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Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby oldranger » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:17 am

Why would you like them not to come around if your food is safe? Black Bears are cool and if you treat them with a little respect they are pretty safe to be around. I won't allow them to linger in my camp but savor every siting and encounter. On several occasions I have been lucky enough to be able to observe bears for extended periods doing what they do--ripping up logs looking for grubs and just kind of ambling around, even got to watch one stand up next to a large jeffry pine stretch out and pull its claws down the bark, that was one big bear by the way. He reached up much higher than I could but I'm not very tall.

Mike
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby gary c. » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:32 am

oldranger wrote:Why would you like them not to come around if your food is safe? Black Bears are cool and if you treat them with a little respect they are pretty safe to be around. I won't allow them to linger in my camp but savor every siting and encounter.
Mike

I agree completely, I love to watch them in the back country or anywhere else actually. It is places where they get habituated to humans like YV and campgrounds that I would would like to see a little fear instilled in the bears. For there own protection more than anything else.
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:40 am

For black bears in my state, I have no need to keep them far away, and enjoy seeing them. You give them a wide berth and take pictures, but no need to fear, just respect them and give them space. In many places they are still so wild that they won't come near you as a matter of course. Seeing them is a treat.

For Alaska, I would never go alone or unarmed on any trip into the wilderness of extended duration. Bear spray AND a gun. Talked to too many former Alaskans to do otherwise.

For other places the brown bears roam... I'd take the bear spray and some other people, and follow the usual recommendations, including the ones not to have any scent other than my own on my person - I know that bears are very smart and very curious, and that they will explore and investigate interesting smells - I just don't want them that close to me.

Other people can play around with experimental deterrents as they choose. I can see how you might think the pepper spray deterrent would work, but for the reasons I mentioned I don't think it could work really well. Bears in Yosemite still play with canisters despite their ongoing exposure to them and not getting the food reward, after all. We had bears in our camp monkeying with the canisters 3 out of 5 nights on one trip. And if they aren't afraid of people after being chased around all summer by rangers with paintball guns, why would anything I do have an effect? They come right back through the campgrounds just the same.
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby oldranger » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:26 pm

I was taught that when in Alaska you want to make sure that at least one of your companions is slower than you! :D At my age that is hard to do!

Mike
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:47 pm

oldranger wrote:I was taught that when in Alaska you want to make sure that at least one of your companions is slower than you! :D At my age that is hard to do!

Mike


Naw, just take someone older than you. :wink:
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:02 pm

AlmostThere!

At my age it is probably harder to find someone older and slower than younger and slower! The problem is to find someone slower that is still doing what I like to do. I also have to find someone younger and stronger to carry some of my gear. Hmm sounds like I need a full fledged expedition which just isn't my style.

mike
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby Elevenpaul » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:08 pm

My First time posting gentlemen. . May I say what good advice I have been following on this posting. I assume you are hoping that us new comers to the trail are listening and you certainly have my attention and the attention of my son. So to summarize and then ask a few questions. Very simply... always carry a cannister.
Ok... Where do we put it at night? Hidden? Fully exposed.? How far from the tent? should we wash it off before bed? Is it safe to walk with open food during the day? Are bears only a threat at night? During dinner preparation do run the risk of a dangerous encounter? Do you guys think that bottled water that has been flavored with iced tea ( to improve flavor) be at risk ? Again we are out here listening and learning from you guys. I love the community that you guys represent and really respect your thoughtfull answers. And finally, I hope that I get a chance to throw rocks at bears too. That sounds like lots of fun. Only kidding!
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby rlown » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:28 pm

Welcome to the HST!

Well, here's a good example of Bear safety for Inyo NF.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsint ... 2520Ethics


Cannister requirements vary, so check when you apply for your permit.
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby BrianF » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:08 pm

Oldranger, you just need someone younger and stronger to carry your gear, then give so much to carry that they are slower than you too!
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby Mike McGuire » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:47 pm

For a further nail in the coffin of the mothball idea, here's a bad experience. A few years ago I had two trips back to back, and left the food for the second trip in the trunk of my car up near the lodge at Mammoth. I was worried about a bear break-in and had heard of the mothball idea. What I did was to triple bag the food in three layers of garbage bag. Between the inner two and the outer bag, I put a few mothballs. It may have "worked" for keeping bears away, but the downside became apparent a day out on the trail on the second trip. Most of the dried fruit in particular had a very unappealing mothball odor and taste--never again.

Mike
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby Ikan Mas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:17 pm

I am definitely a bear canister believer. A few other random thoughts

One thing I don't understand is that other big National Parks like Raineer still encourage hanging, providing aluminum hanging polls at their sites. Here's my brother hanging on one at Upper Crystal Lake.
Image
As you can see, my canister is on the ground.
Then again, Raineer has self-composting toilets at their back country sites.

I found the bears in the Marble Mountains particulary keen to avoid people. On two occasions my group of scouts were close enough to smell the bears, but they would not budge out of the brush they were hunkering down in. Perhaps this is because the locals very actively hunt the Marbles and a visible bear quickly becomes bear bacon.
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Re: Contoversial Bear Repellant Techniques

Postby rlown » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:22 pm

Ikan Mas wrote:
I found the bears in the Marble Mountains particulary keen to avoid people. On two occasions my group of scouts were close enough to smell the bears, but they would not budge out of the brush they were hunkering down in. Perhaps this is because the locals very actively hunt the Marbles and a visible bear quickly becomes bear bacon.



yes we hunt it.. they are scared of humans. poles are unnecessary if you have a can. depends on when you are there.. After Sept, It's a hunt.
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