score higher than half the kids these days, come exam time. Especially if the prize was a bag of goodies. ;0)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Triangle on 04/29/2012 16:51:24 MDT Print View

"David its all there in the new school standards, didn't you here about the "No Creature Left Behind Act""

Left behind? He!!, I'll bet the bears would score higher than half the kids these days, come exam time. Especially if the prize was a bag of goodies. ;0)

I agree Tom:) I spent the spring with 5th. graders so I can say that.

Rumor among teachers is that bears will begin in the School Year 2012/2013 in "sheltered" classes similar to English Language Learners and will be gradually mainstreamed and put in regular classrooms to comply with the IDEA standards.

Not everyone supports the school board's actions. Some parents expressed concern about bullying and say that human students should be allowed to carry bear spray to even the odds. Board memmbers argue this would conflict with the no weapons policys of the school.

Another concern are is the "Lets Move" campaign of Mrs. Obama. A spokesbear for the B.S.A.G (Bears Student Advocacy Group) warned that encouraging young bears to lose weight before fall hibernation could cause health problems during this time and asked that bears be allowed to skip the program. Others worry this will create a sense of unhealthy seperation between the students. "We tried 'Seperate but Equal' in the 1950s and it didn't work" says Mrs. Grisly of B.A.R. (Bears Against Racism). "Seeing that attitude rear its ugly head in this day and age is scary.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
If only. . . . on 04/29/2012 19:04:12 MDT Print View

>"Treadwell and his girlfriend would probalby be alive today if they hadn't done so many dumb things"

And if Mama Cass had given Karen Carpenter half her sandwich, they'd both be alive, too.

Andrew Baxter
(adb0406) - F
Mini Air Horn on 05/24/2012 09:21:41 MDT Print View

I know many will be against this due to the 4oz it weighs, but I have carried a mini air horn with me for years. A friend of mine in Alaska told me that Dog Sledders carry them to get the bear away. If a bear hears a sound louder then them they will go the other way. It helps at night too when you are just not sure what is around you. A quick sound of the horn works all the time to get any animal away. I also carry bear spray in certain areas as a back up, and bear bell on my pack too. I am a hammock guy and I am not looking to become the human burrito.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Air horn on 05/24/2012 16:27:25 MDT Print View

I'm sure the air horn will work at least for the bears I'm used to. I was just thinking of picking one up but not for backcountry use. Something to quickly grab at home to scare them off. Last Friday my daughter came in to tell me there was a bear on my neighbor's property only 100' or so from the fence with my llamas alarming on the other side. It's pretty unusual for them to come around during the day. I walked out just as the bear started moving toward the fence. It looked like he was trying to figure out what the llamas were. He could have easily sprinted and came over the fence it he was going to attack them. I yelled and clapped at him and he jogged off. But not as fast as I would have liked. (I think the air horn might have scared him better.) He went into the trees but I wasn't convinced he was leaving. I grabbed my camera and went down into the pasture. Got to the back and saw there were actually two, probably juveniles, one black and one brown. The llamas were still alarming and not happy at all. It was shortly after this that both the llamas and I realized I hadn't locked the gate behind me when I entered the pasture. Unfortunately, they realized it first and were off like a shot. And the main gate was open as well. I grabbed halters and a herding pole and took off after them, wearing Tevas. :( 4+ miles and 2 hours later (with no water!) I lucked into catching them.

Anybody want any llamas? :)

Here's the kids that started the trouble.

Bears

Edited by rlnunix on 05/24/2012 16:29:03 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Mini Air Horn on 05/24/2012 19:15:46 MDT Print View

"If a bear hears a sound louder then them they will go the other way."

Until you use it on a griz that has a hangover.....

James McIntosh
(JamesMc)

Locale: Near Bass Strait
Re: Re: Mini Air Horn on 06/04/2012 06:14:05 MDT Print View

What is normal practice when camping above the timber line with no trees to hang from?

JamesMc

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Re: Mini Air Horn on 06/04/2012 09:58:40 MDT Print View

I got a cheap party vuvuzela as a prize once. Weighs about an ounce and is louder than loud. A definite possibility.

As for worrying about bears, get a bear canister if you are that worried. Mine has teeth marks on it. I never heard the bear and obviously it gave my canister a good college try but gave up. They really work.

Oddly, the places where I see the most bear sign I see the least actual bears. As long as they are not habituated to see humans as a source of food, they are quite elusive animals. You can keep them elusive by using a bear canister in heavy bear areas.

Holubar D
(mdenton@gci.net) - F

Locale: Alaska
Don't be afraid, be smart and excersize caution on 06/04/2012 17:49:42 MDT Print View

Having lived in Alaska for the last 20 years, I learned that bears aren’t a big threat, and certainly nothing to be freaked out about. Get some bear spray if you are really concerned. It takes almost no skill to use and is a good deterrent.

Bears invading camp isn’t the real problem, surprising one on the trail can be. Be mindful of wind direction, noise; like a loud river beside you, and coming up over ridges. If you surprise a bear it may attack. Don’t surprise them and you’ll be fine. It’s not that hard.

They are not going to smell toothpaste on your breath and seek you out for a meal. They are not sniffing the air for humans with the intent of killing and eating them at every chance. Thankfully, most bears still fear people. However, if you insist on tuna fish sandwiches for dinner, and bacon for breakfast, you are asking for trouble. That would be called “baiting”, and if you do that you should start calling yourself Timothy Treadwell and expect the consequences. Avoid odorous foods. It’s not that hard.

I used to keep my low odor foods in ziplocks, and kept all of it in a drybag right next to my tent. That’s pretty odor-proof, and I never had a problem with bears.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
bears on 06/04/2012 21:55:03 MDT Print View

bear walks up to a hot tub and whacks someone in the head ... then there was that story about a bear barging into an outhouse and dragging someone out ...

obviously the bears up here are a tad more aggressive than the ones down south ...

yos is the biggest bear marketing scam ever ... they sell all types of bear paraphernalia ... i never saw a single bear there ... up here you are likely to run into one taking out yr garbage ... and they often arent afraid of ya ;)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/black-bear-mauls-man-in-whistler-hot-tub/article4228479/

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: bears on 06/04/2012 22:10:43 MDT Print View

"[yosemite] is the biggest bear marketing scam ever ... they sell all types of bear paraphernalia ... i never saw a single bear there ... "


Hum, I wonder if someone IS doing something right.....cause it didn't used to be that way.