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Michelle Olsen
(Kolorado)
Re: Warding off black bears, what has worked for you?? on 08/21/2013 02:36:52 MDT Print View

Thankyou Steven, I'll remember that. You know, there was a bench next to me, for a split second, I contemplated standing on it in case he came any closer to me, in effort to make myself look bigger,

my next thought was, but what if he comes after me, I'll be trapped on a bench with trees behind me and no place to go, I guess that's when spray or using a horn comes in :)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Spray on 08/21/2013 07:04:40 MDT Print View

Michelle I'm pretty sure bear spray is okay in Colorado. Its regulated more in some national parks but where you are is probably fine. I've seen lots of folks carrying bear spray in CO.

UDAP sells a combo pack of a 8 oz bear spray (for real wilderness trips) and a 3 or 4 oz "Jogger Fogger" that you can carry in your hand while jogging. The "Jogger Fogger" is not technically bear spray but better then nothing and as others have mentioned the risk is pretty small. Its probably what I would carry because its something but its a minor inconvenience to carry. Definitely don't let it stop you from enjoying the outdoors.

zorobabel frankenstein
(zorobabel) - F

Locale: SoCal
bear on 08/21/2013 12:00:24 MDT Print View

Regarding the hypothesis that the bear was running on the trail and didn't see you - bear forums must be viral; peaceful jogging bear on his daily run was almost attacked by a human - how to deal with humans? :)

I don't believe bears just run on trails for no reason or to get to the next berry patch.
Michelle, you did the right thing - stopped running, faced it - and it got discouraged.
BTW, I can only explain your gut feeling by smelling the bear.

Edited by zorobabel on 08/21/2013 14:03:48 MDT.

Michelle Olsen
(Kolorado)
Re: Spray on 08/21/2013 16:02:08 MDT Print View

Thanks Luke, that's good to know. I'll have to look for some. I think I'll feel better once I have something with me.

Michelle Olsen
(Kolorado)
Re: bear on 08/21/2013 16:36:44 MDT Print View

Zorobabel, lol. I didn't smell anything really, just a very very strong gut feeling I had that something was wrong, like a knot in my stomach. I tried to ignore it and it only kept getting stronger. Thank God I listened and stopped.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
here's the best how to survive a bear attack on 08/21/2013 17:49:53 MDT Print View

VIDEO

or at least the most amusing

Edited by RICKO on 08/21/2013 17:58:00 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: here's the best how to survive a bear attack on 08/21/2013 21:00:56 MDT Print View

Richard: I've seen that one before.

I've always preferred BPL's own Erin McKittrick and hubbie Hig managing a situation in remote Western Alaska on their Seattle-to-the-Aleutians human-powered trip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iinv_5e_QGg

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Warding off black bears, what has worked for you?? on 08/22/2013 11:22:30 MDT Print View

Bears close to home (front yard) tend to just mosey off when yelled at during the night. By the time I get shoes, shorts on they have disappeared into the woods, not a good idea to follow at that point.
I have not seen a bear since my late dog passed on 10 years ago. We ran across sows with cubs numerous times, early in the morning after we had started our days bp trip. One time was late morning, a sow chased her cubs up a tree while we were still a good distance away, then came back, looking for my dog and I. As soon as I shifted my weight to another foot, it zeroed in on me. Another time, bascially the same, chase cubs up a tree, mom moves out a ways. The bear seems to spot me about the time I see them. When in Alaska a few years ago, our group of 6 got pretty nervous when we had to go thru a patch of willows with scat all over. Hey bear, hey bear. :)
Running makes you prey.
Duane

Lowell Mills
(FarmHand357) - F
Carry in Alaska on 08/22/2013 13:18:12 MDT Print View

Dena, may I ask what firearm you carry? Just curious... Thanks.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Carry in Alaska on 08/22/2013 13:30:00 MDT Print View

Lowell- I have compromised and carry a .44 Mag. The primary purpose of the handgun for protection within my tent, where bear spray or a long gun would be difficult to deploy or useless. To be frank, a .44 Mag is what I consider the smallest caliber that might be reasonably effective against a grizzly (it would work fine for a blackie). But I'm unwilling to carry a shotgun or rifle generally so the handgun is my compromise. I want to be absolutely clear that my primary defense is practicing good habits in bear country, and my secondary defense is bear spray. I have never required the use of either the bear spray or the gun, but as they say you pack your fears and while I know bear attack % is quite low I've not yet become comfortable with going sans firearm. I worked for 7 years at a gun range and am well trained with a firearm which probably is part of the reason I feel more comfortable with it than without it. I also am a woman that often hikes alone, and the most dangerous animals I've ever met on the trail have been the human variety and the gun gives me a margin of safety with that as well. I have been harassed before where I began to fear that I might be in personal danger (two drunk men) but they caught sight of the fact I was packing and left in a hurry with no threats from me.

Lowell Mills
(FarmHand357) - F
Carry in Alaska on 08/22/2013 13:37:58 MDT Print View

Totally makes sense to me. I'm going to guess about a 4" barrel as a compromise between carryability and sight radius. Thanks; appreciate the info from someone who's there.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Carry in Alaska on 08/22/2013 14:05:38 MDT Print View

The other approach is to carry a cheap little .25 or .32 auto. If a bear comes after your party, you shoot your buddy in the leg.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Bear spray vrs Firearm on 08/22/2013 14:13:41 MDT Print View

There was a recent story of two hikers who were attacked by a bear. The first hiker used bear spray and the bear stopped its attack and he was unharmed. The bear turned on the second hiker who used a shotgun (load unknown). The bear continued its attack and the second hiker was injured.

The problem with a firearm is that you cannot instantly kill the bear. And, it's going to be mad and MORE likely to attack after being shot (injured).

Michelle Olsen
(Kolorado)
Re: Warding off black bears, what has worked for you?? on 08/22/2013 14:15:09 MDT Print View

HikerDuane, That's interesting that you say black bears, mosey when yelled at night, Also to hear how mom chases cubs up a tree then moves away. (Sorry to hear about your dog BTW)

I know black bears maybe are not as worrisome as grizzlies, but I still don't know what exactly to do or how to handle a situation if I'm jogging and surprise a bear just feet away,

I have acquired an air horn from a fellow jogger and I'm trying to make more noise while I'm jogging since my experience,

Edited by Kolorado on 08/22/2013 14:22:46 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Bear spray and guns on 08/22/2013 15:13:18 MDT Print View

"The problem with a firearm is that you cannot instantly kill the bear. And, it's going to be mad and MORE likely to attack after being shot (injured)."
--
While I would agree that it's low percentage (particularly when you factor in what adrenaline typically does to accuracy), you CAN kill a bear instantly with a firearm. Even a handgun. Here's one that happened a few years ago in Alaska- man snapped off a single shot from his .454 handgun and killed a bear dead in its tracks when he turned to find a bear charging him.
http://www.adn.com/2009/08/13/897940/twig-snap-alerts-dog-walker-to.html

I'm not trying to convince anyone to carry a gun. And not disputing that bear spray is more effective as a deterrent in general. It's why I carry bear spray also.

Edited by EagleRiverDee on 08/22/2013 15:16:26 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Bear spray and guns on 08/22/2013 15:26:53 MDT Print View

Yeah, I should have said won't instead of can't. As I understand it you are carrying for something other than bears. Very effective against those predators, if you know what you are doing, and I assume you do. :^)

This quote from the article sums it up well:

"Total luck shot," he said.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Bear spray and guns on 08/22/2013 15:29:25 MDT Print View

That happened in my town. More than one shot:

"He drew a Ruger .454 Casull revolver. . . . He's not sure whether he got off two shots or three, but one proved fatal.

"Total luck shot," he said." - Peninsula Clarion

So not exactly a Dirty Harry moment. And you can't just leave it there, according to state law:

"It also left him with a problem. After state troopers came out to check the bear and determine that the shooting was legitimately in defense of life and property, Brush had to deal with the carcass. The law requires a shooter to skin the animal or take it to a taxidermist." - Peninsula Clarion

Further, the skull of a bear, hide of a fur bearer, useable meat from an herbivore, and meat of a spring bear must be surrendered to the State. "Wanton waste" is policed pretty tightly up here. After the issue come up during a DLP incident on the Iditarod, they tweaked the Iditarod Race rules to 1) prohibit other mushers from passing a musher so engaged and 2) allowing other mushers help skin out and butcher the carcass.

Edited to add: yes, Dena, that struck me as odd - just count the empty cartridges in the cylinder.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 08/22/2013 16:11:00 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Bear spray and guns on 08/22/2013 15:40:05 MDT Print View

I stand corrected, I was going off memory and thought I'd read previously he only had time to pull the trigger once. As it was a revolver, I'm a little surprised they weren't able to determine how many shots he got off.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Warding off black bears, what has worked for you?? on 08/22/2013 17:04:45 MDT Print View

Michelle, I'm sure the bear that came thru my yard a few years ago was getting habituated. If it had been shot at a few times, it might have improved its look on people. It was probably used to no one coming out to check up on it, or just people shouting at it. That same summer, they shot and killed three problem bears in the small community I live in, here in Kalifornia. I think it will have to be repeated as there was some trouble this Spring from at least one bear.
Amazed you have been able to go jogging. I'm getting older and it is getting harder every year to get motivated again. Of course I've been saying that the last 20 years now.
Duane

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Bear Spray and Guns on 08/22/2013 18:20:01 MDT Print View

Dena brings up a good point in that bear spray is pretty much useless if a bear attacks you while in a tent.

Since you can't fire bear spray through a tent the logical choice would be a tarp so you can roll out and fire away with bear spray. Of course being zipped up in a bug bivy defeats the whole point of the tarp. Also some people think a tent is more of a physiological barrier to a bear then a tarp.