Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite


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Joseph Lynch
(rushfan) - M

Locale: Northern California
Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/25/2013 12:47:19 MDT Print View

From Tom Stienstra's column in today's SF Chronicle:

'"Then, before the huge wildfire broke out near Groveland and the Highway 120 entrance to Yosemite (and closed the road), a ranger at the visitor center reported that a bear had broken into a dozen Garcia Bear Vault Canisters, the classic black ABS Polymer "bear can" that backpackers use, reported field scout Ben Toland from the scene.

"The bear was pushing them off drop-offs onto rocks," Toland said. "So far, only one bear seems to have this skill."'

Guess it's good I have a bear vault...

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/25/2013 12:50:06 MDT Print View

Awesome. Metal canisters here we come. Better top that bear.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Bear & Garcia on 08/25/2013 14:14:47 MDT Print View

I had actually heard about this two weeks ago from a student who went backpacking in Yosemite. The bear was working in the area he was camped in, and he and his buddies had already chased it off several times that night, when a lady with a rifle came into their camp. Turned out she was hired by the park to tag the bear prior to removal. Her gun used simunition or paint balls, and the bear, which had been staying in the bushes around the camp, took off as soon as she arrived. (Before she came they could see the reflection of the bear's eyes in the bushes with their flashlights.)

The lady said the bear was pushing the canisters off a cliff to break them open on the rocks. She hung around for awhile, and the student and friends went back to sleep. No lady or bear in the morning, cannister okay.

If it's just Garcia cannisters the bear has been going after, it makes me wonder how my Bearikade canister would react to a drop onto rocks?

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - M

Locale: norcal
ursack... on 08/25/2013 14:27:17 MDT Print View

I think an ursack would be JUST fine in this scenario.

First, the bear has to get it off the tree... then even if he/she throws it off a cliff, while your food will probably be messed up, the sack will probably be fine.

BTW. This same technique is used by crows to crack nuts and with snails.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - M

Locale: norcal
link on 08/25/2013 14:27:52 MDT Print View

http://blog.sfgate.com/stienstra/2013/07/30/yosemite-bears-on-the-hunt-for-camper-food/

Bill Law
(williamlaw) - M

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/25/2013 17:05:32 MDT Print View

"Garcia bear vault" is kinda ambiguous.

I was in Yosemite last weekend. At the grill in tuolumne meadows enjoying a cheeseburger after our trip, we heard people at the table next to us talking about losing food to a bear. They were doing the JMT, first or second night out at Sunrise Creek. According to them, a bear opened a Garcia somehow. I don't remember the details they related exactly. The guy did say that the bear was tossing the canisters up in the air. "40 feet" was the distance cited, and it was quite the spectacle, according to the camper recounting the events.

My thought at the time was that the lid probably wasn't totally fastened (e.g., just one of the two screws), allowing the bear the get a claw under the lid. But who knows.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: ursack... on 08/25/2013 17:26:11 MDT Print View

Kevin, check your Ursack thread

We had bald eagles that lived in the front yard. Terrible neighbors. Would drop oyster and clams on the roof to break them open. Would scare the crap out of you at times. Leaving bit of animals all over the place.

We had all better hope that this is an isolated incident and the bear has not taught any others.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Ursac on 08/25/2013 17:40:43 MDT Print View

It may not be politically correct but I think the best thing would be for the Park Service to shoot that bear ASAP. Even if we could design a "toss proof" bear can it would take a while and we'd have lots of problems in the meantime. Better to get rid of one bear so we aren't putting down more later on.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re Re Ursac on 08/25/2013 20:56:14 MDT Print View

Maybe they should shoot the campers instead. But seriously, you have have a very different idea about the nature of wild places than I do, apparently. People are visitors. If they lose their food, then sucks to be them. But short of a rogue bear threatening physical harm "management" should not include killing wildlife that belongs there to make life convenient for people who don't. Better to ban *campers* from the area until the bear goes away.

Anyway, it is obvious they are trying to relocate the bear, so that is plenty active enough.

Edited by millonas on 08/25/2013 21:00:35 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re Re Ursac on 08/25/2013 21:13:44 MDT Print View

Your argument is philosophical and very principled, but it's not logical. Bears are not endangered animals in yoseite. If one becomes a problem then the best thing is to remove it.
Humans have been living in the wilderness in North America up until very recently. We are not just visitors. We are an integral part of our wilderness and the consequences of neglecting our forests are evident. When one animal threatens another, the solution is often violence. While you are so upset about one problem bear being killed, thousands of wild animals (including bears) are hunted for recreation and food.
I understand your sentiment but it's based in the false idea that humans are completely alien to the natural world. The true natural state of our wilderness included humans killing animals in self defense. It's just a bear, put down the hamburger.

Edited by justin_baker on 08/25/2013 21:15:50 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re Re Ursac on 08/25/2013 21:22:56 MDT Print View

"We are not just visitors. We are an integral part of our wilderness"

I agree with this. We are animals too.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Offing bears. on 08/25/2013 21:39:30 MDT Print View

Luke: that was my thought, too. Eliminate this one bear somehow before other bears learn from it. Bears definitely learn from other bears. On salmon streams, a new behavior - diving, pouncing, etc - will spread from bear to bear and then each individual will select its best method (sometimes limited by its fishing spot which are hierarchal).

While relocating or killing this one bear isn't "fair" to that bear, when scores of other bears figure out how to defeat bear canisters, there will be many more "problem" bears requiring relocation and sometime being put down.

There are no shortage of black bears in Yosemite. There is an excess. With no natural predators anymore, they boom and bust with natural cycles of their food sources, but human food creates artificially higher bear populations.

"it's wilderness, blah, blah, blah." For the sake of the bears, I'd like to see steel storage boxes (discretely) positioned in all camping locations in problems areas of the Sierra. Hiking in Denali, grizzly bears don't care about humans - humans are never a source of food and if screw-ups happen, the NPS steps in with some serious negative reinforcement (rubber bullets, for instance). Since humans don't help or hurt bears, they are free to behave naturally and we are free to observe that behavior.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Offing bears. on 08/26/2013 00:19:12 MDT Print View

"I understand your sentiment but it's based in the false idea that humans are completely alien to the natural world. "

Totally not true, and a great example of stereotyping someone you don't know a thing about. In fact I would have no problem having a mass kill off if it was deemed necessary for a good reason. I'd pull the triggers myself. And please don't presume to patronize me about the history of man's relationship to the environment. You are not talking to a child.

What I have a problem with is killing a bear for the sake of a bunch of fat-ass campers of the type that are careless with their food and like to congregate in large noisy clusters (how is that for stereotyping) that make for an easy target for such bears - killing it as a mere *convenience* for people who believe that their interests, however trivial, always trump everything else. A very few places are left where the campers ARE supposed to be visitors and it is not their prerogative to have their way in everything. A VERY few. Our National Parks are supposed to be such isolated places. Yosemite Valley has been turned into Disneyland, do we have to extend the hand-holding through the whole park.

Yes, I have a kind of grumpy Ed Abbey/Jack Turner-esque attitude about such issues, I admit, but I feel that when humans create a problem they should own it first, before they resort to solving it on a more self-centered basis. When I hear such suggestions being offered blithely I am sometimes filled with same kind of rage Jack Tuner wrote about experiencing at seeing someone in a zoo throwing food at the face of a mountain lion. If you don't know the story, he grabbed the young man by the throat and for a few seconds wanted to kill him. This comes not from some kind of touchy-feelly tree-hugging place, but from somewhere deeper and more primal. If you can't understand that, then you are doomed to forever reducing the deeper idea of wilderness into "just another tree-hugging ideal" that can be easily dismissed. Or most ridiculously, claim it is based on "the idea that humans are completely alien to the natural world". That is not even remotely what it is about. The deeper idea is in fact *centered* on preserving something important about *man's* relationship with the environment (and *for* man, not just bears) that has a far older provenance than what you are talking about.

The logical foundation of the default "kill the bear" solution, while not a big deal in this situation, is in fact writ-large the reason we have been so devastating to the environment over the past several centuries. I say fix the people and/or campsite first then if that doesn't work move or kill the bear - but not "hey that bear stole my sandwich .. kill it!". Now if the campers who lost the food had to hunt and kill the bear themselves, using pointy sticks and/or flint-headed arrows (yes, just like that had to do before snicker's bars and peanut butter in bear cans) I'd be all for it - in fact I'd pay to see it.

There are big questions in my mind that are pertinent here. A bear can not pick up a bear can (say that 10 times fast) - this is one of the design principles. Still less a black bear. Ergo it would have had to swat it like a big furry Maradona all the way to a fairly high cliff for the score. It would then have to be able to easily get to the cracked can. I think the conditions for such behavior to be successful should be *very* limited - I want to say impossible since I don't believe a properly closed Garcia can would crack easily in such cases. Of course the idea of a bear "throwing" a can is totally preposterous. Therefore put in bear boxes in that spot - end of problem. Or did the affected campers, as suggested above, just leave the lid attached incorrectly. Seems like there may have been too many episodes for that to be the case - or did the first can have a lose lid and the rest were just attempt by the bear to reproduce the success. I find it hard to belive all of them would have neatly cracked. I think there is some missing information here somewhere.

On the bummer side of things I think the Berikade might crack easier under such conditions, and possibly the bear vault about the same. Unless the bear was so choosy that it only went for Garcia cans - but how long could that last. Its all definitely an big issue - I don't want to minimize it - since the current whole foundation of having a lot of people camping in Yosemite is the zero-tolerance rule on access to human food.

Edited by millonas on 08/26/2013 01:37:07 MDT.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans on 08/26/2013 04:40:52 MDT Print View

I think the Forest Service needs to make some “training” grenade bear canisters. They would be rigged with a pressure switch and loaded with capsicum. When a bear grabbed it or knocked it over it would use air pressure to blow out a cloud of pepper mist. At the same time a loud recording would start of a lady’s voice saying, “Oh look, a cute bear” over and over.

Soon every bear would be scared of canisters and tourists….

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Offing bears. on 08/26/2013 07:12:47 MDT Print View

Yosemite Valley is no longer wilderness. The correct solution is to remove all vendors from the park and blow up Hwy 120.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Offing bears. on 08/26/2013 08:01:34 MDT Print View

"The correct solution is to remove all vendors from the park and blow up Hwy 120."

No, no, no,... then all those people will go someone else

Better to just call Yosemite Valley an amusement park and contain the damage. Those cliffs prevent people from leaking out and contaminating other areas.

Edited by retiredjerry on 08/26/2013 08:12:06 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
People fail to protect their food in Yosemite. on 08/26/2013 09:13:07 MDT Print View

The problem is people think a bear resistant container is bear proof.

These same people let bears play with their ball of food.

Bear gets food, and refines the technique.

I'm do like the idea of eliminating wilderness travelers that stand by and watch animals play with their food. Perhaps a season ban into national parks on the first offense, and go from there.

I also like the idea of wilderness travelers filled with enough respect for the animals that instead of watching a bear toss a can around for amusement, they get up and chase the bear off. It beats having pepper bombs in the wilderness.

I am in the camp that thinks setting off pepper bombs amounts to distributing seasonings for the next bear to walk by, increasing interest in that area.

Bears are curious. The wilderness areas are filled with uneducated people. One of these is easier to change than the other.

Edited by redmonk on 08/26/2013 12:16:09 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 10:30:04 MDT Print View

I'm in the crowd that thinks the bear should be eliminated. One- it's been proven time and again that you can move a bear and they will simply either return to where they came from or to an area that is similar to it. This bear has become habituated to humans- he will be a danger anywhere. Additionally, if this is a female bear, she will teach her offspring this trick. They will teach their offspring. Better to eliminate one bear than to have to deal with multiple bears that learn this.

I do like the idea someone presented of a "bear can bomb" filled with capsicum. The problem is that this bear has already self-rewarded enough that it's unlikely they will be deterred by one bad experience. Might be worth doing for other bears- leave some of those around, bear messes with them and they give him a face full, they learn to leave bear cans alone. Maybe.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
bear boxes on 08/26/2013 10:33:31 MDT Print View

"I'd like to see steel storage boxes (discretely) positioned in all camping locations in problems areas of the Sierra."

That has been tried with some success. Brown-painted steel footlockers can be found all over in some of the parks. The problem is that this concentrates backpackers to the close proximity of the box. Plus, it is not LNT.

--B.G.--

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Wow, First World Problems! on 08/26/2013 11:52:43 MDT Print View

Paraphrase "Lets kill the bears rather than letting them have the audacity to interfere with my camping trip".


When it comes down to that I'll just stay home. :-P

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Marmots on 08/26/2013 12:27:49 MDT Print View

Im gonna start killing all those darn marmots for chewing through my food

And lets not forget the neighbourhood dog for keeping me awake at night

Leave no trace except for the bodies of bears that need to make way for our enjoyment

;)

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 12:28:27 MDT Print View

Dean L said: "Paraphrase "Lets kill the bears rather than letting them have the audacity to interfere with my camping trip"."
-
No. You can mock it all you want, but the bottom line is that this bear is going to be a danger to humans at some point. Is it man's fault? Yes. Should every effort be made to prevent bears from becoming habituated to human food? Absolutely. But placing the life of one bear over human safety is ludicrous. Note that I live in Alaska and don't camp in Yosemite. It's not going to affect my campout. But I don't want to read in the news later that some kid got killed because soft-hearted people felt it would be wrong to eliminate a problem bear. The bear will die then, for certain, and a person will have been harmed. When you add in the possibility of this bear teaching other bears how to do this, compounding the problem, there is only one logical solution.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 12:46:44 MDT Print View

I'm not willing to let a bear get killed just so you or I can recreate. I think you missed the point. I really don't care where you live. The ability of wildlife to live is far more important than your or my leisure time. If your daily life is so affected by the natural world, then perhaps you should move.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 12:52:36 MDT Print View

Maybe if you don't let humans into wild areas to recreate, then we won't appreciate the wild areas so in hte long term will allow them to be exploited and more adversely affected.

If there are many bears, then killing one problem bear won't affect their long term survival.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 13:00:40 MDT Print View

Dean L said: "I'm not willing to let a bear get killed just so you or I can recreate. I think you missed the point. I really don't care where you live. The ability of wildlife to live is far more important than your or my leisure time. If your daily life is so affected by the natural world, then perhaps you should move."
---
I think it's just that we have a different view on the value of animal life vs. human life. You seem to view animals as our equals (or possibly more important) whereas I simply don't see their lives as being as important as human life. I'm all for conservation, but with what I consider reasonable limits.

My daily life is positively impacted by the natural world. I am perfectly content living and recreating where I do and have only had positive encounters with wildlife. I do thank you for your concern, however.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 14:09:56 MDT Print View

I'm not sure that there's ever been a bear attack on a human in Yosemite. I could be wrong here. Or any in the Sierra that I've ever heard of.

Bear habituation is a huge problem around Lake Tahoe, where passions run high on how to deal with problem bears. But again, no bear attacks on humans, despite thousands of encounters.

"Problem bears" in Yosemite are not bears that maul people, they're bears that break into cars and steal unattended food from campsites.

so if you take "increased risk of death by bear attack" out of this discussion, does it change how people think about the issue? Now we're killing bears for stealing food, period.

And by the way I'm totally sympathetic with homeowners and others around Tahoe who want to eliminate problem bears. I'm not sure if push came to shove what I'd do in their situation.---Wait, if I had kids around, I know that I'd eliminate the bear.

But the orphan cubs are sad.

Edited by book on 08/26/2013 14:13:40 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Offing bears. on 08/26/2013 15:33:14 MDT Print View

"The correct solution is to remove all vendors from the park and blow up Hwy 120."

Maybe easier to just let the Rim fire burn itself out? ;0)

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 17:32:42 MDT Print View

No, Dena I place a higher value on animal life, rather than human recreation. I guess you don't.

This animal did nothing more than raid someones food, no injuries or deaths. As many here seem to think that that should result in this bears death, I disagree.

"The last word in ignorance is one who says of an animal or plant: What good is it?"

^quote by Aldo Leopold

If you don't know who Aldo Leopold was, then I guess we have little left to discuss.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 17:39:48 MDT Print View

So animal life is only validated by human appreciation? I think they exist for themselves. If it comes to their lives or my recreation,...well I guess you can "appreciate" my response.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 18:05:07 MDT Print View

Is it okay to kill and eat meat?

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 18:07:20 MDT Print View

"Is it ok to kill and eat meat?"

That would be the next question, Jerry. I still have not fully figured that out yet...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 18:51:26 MDT Print View

"... many here seem to think that that should result in this bears death, I disagree."


Hypothetical Question?

You would rather spare this bear, even though it might result it the taking of an untold number of bears in the future, if this bear does indeed directly or indirectly "teach" other bears?

Edited by greg23 on 08/26/2013 18:52:13 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 18:58:21 MDT Print View

If it was 75+ years ago that bear would be dead already. What if Yosemite bears started to associate humans with guns instead of food? Rubber bullets and guns for all in the backcountry. Would you rather pack that or a more robust canister?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans in Yosimite on 08/26/2013 19:27:49 MDT Print View

""You would rather spare this bear, even though it might result it the taking of an untold number of bears in the future, if this bear does indeed directly or indirectly "teach" other bears?"

Brings up an interesting philosophical question beyond wildlife management. Do you do something that you believe is bad (shoot a bear, kill a person, fight a war etc.) in order to prevent something worse (more bear problems, rape, genocide etc). One side of the argument is that is better to shoot one bear to save others or that its better to shoot criminal to stop a rape or to shoot a dictator to stop a genocide.

On the other hand you could say "I'm not responsible for what other people or bears do, that is beyond my control. I do draw the line at shooting bears, shooting criminals, fighting a war etc. I will behave morally in situations I can control and hope for the best."

Principled people have taken variations of both positions but few hold position with complete consistency. Some situations are so morally screwed up I'd prefer not to take part. For example whose side would would you have taken when Stalin and Hitler where fighting each other? How do you pick between genocidal dictators? On the other hand I do like having police I'm glad we defeated Nazism (even though that meant working with good ol Stalin).

How does this connect to bears, I lost track.

Edit - I meant Hitler and Stalin in World War II good catch Tom.

Edited by Cameron on 08/26/2013 20:19:03 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/26/2013 19:32:26 MDT Print View

Dean L brought Leopold to this discussion If you don't know who Aldo Leopold was, then I guess we have little left to discuss.

Those who don't know but are curious could start with A Fierce Green Fire.

There is a documentary film with the same title but like most film adaptations it might have more emotional punch than the book but less meat.

Here is an interview with the author of that biography. That is part 1 of a three part interview and contains links to the other two parts. Part 2 includes questions about Leopold's complex relationship with hunting. I find it interesting to speculate if we'd have the Leopold we know without him being a life long hunter (and I normally avoid speculation like the plague!).

After that introduction one could progress to Leopold's writings

Edited by jcolten on 08/26/2013 19:34:21 MDT.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: bear boxes on 08/26/2013 19:46:51 MDT Print View

"I'd like to see steel storage boxes (discretely) positioned in all camping locations in problems areas of the Sierra."

One bear in Kings Canyon actually found a weekness in the steel storage boxes and amd managed to get food out of them. The park had to modify all the boxes. I have not heard of any other problems with them since.

As to bears dropping a canister over a cliff there are 3 sollutions other than killing or relocating the bear.

1 don't but the canister near a cliff. Bears cannot carry the canisters. They can toss them or push them to the cliff.

2 Place the canister in a narrow gap between several rocks so that the canister can only be moved by lifting it out.

3. Secure it to a tree with a light weight cable or strong rope.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re Re Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans in Yosimite on 08/26/2013 19:56:38 MDT Print View

"For example whose side would would you have taken when Stalin and Russia where fighting each other?"

Uh...I'm confused.

"How do you pick between genocidal dictators?"

Go after the one with the smallest army. Better yet, mind your own business unless you and yours are the intended genocidees.

"or to shoot a dictator to stop a genocide."

That would be an easy question to answer if you only had to shoot the dictator. Trouble is, they usually have an army you have to deal with first, and then lots and lots of people get shot, including a bunch of your own. That's a problem we generally seem to have trouble figuring out, but at least we had the sense not to mess with Good Ol' Joe, who had an army of about 10 million at the end of WW II. And he had the sense not to mess with us. All in all, a decidedly moral decision on both sides, given the likely outcome.

"Principled people have taken variations of both positions but few hold position with complete consistency."

Probably because a lot of situations like the ones you describe are extremely complex and involve a lot of contradictory moral principles. In general, I would say it is better to avoid killing in all but the most extreme situations, but I doubt I could apply that principle in all cases.

"How does this connect to bears, I lost track."


From the bear's perspective, if we're arguing amongst ourselves, we're not shooting at him. Which is probably why I'm jerking your chain a little. ;0)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re Re Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans in Yosimite on 08/26/2013 20:15:33 MDT Print View

As long as we're distracting us from shooting bears

I don't think wars have much to do with genocide

I think they have to do with getting political power to the leaders so they can pillage the economy. Sort of like Smedly Butler talked about - who the right wingers tried to lead a coup against FDR but Butler ratted them out instead.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Arguements on 08/26/2013 20:42:23 MDT Print View

Tom I cleared up the dumb typo, yeah those are complex issues. Most moral questions seem to involves some version of "Whats pragmatic" vs. "What's principled." My guess is because no one has the ability to create a perfect solution.

Getting back to the bear here would be my questions

1. What actually happened to the canister? If the bear got his mouth in a half opened canister as suggested we don't have a super smart bear we just have dumb campers, nothing new there, similar things have happened before and the officials can manage that.

2. If he really did break a canister how? If he pushed it off a cliff that's manageable to some extent. If he side swiped it into a tree and smashed it we have a bigger problem.

Edit - I'd be fine with Nick's idea of blowing up Hwy 120, can we blow up the Blue Ridge Parkway too?

Edited by Cameron on 08/26/2013 20:43:31 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Cracking cans on 08/27/2013 00:16:36 MDT Print View

According to my students, the person hired to monitor and tag the bear aid it was knocking them over a cliff, then going down to eat the contents. Nothing half opened to begin with.

FWIW, the bear recognized the lady with a rifle, and took off when it saw her. Some negative reinforcement has been done, but not enough to stop the canister predation.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/27/2013 14:01:59 MDT Print View

Jerry-I thought this was a discussion about bears getting into containers? I didn'tquestion you or anyone else about the ethics of eating animals.

Edited by AldoLeopold on 08/27/2013 14:04:02 MDT.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/27/2013 14:10:37 MDT Print View

Greg-so far one bear pushed a container over a drop off, no deaths or injuries. I think calls for it to be put down are premature.

Hypothetical question? Why don't we kill all the bears right away, so there would be no chance any bears will ever pick up this behavior?

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/27/2013 14:30:18 MDT Print View

Ken-What may have happened 75+ years ago really doesn't matter. Then all nearly all predators were shot on site. I would like to think that humans have advanced since then to deal with these sort of problems without resorting to such methods.

As for now,technology should be able to devise an better canister: kevlar, carbon fiber, improved cross linked polymers, that would survive drops.

A question, can bear canisters also be suspended or is that a violation of regs in NP and forests?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Oh Nooooo! Mr. Bill" on 08/27/2013 14:35:42 MDT Print View

RATS! That's exactly the bear can I own.

(Do you think that is a good excuse to buy a new bear can? ;o)

"Gee Honey, a bear at Yosemiter learned how to open this bear can and he's teaching all his friends how to do it."

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Multiple events on 08/27/2013 14:42:21 MDT Print View

Dean, the word I got was the bear has done this repeatedly. Thus the Park hiring someone to target that particular bear. They wouldn't do that for a single incident.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Hanging bear canisters on 08/27/2013 14:48:33 MDT Print View

"A question, can bear canisters also be suspended or is that a violation of regs in NP and forests?"

Dean, I haven't heard that you can't hang your bear canister. Certainly not in Glacier or Yellowstone, where nearly all campsites have a bear pole. I once asked a head ranger at Rocky Mountain NP why they don't provide bear poles, so that we don't have to carry a canister. The reply was that creating bear poles harms trees. Given that logic, maybe they would frown upon someone that found a way to hang a bear canister from a tree limb. Who knows how the various bureaucrats are apt to think?

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 08/27/2013 14:49:33 MDT.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Marmots on 08/27/2013 14:50:42 MDT Print View

Eric-I'm going to start shooting all those songbirds that get me up before the dawn, noisy little buggers. And those squirrels that keep burying nuts in my yard. I had to have the turf doctor out 3 times last month to fix the grass! ;)

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Hanging bear canisters on 08/27/2013 15:49:49 MDT Print View

My understanding is that hanging a bear can is not recommended because if the can is restrained the bear may be able to work on it long enough to get into it, or be able to crush it against the tree trunk. The cans are sized so that a bear cannot get its jaws around the can to either carry it or crush it (which is why you can't have a really small bear can). Bears can't carry a can, so their only means of moving it is to push it or roll it along the ground. Standard recommendations are also not to place your can where a bear could start it rolling away. I like to put mine in bushes when I can - it can't be rolled out of there.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Electrified Bear Canister on 08/27/2013 20:40:53 MDT Print View

Well there is always the electrified bear canister. I have been looking at this thing for a while, and waiting for positive reviews. Of course, it would have to be approved for use in troublesome areas. The achilles heel is the battery. What if the battery goes dead or shorts out? Interesting concept though.

http://www.rutalocura.com/palisade.html

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Re: "Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 08/27/2013 20:53:57 MDT Print View

"Ken-What may have happened 75+ years ago really doesn't matter. Then all nearly all predators were shot on site."

Exactly my point. Then the bears were afraid of us. Now in the parks we don't shoot them and have become a curiosity to them that brings food along.

We have changed and now give positive reinforcement too often. The bears are just being bears.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Hanging bear canisters on 08/28/2013 06:17:29 MDT Print View

You shouldn't hang a bear canister because since the bears know how to defeat a hang, the canister drops and -ta da- might be compromised just as if it was pushed from the ledge.

We actually chatted with the bear ranger in Yosemite about that bear at the start of our trip. He told us the bear was actually maneuvering the canisters TO the cliffs, sometimes rather large distances actually..the people were not putting them near cliffs...then pushing them off. He said it happened numerous times and warned us to wedge our canisters between rocks and not just place them on the ground as you are normally supposed to do.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Hanging bear canisters on 08/28/2013 06:46:07 MDT Print View

Maybe a canister needs to be shaped like a football or egg, so it is difficult to push. We may need to move away from shapes or sizes that suit bpers and move toward what is more resistant to bears/grizz.
Sorry, if one bear gets to be an issue, it may need to be put down if a better solution is not found.
Duane

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 07:58:15 MDT Print View

Backpackers unwilling to protect their food is the problem. Can we put them down ?

Removing the bear doesn't help. The bear is a symptom of backpackers being unwilling to protect their camp.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 09:00:06 MDT Print View

Yep, I agree there too. I place my canister close enough that I can hear if something is after it. I'm in the camp that believes the canister is a temporary fix to go get your food/chase bear/critter off. More issues with deer slobber.
Duane
PS, maybe we need to place some dummy canisters out, so the bear is not rewarded.

Edited by hikerduane on 08/28/2013 09:01:31 MDT.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 09:05:46 MDT Print View

Agreed that some will stay in their tents and not attempt to chase bears away. But some bears are not easily chased away, and persist in their business of trying to get the food despite yelling, banging, etc. What then? They are smart, and presumably some eventually learn that despite the noise, humans are no more than a nuisance in these situations.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 10:19:50 MDT Print View

"But some bears are not easily chased away, and persist in their business of trying to get the food despite yelling, banging, etc. What then? They are smart, and presumably some eventually learn that despite the noise, humans are no more than a nuisance in these situations."

Use bear spray - negative conditioning.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 11:11:18 MDT Print View

And lets remember that canisters are marketed as bear resistant.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 08/28/2013 11:20:37 MDT Print View

Ken, that's why I would attempt to scare a bear off. Good reminder to us, resistant.
Duane

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
1999 on 09/05/2013 17:47:01 MDT Print View

When I did the JMT in 1999, a bear used exactly this method - tossing off a cliff - to open a perfectly sealed Garcia used by another hiking party at Cathedral Lakes. We saw them - and the remains of their Garcia - at Tuolumne Meadows.

Rangers up and down the trail, not wanting to believe a Garcia could be breached by a bear, decided...Not to believe the story.

If it had been an Ursack breached, would they have believed it? A Bear Vault?

I don't know what to say re: What to do about the smart bears who figure this out. My personal response is generally not to hike in Yosemite, which does not have the most spectacular Sierras backpacking anyway.

- Elizabeth

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 09/05/2013 18:07:21 MDT Print View

"Use bear spray - negative conditioning"

My understanding was bear spray is illegal in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re Re Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite on 09/05/2013 18:24:45 MDT Print View

I think the term they use is "prohibited."

Black bears in Yosemite aren't nearly as dangerous as grizzly bears in Yellowstone, for which bear spray is appropriate. They normally run away from people, and a well-thrown rock often completes that job.

--B.G.--

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Bear spray PROHIBITED in Yosemite??? on 09/05/2013 19:27:33 MDT Print View

WTF - REALLY?

I carried a big canister of bear spray with me in Yosemite from White Wolf up the Tuolmne to the Meadows and so did some of my hiking buddies and no ranger said a word!

I will frikikin' ABSOLUTELY carry bear spray in ANY bear country, even if I have to hide it in a front pouch.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Bear spray PROHIBITED in Yosemite??? on 09/05/2013 19:53:35 MDT Print View

"No weapons"
They must consider bear spray a weapon.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Bear spray PROHIBITED in Yosemite??? on 09/05/2013 19:55:43 MDT Print View

In Yosemite, there are no grizzly bears, therefore there is no need for bear spray.

Rangers may have seen it hanging on a belt, but they figure that it wasn't worth the hassle of saying anything about it, or else some California Democrat may have complained to a congressman.

In California, bear spray is sold at some REI stores, and that seems like a real marketing ploy for REI.

--B.G.--

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
That Bear is a Hero on 09/06/2013 07:30:22 MDT Print View

"Who do we thank, Yogi?"

Yogi and Boo-boo enjoy a snack!

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
That Bear is a Hero on 09/06/2013 08:54:56 MDT Print View

That's great! :)
Duane

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
The People's Republic of California... on 09/07/2013 12:58:05 MDT Print View

I'll bet the USFS and Park Service did this ban in response to some tie-dyed California Uber Liberals' campaign. They need to concentrate on their crystals and spiritual "vortexes" and stay the hell out of backpacking matters.

I'm a former Peace Corps Volunteer, two time Obama campaign worker and Sierra Club member so my creds as a "Liberale" are up to snuff. (Never mind my NRA membership.;o)

But this nannying has now gone too far. Black bears DO attack people. I'll pay a fine if necessary for the comfort of being relatively safer, thank you very much.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 09/07/2013 17:07:19 MDT Print View

Eric, I totally support your right to carry bear spray in the back country of Yosemite. That said, I've been hiking there for over 25 years and I can't imagine ever needing bear spray. And I've had plenty of bear encounters.

Umm, maybe there's a reasonable explanation for the ban? I don't know, maybe too many instances of drunken campers in the valley blinding children with bear spray? Things like that...more damage inflicted than is warranted by the very small risk of a bear attack. (Has there ever been a bear attack at Yosemite Valley?) Bears wander through crowded campgrounds every evening; people who don't know what they're doing spraying bear spray all around could be a hazard. But that's just a guess.

I think that tie dye and crystals went out after Silicon Valley became the official brand of California...now we rail against the coffee swilling technobrats...

Edited by book on 09/07/2013 19:51:20 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re People's Republic of California on 09/07/2013 17:42:31 MDT Print View

I did find where Yosemite specifically bans the stuff, no explanation given. I'd love to know the rational (or lack thereof).

Look at how dumb this rule is

1. I can carry a gun (with a CHL) but even with a CHL I can't have non-lethal bear spay. Huh, I can have a lethal weapon but not a non-lethal one?

2. I can drive a car past preschoolers but I'm considered too dumb to handle a can of bear spray.

3. I can buy a hunting license and run around the National Forest land just outside the park with a high powered rifle capable of killing a man half a mile away, but I'm still too dumb to safely carry bear spray.

4. Millions of people in other states carry bear spray and pepper spray (and fully lethal handguns for that matter) with minimal problems but for some reason we can't have them in Yosemite and SEKI.

This "Big Brother knows best" is the kind of thinking caused me to leave CA as quickly as I could. I also quite taking jobs in New York state. It not just bear spray, its hundreds of little ways people who don't know me try and control me for my own good.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Bear learns how to crack Garcia cans at Yosemite" on 09/07/2013 18:21:37 MDT Print View

"This "Big Brother knows best" is the kind of thinking caused me to leave CA as quickly as I could. I also quite taking jobs in New York state...."

So it's a win-win-win. What a great country!

Edited by book on 09/07/2013 18:23:51 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Win-win-win on 09/07/2013 18:34:55 MDT Print View

Yeah I think the folks in New York got tired of saying "No Luke we can't do that here."

I did have some great friends in both states and they are both nice places. I just didn't fit in, everything I tried to do had a rule involved.

Now I'm in West Texas and I love it, friendly people, good local government and I'm not that far from the mountains.

Edited by Cameron on 09/07/2013 18:52:43 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Win-win-win on 09/07/2013 19:34:39 MDT Print View

"Now I'm in West Texas and I love it, friendly people, good local government and I'm not that far from the mountains."

Let us once again celebrate diversity. It is one of the great strengths of this country that darn near everyone can find a place where they're comfortable.

Even me. ;0)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Win-win-win on 09/07/2013 19:45:53 MDT Print View

Let us once again celebrate diversity. It is one of the great strengths of this country that darn near everyone can find a place where they're comfortable.


+1

I had to leave the East. Born, raised, then ran

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re win, win, win on 09/07/2013 21:23:33 MDT Print View

Really Ken you fled the east? What ran you off? Or was it the mountains?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Now I'm in west Texas..." on 09/08/2013 14:04:28 MDT Print View

Hee hee,

And now I'M in Nevada, not that Pennsylvania was all that bad as far as regulations go.

But here in Nevada I don't have to worry that my PS90 carbine magazines have a 50 round capability or that the total length is 1.5" less than the PR of CA permits, even though it meets Federal requirements!

Yeah, I know this is one of the least socially responsible states and our K- 12 public education ranks 50 out of 50 in the US, meaning BELOW Mississippi. That bothers me but the general freedoms I enjoy are nice. I assuage my guilt over state weaknesses by giving generously to the Salvation Army and local Food Bank.

Amd I do carry bear spray in our mountains here for protection from the "odd" mountain lion. No bears in s. Nevada.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Yosemite bears and bear spray on 09/08/2013 14:21:21 MDT Print View

Hasn't been any fatalities in Yosemite and in one case humans actually scared a mother bear in abandoning her cub, so that subspecies might be a bit more chicken than other groups of black bears. Hence no need for bear spray.

Also the fact that a guest doused one of the park's hotels in bear spray, causing a nighttime evacuation and a HAZMAT incident until they could identify the chemical did not help.

http://www.backpacker.com/bear_spray_yosemite_hotel/blogs/daily_dirt/1247

There's a reason they are called "tourons".