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Bears and Mountain Lions

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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby Jimr » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:55 am

I encountered 4 bears in Tehipite Valley in July. In 35 years of hiking the Sierra, this was my first bear encounter. I guess because I like the high country above 11K. I've only seen mountain Lion tracks. The most notable was Reinstein pass in 1985. The tracks were fairly fresh, so I figure the cat probably crossed the pass somewhere around daybreak that morning when we were at Hell-For-Sure lk.
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby The hermit » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:49 am

Ive only seen bears either driving or in established camps in the sierra.Closer to home ive seen a couple lions in the santa cruz mountains. I did see a mama bear and cubs up in ahjumawi state park lots of wildlife up there!
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby mokelumnekid » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Seen plenty of bears, but only one mountain lion and that was in the upper foothills area (about 3,000' elevation), at night. It jumped across the road in full stride in my headlights. I don't expect to see them in the high alpine country, not enough food. Maybe more likely between 1,000 - 5,000' ?
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:40 am

As many days I've spent in the backcountry I have seen relatively few bears there, in contrast to many seen in and around campgrounds. I think it's something like 3 bear sightings in 47 years in the backcountry for me: a mother and cub near Ebbetts Pass, one near Dinkey Lakes trailhead and an enormous and beautiful jet black one in a trailless drainage near Bench Lake (Taboose pass area). The latter is the most physically impressive wild animal I've seen.

As for mountain lions I've seen a mess of tracks, including some amazingly large ones three weeks ago near the Waterhouse Lake trailhead in Emigrant Wilderness, but the closest thing I've come an actual sighting was at night getting up to pee at Tower Lake (Hoover Wilderness) in 1987. I saw a large shadowy form beneath a tree and didn't know what it was. Out of curiosity I charged it so I could see it run and figure out what it was. It didn't budge, so I walked backwards slowly to my tent. The tracks there in the morning showed that it was a mountain lion.

I've seen many bobcats where I lead geologic mapping classes in Sunol Regional Wilderness of the eastern SF Bay Area and one of my students reported seeing a mountain lion there. The bobcats are entertaining. One year we saw one catch a squirrel and eat it. The cat completely ate the squirrel in about 5 minutes and left behind only the tail and an amazingly clean and neatly arranged little pile of squirrel entrails.
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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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby riverwalker » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:40 pm

Image

This is along Bishop Creek a few years ago. You can see there are 4 bears in the image and there is another one just out of frame. I was fly fishing at dusk and these guys came down. I have come across quite a few bears but usually one or two at the most. Seeing five was pretty surreal.
No mountain lions for me, but quite a few bobcats.
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby OwensKid » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:02 pm

I spent a lot of days backpacking the high country between Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP in the 70's and early 80's and saw more bears and bobcats then anything else. Mountain Lion's was another story only saw one and I was on the trail down low that runs from Millerton to Squaw Leap along the San Joaquin.

My 2 favorite bear encounters happened in Yosemite.

The first was in 1968 when I was 9 and we were moving from Bishop to Fresno and going over Tioga Pass when we saw a cub hit a tree. My mother decided she wanted a closer look and stopped the car and got out. Mama bear never appeared but I would have hated to see what would have happened had she of. I was only 9 but even I knew you do not mess with a cub.

The second was in like 1974 or 75 we were camped with a group of people my mom worked with on Labor Day weekend at Wawona Campground when a bear decided to stroll through camp. Of course a bunch of idiots decided to chase said bruin and it headed down to the stream that flows pass the camp where my brother was fishing and minding his own business. While I am trying to discourage the group from chasing the bear all of the sudden I hear my brother yell and he's in the water trying to get away from it. The pack of idiots had chased it right to where my brother was fishing.

Not funny then but when I think about it now it is hilarious.
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby sekihiker » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:50 am

I have seen more bears than I can count. As a matter of fact, my earliest memory (age 2) is of a bear cub in a tent cabin campground (since removed) in Giant Forest. Mom let my brother and cousin (ages 5 and 6) go exploring for bears. I cried because I couldn't go with them. A little while later, I walked around outside the tent cabin and to my delight found a bear cub. I rushed back into the tent and told my mother I'd found a "lidda bear." She didn't believe me at first but eventually went outside. As soon as she saw it, she swept me into her arms. In later tellings of the story, Mom said she was worried the cub's mother was nearby and might go after us to defend her cub. I'm sure this would not be my first memory unless my Mom had made sure to retell the story a number of times. By the way, my brother and cousin didn't see any bears that day.

I've been stalked by a cougar. At least that's what it felt like. See a report at:
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby oldhikerQ » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:57 am

I've seen bears occasionally throughout my travels in the Sierra. Have only seen one mountain lion. It was early AM in Crabtree Meadows near the completion of my '74 JMT trip. Too dark for a photo.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby sparky » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:19 pm

I have never seen a mountain lion in the sierra, but I saw one in the San Mateo Wilderness, and while I didn't see it I am pretty sure I was being stalked one other time in the San Jacinto wilderness. Something large was following me for about a mile right after a bunch of deer ran right past me at full speed.

I have seen large and very fresh mountain lion tracks in snow in Jack Main canyon, and decent sized tracks @ 11,000ft on University Peak, it was probably using the same pass I was.
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Re: Bears and Mountain Lions

Postby Snowtrout » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:23 pm

I have never seen a mountain lion (seen a bob cat though) but have had two times where I felt something was watching me as I walked a trail. Spooky feeling.

As for bears, seen plenty, with some good stories. Back in the late 80's at Stoney Creek campground, a bear bent open my parents plastic turtle trailer to get the chocolate cake mix in it at about 3 am. My dad was yelling "get away" while my mom yelled for him to "shut up." Luckily all he did was stretch the plastic, scare my parents, and play with my wiffle ball (chocolate all over it). Next night, we learned to put our food in the car but our neighbors who came in the next day, had their ice chest thrown at a tree that next morning. Guessing same bear.

Another time, some friends and I did a short overnight backpacking trip up Peppermint Creek. The next day when we returned to our car, I found bear prints, nose prints and droul all over the hood and side of my car. No major damage but he was after the empty Windys Frosty cup in the back seat. #-o

Have seen bears in the backcountry while on/off trail but have been lucky that none so far has come into my camp after my food.
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