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The Grizzly Bear Question in Alaska

Discussion in 'Nature' started by cort, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. cort

    cort Newbie

    The question is - how likely am I to run into a grizzly bear while camping - all car camping - in Alaska...It's the only thing I'm worried about. Camped a lot in Wyoming and Montana with no issue but Alaska is another bear indeed (ha ha).
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    The State of Alaska [and the Yukon Territory too] have some good sites that address this specific issue. There are other resources on line too but I tend to stay with official sites that I can trust and count on. When I'm in bear country I carry bear spray and know how to use it. I follow all the other recommended safety rules too. I'm also into no trace camping that is really helpful in minimizing contact with bears and other wild creatures.
  3. cort

    cort Newbie

    Thanks. How much time have you spent up there and have you had any bear encounters; i.e. situations where they rushed or disturbed you?
  4. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    I wish...most of my bear encounters has been in the Haliburton Forest Reserve which is in bear country. Two years ago I had five bear come through camp. Last year while I was there the rangers tracked down one of the bears and shot it. It had been creating a bit of a stir in the region that I was located.

    As I mentioned I took a mini course about bears - learned how to use bear spray - and more especially learned the arts of NTC - no trace camping. My camp site was squeaky clean with food and garbage managed correctly. When I'm/we are in the interior we hang our food stuffs at the end of the day and thoroughly clean the cooking site.

    Now as we know grizzlies are a whole different matter - a good book from the local might help. Stay away from the online scar stuff - it is usually inaccurate and not really helpful. There are sites that are excellent.
    Having said that - I've never been afraid and I haven't gotten into a situation that I couldn't get out of. Exciting actually.
  5. cort

    cort Newbie

    I like the state Alaska site - I like that bear spray may be more effective than guns.

    I'm car camping. When I'm in grizzly country the only time I cook is in the AM - usually when I'm moving to a new site. Everything except clothing and bedding stays in the car when I'm not using it. I also have two dogs. I don't know how much of deterrent they are but they know when somethings around.

    I also checked out bear deaths on wikipedia - surprisingly few over the years.
  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Guns? We have to do better than that. Those of us who are confirmed campers (interior wilderness) prefer bear spray. Studies indicate (if you can believe studies) that bear spray would be the best choice. [Make sure you get a top proven brand - don't go for cheap.] On top of that the creature can continue to live and we can continue to marvel at its greatness.

    And you are right about the death count. You are more than likely to be shot by your own than killed by a bear.

    Dogs? My dog is my early warning system. I have trained him for bear approach - but never have had the opportunity to learn if it would work. But remember - if a bear charges a dog the dog goes where? Right back to you.

    I have a Black Lab what kind of dogs do you sport?
  7. cort

    cort Newbie

    I was relieved to read that you're like 90x's more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a bear :)

    Hopefully the dogs will be more of a deterrent than a guide back to me (lol)

    They catahoula leopard hound mixes; one probably with a rottweiler/lab (about 75 lbs) and one with some sort of a terrier (perhaps pit bull - about 60 lbs). The rottie or lab mix has a great nose. If the bear is upwind she'll definitely smell it and probably howl away.

    DSC_2215.JPG DSC_2209.JPG
  8. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    This is my baby. We have been together for years.

    Tell me...are you a lone camper? Most of my camping is solo thought I still have a canoe buddy for interior trips.

  9. cort

    cort Newbie

    Beautiful dog...Look at that sleek fur :)

    Yes, car camping is just me and the dogs. I work on the internet so I can take long spring/summer/fall trips with them.
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Fantastic - at least I think so. I've been solo camping for a number of years and I've really enjoyed it. I do enjoy group canoeing and getting together with friends too. But solo camping has brought me a certain satisfaction.
    campforums likes this.
  11. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    Our guy wears a bear bell so the three of us are very jingly.

    The second best prevention is being noisy (second to a fire), then bear spray for defense. If the spray doesn't deter then it's up to you as I will not comment on the next course of action.

    Just be "Bear Smart". Proper food storage, prevention, deterrent, knowledge (time of year and their behaviors) etc.
  12. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    5 bears?!!! I am surprised to hear that they shot it, don't the usually try to avoid that? Especially considering it is in a forest reserve which is not an uncommon place for them.

    All the dog pictures in this thread means I'll have to find some tomorrow to post :rolleyes:

    Yes, I have heard the noise technique works too when you do not have any equipment just yelling and waving your arms around can be enough to scare them away. I guess they do not really know what to make of us and if you are making a lot of noise they probably won't approach you in the first place
  13. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    The Policy on nuisance Bears - is to shoot them. [Certainly in Ontario; and it is happening more frequently.]

    There is a protocol.

    The standard practice is to relocate the bear in another section of the forest [Algonquin accepted.] - far from the area that he offended in. Game Wardens tend to do this twice. IF THE BEAR COMES back and causes an uproar of some kind the policy is to shoot the same.

    We can save a bear's life by not feeding them directly or by accident.

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  14. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    We had a few sightings of grizzlies in North Idaho, too. They are protected there; so unless you are in immediate danger of being attacked; it is illegal to shoot or kill a grizzly. One man was charged with shooting a grizzly when it was in his back yard. Even though the bear was about to kill and eat his farm livestock (pigs, if I remember right); since all of the family was in the house, they said he was not supposed to shoot at the bear.

    However, his children had been playing out in the yard when the bear came into the yard, and he said that he was trying to protect his family. He had so much community support that the charges were dropped; and I think that he just shot in the air to try and scare off the bear. I am totally in favour of being able to protect your family as well as your property, and if the bear is in your yard and about to kill your livestock, then I think that shooting the bear would have been justified.
  15. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    So what happened to the bear in the end? Was it killed? I probably would not report it if I just saw a bear and then it got scared away. The problem is that bears do not know where there are not wanted and where it is okay for them to be. If only they could read signs!!
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