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bear harassment

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Mitre Basin Mountain Lions and California Bighorns

Postby bob adams » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:10 am

Not related to bears but in 2001 while camping at Lower Soldier Lake several of our party took a day hike in the direction of the Mitre Basin. Under a rock overhang one of the party (a 13 year old teenager) found the skull cap of a California Bighorn with 4-inch horns attached. You could clearly see where the incisors of a mountain lion had punched holes around the perimeter of the cap. This was a very fresh kill as the dried blood was bright crimson. I say it was a mountain lion as I don't think a bear could have caught a Bighorn. Then again a bear could have come upon the carcass and fed off of it.



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Re: bear harassment

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:17 am

Mtn lion kills are very easy to ID, because of the way they feed. They go for the organs that are surrounded by the rib cage. So, they bite through the ribs, leaving an obvious trace. They don't care about the head, though that may be the place they initially bring down the prey (actually the neck, usually).
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Re: bear harassment

Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:47 pm

Catching up on stuff here. I have more bear scat in my yard than I ever see on bp trips. Even in the Winds this Summer, saw a little there, but no bears. I believe they shot three bears where I live for getting into garbage too much. My dog fostering neighbor never figured out the association between the peanut butter jar in the bird feeder attracting raccoons and bears.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby windknot » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:13 pm

I saw one bear this year over the course of about 250 miles hiked, at the Ranger Lakes in Kings Canyon in late June. According to the ranger at the Visitor Center, I was the first backpacker into that area (and no previous tracks in the snow confirmed this), so I'm pretty sure this was just a bear who wasn't expecting to find any humans up there that early.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: bear harassment

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:05 am

Windknot

That is really interesting. 12 years ago I did a June trip to Ranger Lakes area with one of my daughters and saw a bear walking across the snowbank that I had our fish buried in. Left them alone, too. In all my years (80's) as a BC ranger in the area I never saw a bear around the lakes in June. Now August when there were lots of people in the area was another story.

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Re: bear harassment

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:41 pm

Image
Grrrr.....Bear populations in California are on the upswing. I recently spoke with a bear biologist in the Tahoe Basin who said there are more bears per square mile in this region than anywhere else in the lower 48. Bears are like people in my opinion. Some are real a-holes and some are cool. Like people they like to explore (mainly driven by possible food sources). So if you see a bear at elevation, its likely they are following the green grass, after rodents, someone’s backpack, or just traveling. Bears will congregate where there is a reliable food source and that is why I think we see less in the wilderness and more around places like Tahoe. I see several bears a year in the Sierra. Only (1) this year crossing the highway. Most bears I see around town tho. Take a place like Mammoth Lakes, lots of bears around that town. So, I dont think its a shortage of bears, just they changed their habits.

My experience with harassment....... comes for three reasons. 1) The bear feels threatened (i.e. you get too close to a sows cubs, you corner a bear, or surprise a bear). 2) The bear is use to you feeding them and is dependent on it (bear may get pissed if you stop feeding and bite you or break into your house). 3) You have a bad attitude bear (could be a teenage bear or grumpy old bear). The bad attitude bear usually will include your predatory attacks. In California we have very few predatory attacks by bears. Many more predatory attacks come from Mt. Lions. That being said, I am never worried about cats and do practice bear etiquette when roaming around, even more so if you have a town bear. If you are worried about bears keep a dog around! Dogs are your best defense against bears. Bears hate dogs and dogs hate bears!
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Re: bear harassment

Postby rlown » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:08 pm

A friend of mine caught this pic during the Koke spawn in ~Sept at Taylor Creek near Lk Tahoe.
TAYLORCM.JPG
Bear couldn't read the sign either


This is what they were after:
TAYLORCL.JPG


He had his Golden Retriever with him, but given the situation, he put him back in the truck. Granted, this is a different situation from what we see in the back country.

Not sure if i'd want to be that close to a bear holding a fish in his mouth.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:38 pm

Cool pics Russ! Those lil Kokes are impressive. Funny....another “unnatural" food source for Sierra Bears. Although, I don’t think a bear considers if his food is organic and indigenous to the area which he lives. At I haven’t seen any at Trader Joes lately.

A note on bear canisters etc. Although they are required in most wilderness areas……mark my words, at some point there will be a generation of bears that figures those darn contraptions out.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby ERIC » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:35 pm

Wow, great photos!
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Re: bear harassment

Postby maverick » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:22 pm

Really like the photo of the fish from above Russ.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby richlong8 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:08 pm

That's 2 amazing photos, Russ. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: bear harassment

Postby Hetchy » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:35 am

Holy hole in the donut Russ!
I haven't seen that many fish in one place since the Wind River Range!
Thanks for sharing. :D
Hey.. How come we don't have an emoticon with a fish? We need a fish-oticon Eric! :thumbsup:
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