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Do you have to worry about wild bears where you live?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by ashley0323, Sep 18, 2016.

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  1. ashley0323

    ashley0323 Novice Camper

    I am totally curious. Where you live, when you go camping, do you have to worry about bears being around? More specifically, while sleeping, could bears just walk up to your camp site if they desired? This is something I have always seen in movies, and I have always feared this since I was a young child. Now that I am an adult, 22 years old, I find out that we dont even have wild bears in my state. LOL
     
  2. killeroy154

    killeroy154 Survivalist

    We have black bears in this area. I don't worry to much about them, but I have been learning to keep a clean camp free of cooking debris and smells. It is uncommon for a bear to maul someone here near the Cherokee national park, but it has happened. Most of what I hear is people get to close to a bear that comes into a campground looking for food scraps. People approach a cute cub for pictures, and momma bear gets angry. On one account a young couple with a baby was trying to get a picture of the baby petting the bear, or something like that, and the bear bit the baby. A person I worked with said his dad jumped out of the car and approached a bear for a close picture and almost got mauled. There was one account a couple of years ago when a father and son were backpacking on the North Carolina side of the park, I think they were hiking the Appalachian trail, the son was attacked while sleeping in his hammock at night. The father woke and came to his aid and got the bear to run off. His son lived but was in critical condition and sustained serious injuries. The attack was determined un-motivated. The bear was found and euthanized, and if I remember correctly it was a female that recently gave birth, and the cub was not found.

    I don't want to discourage anyone from camping, myself included. The odds of a black bear attacking a person are very very slim. Keep a clean camp and never approach any animal.
     
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...I've had bears in camp. I've never let that thought or other issues deter me from camping and enjoying nature up close. I've always taught that the most dangerous animal in the wild is the human kind.

    I've always trained "bear etiquette" and have been serious and factual about the information provided. That can be said about water safety, canoe skills, camp skills, food handling and all the other requirements for a safe, healthy, and enjoyable experience.

    @killeroy154 has a good point about keeping your camp sight squeaky clean. NOW..what does that exactly mean? I find that campers/trippers don't always get that right.

    -------------------------------------------> POST ME <-------------------------------------------------

    Camping in Bear Country

    Serviced Campground
    Bear-proof your food!
    Become familiar with "attractants" - shampoo, toothpaste etc. Never leave these items unattended and store them in a vehicle or hard-sided trailer when not in use. [Not in your tent.] Remember that hard-top/tent trailers are not bear-proof!

    Never cook in, or near, your tent or tent-trailer. Dispose of wastewater from cooking or doing dishes in washrooms or at a dumping station. Or use an grey water pit. Clean up promptly after meals.

    Stash your trash! Garbage should be placed in the park's bear-proof garbage containers. If you store garbage at your site, keep it in a vehicle or hard-sided trailer. Keep your camping equipment, tent and tent-trailer clean and free of food odours.

    Back Country
    Bear-proof your food! Store all food and other attractants in bear-resistant food-storage facilities where provided, or suspend them between two trees (minimum of four metres off the ground and one metre from tree trunks). Bear-proof/air-tight food containers are an option if tree storage is unavailable. Avoid smelly foods (use dried or prepackaged food instead). Plan meals carefully to reduce leftovers. Store all dishes and pots with food. Cook away from your tent site.

    Keep your sleeping gear and tent free of food odours. Never cook in or near the tent as lingering food odours are an invitation to bears. Store the clothing you cooked in with your food in air-tight bags or containers. Keep tent pads clean and free of food and garbage.

    Dispose of wastewater from cooking or doing dishes in a well-drained area down slope from your campsite and not near fresh water.

    Dispose of fish offal (remains) in a fast-moving stream or in the deep part of a lake; never along stream sides or lake shores.

    Pack all garbage back out of wilderness areas. Do not bury garbage as bears can easily locate and dig it out! If food scraps are burnt, pack out all unburned portions. Store garbage with food in air-tight bags or containers.

    Use a flashlight at night, it will help reduce the likelihood of surprising a bear and may warn wildlife away.
    I use a night light that is attached to my bear barrel and stays on all night.

    Select an appropriate campsite. Use designated sites when available. In random camping areas, pick a spot away from berry patches, animal and walking trails, and the sound of rushing water. Camp in open areas or near large, sparsely branched trees that can be climbed if necessary. Watch for bear signs; if present, choose another area to camp in.

    I plan an escape route,
    so I would never hang a bear barrel on a trail tree
    that leads to my canoe - my water escape.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYV6q8kPHCa85BEZpCF64rS_elO-TjCJbusOqxd4bdK5SIbDGUiQ.jpg Remember - they were here first. Respect them and they respect you.

    BUT THEN AGAIN - the most headaches I've had is the raccoon. Funny how we pay attention to the bear - a creature that most haven't seen but ignore the raccoon who seem to know exactly where we have camped.
     
    Madman4800 likes this.
  4. missyify

    missyify Survivalist

    Lol we go camping in Shenandoah and regularly see bears. We just try to be safe by putting food and stuff away in the car and not leaving the dog out to get eaten.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. HikingHans

    HikingHans Novice Camper

    Black bear are active on the rural property that we live on. I've also seen them plenty of times hiking.

    Am I worried about them? Short answer is no. They are generally wary of man and avoid contact with us. Longer answer is they are a big, powerful, and potentially dangerous animal so I am cautious around them, particularly if there are cubs. So I wouldn't say I'm all that frightened of running into them, but I don't ignore it either.
     
  6. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    Yes, something like 230,000 black bears and 17,000 grizzlies in the Rockies that Alberta and B.C share so bears are a thing for me. Black bears don't concern me, encountered more than I can remember but a grizzly encounter is always worrisome as they are more prone to stand their ground than a black bear due to their past existence on the Canadian Prairies.

    There is a difference between "Bear Etiquette" and "Bear Smarts" but both are as equally important. To me, being bear smart is having some knowledge of the creatures, being able to identify tree markings, tracks, scat, diggings, etc. Recognizing plant species that are a food source depending on season and locale etc.

    With some basic knowledge you can make informed choices. Say you are hiking and come across a tree that been stripped of it's bark, at closer inspection fresh claw marks can be seen several feet up, you can safely deduce a female black bear den is near by.
    (I would mark your location on your map/GPS and make a note, maybe she'll have cubs next year!! If she's able to..)
     
    killeroy154 and Northern Dancer like this.
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ------------------------------------------------------> :bear:

    Excellent!
     
  8. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    We have black bears in our area and the only problem we have with them is when they raid the garbage cans in town and the bigger trash bins at campgrounds. They can not resist a free hand out. I have also heard of truck bed covers being ripped to get at a cooler underneath and back windows broken in cars where people left good smelling food items on the back seat. Mostly if you keep your camp site clean most bears will leave you alone.
     
  9. scrapper

    scrapper Novice Camper

    There are not many bears at the tropical regions, the only bears I've seen and known are the Sun Bear and Spectacled bear, which are pretty rare sightings on the wilderness. They are mostly of arboreal habits,Thereby those bears usually retreat from the presence of humans, often by climbing trees (I kind of understand it since we are indeed a threat for their habitat). They're mostly herbivorous and embrace a completely hermit lifestyle.
     
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...and speaking of bears I thought I would renew my knowledge of the same by taking a refresher course. I suggest that you do the same. This is an online course that I believe is available to just about anyone who wishes to take it for a small fee.

    Bear Aware: Working in Bear Country - St. John Ambulance Ontario

    Course Overview:

    Bears are fascinating creatures that are generally quite peaceful, but they are also powerful carnivores capable of doing great damage to property as well as human beings, and should be treated with respect. This course covers general bear facts as well as discussing safety procedures for personnel working in the field, and the proper procedures for setting up and maintaining a safe camp.

    Who Should Take the Course?

    This course is designed for anyone working in bear country.

    Course Objectives:

    Ultimately, the objective of Bear Aware: Working in Bear Country is to reduce your chances of a bear encounter, as well as to reduce the number of bears that have to be destroyed due to do bear-human conflicts.
    This course is presented in 2 modules:
    1. The Bear Essentials
    2. Working in Bear Country

    Evaluation Process:

    At the end of the module, there is a test. Participants that do not achieve 100% can review the module content and try as many times as necessary to complete the course. Test questions are randomly selected from a test bank, making each test unique.

    Upon successfully completing all modules, there is a printable certificate for your records.


    Course Duration:

    This online course is self-paced. Participants may leave the course at anytime and can resume where they left off. The duration will depend on the individual participant and their prior knowledge of the subject matter. On average, the course will take between 1 - 2 hours to complete.


    upload_2016-9-26_12-19-44.png



     
  11. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...one thing that I learned...

    Food sources and attractants
    Black bears and grizzlies are omnivores (from Latin: omni all, everything; vorare to devour). They eat both plants and animals as their primary food source, but will take the opportunity to eat other things if they are available. They rely mainly on leaves, roots, grasses, fruits, nuts and seeds, but also eat any high protein, fatty foods such as fish, insects, dead animal carcasses and garbage. They are attracted to strong smells including oils, propane and other petroleum based products and may see these as potential food sources. They are also known to be attracted to pet food, compost and barbeques. Generally speaking, most of their diet (80-90%) is vegetarian
     
  12. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Pathfinder

    When I was in high school as a community scout, I have read about the grizzly bear in the forest that killed humans. It was a scary story. We are glad that we don't have wild and dangerous bears here in the Philippines. But there are lots of snakes here that can also kill humans in an instant. And for the wild animal that can attack people, I guess it is only the wild boar that presents a real danger.
     
  13. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...the famous grizzly is only in some parts of the country but not all. Like anything else you know your terrain and the risks you take. You train and act accordingly. Black Bears are the most common in my neck of the woods.

    upload_2017-3-17_15-7-1.jpeg upload_2017-3-17_15-7-24.jpeg upload_2017-3-17_15-8-45.jpeg

    I'm always leery of the names that humans attach to animals. I wonder, do they have names for barbaric humans?
     
  14. Madman4800

    Madman4800 Survivalist

    Well said ND. We also need to be aware of toiletries such as toothpaste deodorants and soaps.

    I was on a pack trip at Shinning Rock NC. and we had a first timer with us and he had food in his tent. He woke to a skunk standing on his legs. He got sprayed and learned a very important lesson about keeping food and toiletries away from your tent. He was lucky it wasn't a bear.

    If you have bears or not you should always keep things you don't need hanging in the trees away from camp.

    Sent from my E39 using Tapatalk
     
  15. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    I have seen bear when I was out camping; but we have never had any kind of problem with one, although you do hear stories about the dangers of having them around. Mostly, we had black bear where I lived, and they would come around the house because we lived out in the country; but they never bothered any of the livestock that we had, or even killed any chickens that I can remember.
    Grizzly bear are a lot more apt to attack a person; and although there were some in northern Idaho, I have never seen one. The closest that I ever came to a bear was when the kids and I were hauling the trash to the dumpster down the road. I had pulled the pickup alongside of the dumpster and got out of the cab to start throwing in the bags of trash, and suddenly, a big black bear (it looked HUGE to me) stood up on its hind legs, just on the other side of the dumpster.
    The bear and I both stared for a few seconds, and maybe it was as shocked as I was; but I quickly jumped back in the truck with the kids and we took off out of there. After that, we looked around very carefully when we went to take the trash to the dumpster ! !
     
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...the romance of the bears. At one time seeing a bear up close was remote but as humans develop the wilderness we see them more often. I'll always remember the first time I saw a bear carcass lying on the side of the road. I felt deeply sorry and troubled.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTU6qL5rIp0hDT8P8xzbCRC29HNfVcX4HZPKB09hFyWuUfr-GvIMw.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTUigRN5-eysbd3YsM6Z4Gr-u6cGIsKlWCPRNe_Ud3XeuaL8dCwLg.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRde3FXu0dOA3DYptxaI1yZzegCMg99gBDPx5nrgAYsMWVTjMsy.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRWxowIa9XnuyjYS30v3U6MfJ89w7DZ_1Tqax8FUM66er9SWzFo.jpg

    ...and then there is the Spectacled, Sloth, Ursuline and the extinct Cave bear.

    All magnificent creatures.
     
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