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bear harassment

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Re: bear harassment

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:47 pm

I run into bears just about every trip - one trip it was 8 bears in 3 days. Northern Yosemite is where I run into most groups of bears. None have been food related. I run into them while I am hiking. The only food related encounter where a bear came into our camp was last year in the Wind RIvers in Wyoming. Many encounters have been on the trails. They like the easy walking on the trails just like we do. I may "encounter" more bears because I off-trail travel a lot and go solo and am always looking for them so I see early enough not to startle them. I also used to do a bit of hunting so my eyes seem to pick up any movement without much effort on my part. This last year doing Ropers High Route I only ran into one bear. This was the least bear visits of any year I have backpacked in the Sierra.



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Re: bear harassment

Postby dave54 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:47 pm

I don't recall seeing one in person this year. But my nights were way down.

Found fresh bear scat near our camp one morning (~50 yards) that was not there the night before. Fairly fresh tracks several times, but no actual encounters. Usually see one or two a year.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby LMBSGV » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:00 pm

When camped in Paradise Valley in June, my wife and I were sitting by the river after dinner. A bear on the opposite site came down to the river. He moseyed around for a couple of minutes and sniffed the air to see what was cooking, then went back into the woods. A couple of nights later while car camping at Moraine Campground, my wife was rearranging things in the bear box while I was watching the moon rise over the rim of the canyon. She sensed something next to her, looked up, and there was a bear on the other side of the open door. She yelled and slammed the door shut. The bear hardly reacted. I shined a flashlight on the guy and he stayed by the bear box. So I ran at him shouting and he finally decided to lumber off down the road to harass someone else. The next morning when the rangers were doing their rounds and we told them about it, they wanted to know what color the bear was. They said there were at least three in the campground the night before and they wanted to determine which one was bold enough to almost crawl inside the bearbox while my wife was rearranging things.

In the real backcountry (versus the popular spots like Paradise Valley), the only bear I've seen in the last few years was while camped off-trail in the Upper Kern in 2007 at one of the larger lakes. Late in the afternoon I was sitting writing and I heard something. About 15 feet away a bear was making his way down to the lake. He obviously hadn't noticed me, the tent, or the bear can. I said "Hey!" and he took off running. They really are funny when they run.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby atreehugger » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:10 am

Did not see any bears this year. Spent 36 days this summer backpacking in the Sierra, half of the time off trail. This is pretty typical; I might see 1 or 2 in a season, sometimes none.The only harrassment I got was from Inyo personnel when I picked up a permit. It seems some of them are un-informed as to bear canister required areas. I have studied the appropriate maps that display the canister required area for where I will be going into. Example...in Lone Pine, I was assured by permit people that Iva Bell HS is a canister required area. Disagreeing with them was to no avail. To get to Iva Bell I was also camping out of the req'd areas. Double checked when I got to Mammoth RS and after talking to 2 front desk people, finally got the correct answer.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:43 am

I haven't seen a bear in the wild since 2000, and that was in Pacific Valley (Mokulumne drainage). A bear crossed Blue Lakes Rd in front of me in 2008. But I've been almost exclusively on the East Side. In my years at Upper Piute Mdw, I never saw a bear. In my years in the Golden Trout Wilderness, I saw 1 bear (trying to steal my horse's grain box - my dog barked and it ran off).

In all my years, the only times I've ever been bothered by bears were in Yosemite - Tuolumne Mdw twice and Lake Vernon once, and Trout Mdw (bear stealing my horse's grain box) once.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby lambertiana » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:15 pm

This year was a light year for bear sightings. I only saw one, at Lone Pine Lake.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby diesel » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:22 am

Saw 2 bears (momma bear and cub) only a few miles away from Road's end :
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak- ... 1195_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak- ... 8073_n.jpg

Had a less pleasant encounter with two more bears at upper paradise valley later that evening. later found out that one of the guys I hiked with had forgotten to take one energy shot or something similar out of his pack, so that was likely the cause.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:07 am

Only bear encounter was in the frontcountry, at Porcupine Flat CG in Yosemite. Bear came through the campground after dark, hung around for an hour or so--chased away from one area, it'd come back in another.

Did see scat in the backcountry, but no bears.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby fishmonger » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:14 am

met one bear on the Muir Trail, afternoon near Sunrise Creek in Yosemite. It wasn't interested in our stuff and headed straight for the bog next to the trail to find something to eat in there. Didn't hear of any bear related incidents for anyone else we met on the entire Muir Trail hike.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby oldranger » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:06 am

While I haven't been doing so well finding bears I have been encountering more bare naked ladys than in the past. This year at Evelyn. Two years in a row now. No photo this year, Tehipte Tom, still not enough telephoto!

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Re: bear harassment

Postby Take-a-Hike » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:02 pm

OR: Some guys get all the luck...
TaH
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Re: bear harassment

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:26 pm

In 43 years of backpacking in the High Sierra and Klamaths, the total number of bear encounters has been nearly zero. So few are my encounters that I can in fact list them: I saw a magnificent bear in the drainage west of Bench Lake in 1997 and a mother and cubs in the Ebbetts Pass area in the mid 90s. I have camped in areas with enormous amounts of bear poop and followed bear trails (especially useful in Kendrick Creek country--they really mash stuff down or go around things rather than vault over obstacles the way deer do), yet not seen bears. In 1994 a bear apparently cleaned out a group of campers at East Lake an evening we were camped there, when they failed to put their food in the bear lockers. My wife and I never heard a thing--our food was in a bear locker.

I have seen many bears in roadside campgrounds, but I guess that, generally speaking I've tended to backpack to trailless locations where bears more or less avoided humans, in contrast to popular areas where bears are have developed an affinity for foods brought in by humans.

The only damage I've had to equipment or loss of food I've had on backpacking trips has been to small critters. I can remember a serious mess a chipmunk created in my pack during a thunderstorm at Little Lakes Valley in 1977, some animal badly damaging my boots in the Russian Wilderness (Klamath Mtns) in 1982, and a chipmunk damaging boots, leather grommets on packs, and a leather lanyard or a walking stick at Tower Lake in 1987. I recall having a marmot run off with a piece of salami while my family and I were having lunch near the summit of Mt Hoffman in the the late 60's. The marmot proceeded to eat the whole salami and I imagine it must have had quite the upset stomach afterwards. A deer chewed on some of my pots and pans one night while I was camped in the Marble Mtns (no real damage) and a marmot in Humphreys Basin in 1987 was obsessed with my camp stove and kept wanting to chew on it for some reason (also no damage). A chipmunk took my block of cheese while I was having lunch at Tyee no. 4 in 1983. Encumbered by the cheese he had no chance of outrunning me, so I was able to get my cheese back.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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