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Backpacking and the Bruin Mind
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Maia Jordan
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Backpacking and the Bruin Mind on 10/02/2012 21:08:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Backpacking and the Bruin Mind

David Colbert
(adkphoto) - M

Locale: Central, New York
Excellent Article on 10/03/2012 10:52:39 MDT Print View

Thank you for reprinting this article. It is by far the best article on bear behavior that I have ever read.


(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Backpacking and the Bruin Mind on 10/03/2012 11:06:01 MDT Print View

Thank you for the excellent article. We encountered two black bears on our Sierra outing last weekend and tips like these helped to make it an eventless episode, though exciting.

I've ordered the Smith book and look forward to learning more about our neighbors in the woods.

As a note, there are now other odor proof bag alternatives on the market besides the Loksak products.

Kathy Hoffman

Locale: Foothills of San Gabriel Mtns.
Incredibly good article on 10/03/2012 12:36:56 MDT Print View

Thank you! This was an amazingly informative article.

I have come across a couple of black bears with cubs in Yosemite. On two of these occasions, the bear clearly knew I was there, but seemed to not feel threatened, as she allowed the cubs to get relatively close and didn't seem to mind, and just kept walking the way she was headed. Only once, did the bear seem concerned. I stopped and stood my ground, (more out of sheer surprise rather than tactic) and the bear and cubs backed away.

What is so disturbing, is that on several occasions, I have seen tourists following either solo bears, or a mother with cubs in an effort to get photos/video, taunting them to get a reaction, and holding food out to try and get them to move closer. It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who have a complete lack of respect and understanding of the environment that they are in. Along with being conscious of your neighbors food habits in camp, I find myself being very concerned with their behavior when they come across a bear. I often wonder how these encounters will affect the future behavior of the bear when coming into contact with humans. When I saw the movie Grizzly Man, I wondered how Timothy Treadwell's behavior affected the way the bears interacted with humans later.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Good to remind people on 10/03/2012 22:10:14 MDT Print View

How timely. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go look for bears.

In my 20-odd black bear and 10 or so grizzly encounters, this article matches my experience - Play by the rules and the grizzly leaves. Chase it, and the black bear leaves. The article's info about more dire situations also matches what I've seen in local bear encounters of each species.

I would add, however: leave your dog at home. Mixing dogs and bears isn't good for the dogs, the bears, or the humans.