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Bear Encounter

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Postby cmon4day » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:13 am

When getting ready to go to sleep in the backcountry, I usually put my trekking poles and a pile of rocks next to my sleeping bag. If there is a bear encounter I have weapons at the ready. The best method of getting rid of a bear is throwing rocks in rapid fire succession, hence the pile of throwing sized rocks. Most bears will move on when faced (or hit in the face) with such opposition.

Vic



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Postby skywalker » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:28 am

As hikerduane mentioned, he had not seen a bear in the backcountry for a few years. In the past two years I spent around 40 nights out in the High Sierra. Didn't see a bear or hear a bear in all those nights. My take is that bears like to hang out where the pickins are easy... Yosemite, Whitney Portal to name a few. The bear cannisters sem to be working at discouraging food thievery.
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Postby tory8411 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:45 am

Great shot tb!! Have you considered becoming a wildlife photographer...? You did all you could. I now know thanks to your experience I will never abandon my pack without the food removed from it, even on a short break. Thanks for the article Trekker.
T
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Postby tory8411 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:45 am

Great shot tb!! Have you considered becoming a wildlife photographer...? You did all you could. I now know thanks to your experience I will never abandon my pack without the food removed from it, even on a short break. Thanks for the article Trekker.
T
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Postby copeg » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:06 am

Thank you all for your input and comments, I appreciate it - and am glad many of you like the photo :D
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Bear Encounter

Postby Philip Burton » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:41 pm

I had a similar experience at almost the exact same spot. This was in July
and I was heading up Bubb's Creek towards Sphinx Creek. This was in the
afternoon after I had already made two round trips across the burning sands at Road's End. I had my pack off and was leaning against the rock
wall that leads up to the bridge over Kings River. I was eating a honey
energy bar when this bear comes sauntering down the Mist Falls trail.
It stops and begins sniffing the air. Next it starts to circle around me
trying to get at my pack resting on the wall. By this time I am blowing my
police whistle, waving my arms and trekking poles and trying look ten feet tall. This went on for what seemed like 5 minutes but was probably
thirty seconds before the bear decided it was too much trouble and went back up the way it came. I went up Bubb's Creek double time looking
over my shoulder for the next hour.

I had hiked to Mist Falls the day before and had seem the same bear
sitting in the river up to its' waist scratching its' back on a tree.
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Postby madeintahoe » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:14 pm

Trailblazer..Thank you for sharing your story! Im glad that this young cub & momma bear did not get to your food. What an adorable picture..beautiful Bear!

Trekker thanks for the story Lynn Rogers wrote..I went to a lecture he was giving here in Tahoe about two years ago..he's a wonderful man
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Postby AfterSeven » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:32 pm

I've spent 20 days in Sequoia National Park this year and have seen bears on....20 days. They seem to be everywhere in the conifer belt nowadays. With one exception, the bears seem to have 1 gear ...reverse. I can't ever recall a bear coming at me, ever, but I have had a few uncomfortable stare downs...see pics below.

I usually don't see bears until I'm almost on top of them...which, I suppose, is one more good reason not to hike with a nanopod.

I have yet to hear a credible story of preditory black bear behavior in the Sierra's although statistically there must be an example somewhere. Since the 1800's the Sierra Black Bears have had a reputation as runners, avoiding conflict at all costs.

I have a dim memory of a mauling of a Boy Scout with food in his tent from the late 80's in Southern Cal; and in the Cali National Parks, the only "Swats" or "Bites" I've ever heard of were ranger tales about people trying to recover food taken by bears.

I ran into a mother who stared at me for a good minute a week or so ago. She did not run, and that was a concern. After a minute I saw her cub, which I hadn't noticed. Once the cub ran...she followed...that was the end of that.

I do see intersting territorial markings in Sequoia Groves....How often do you see one of the largest trees in the world thinned down by a bear? I know of 3 such trees on the edges of the Suwanee Grove in Sequoia National Park...(See pics below)

PS here's a link to North American Black Bear Encounters..... http://www.covebear.com/BlackBearNews.htm



If the bear can see you....you're probably too close (Round Meadow - 10/06)

Image

The Suwanee Bear Sequoias

Image
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