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Wolf/Bear encounters?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by mVd, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. mVd

    mVd Newbie

    In my country (Estonia), there are not that many threats in the woods when camping, except wolves and bears. However they are extremely rare due to the very small population in this region of Europe. However rare their encounters may be, i am interested to know from experienced campers on how to deal with the situations where you might encounter a bear or a wolf.

    I do not know much about wolf encounters, however i have read that during a bear encounter it is wise to do the following things:
    • Do not surprise a bear.
    • Do not run.
    • Use calm voice when addressing the bear.
    • If attacked to feign death.
    Did I miss anything? Also what about wolf encounters?
  2. Libragirl67

    Libragirl67 Newbie

    We happen to have a lot of black bears here in Northern Michigan. One rule of thumb I use to keep them at bay in the first place is to hide food very carefully. And to especially hide or detract the food that has a strong odor to it. The bears are obviously going to be attracted to the smell of food. Also I try to keep the campfire goingfor aslong as possible at night and try to keep your sight lit with some sort of outdoor lighting. If the bear does persist, I have heard that making a loud nosie like hitting a pan may detract the black bear and scare him off. Never ever run, because they will take that as a prey running in fear and they will go after you. And one thing to try and be aware of is momma bears will often defend their young. Even if you do not know the cubs may be near, look for tell tale sign before you set up camp.
  3. AurelioLeo

    AurelioLeo Newbie

    I have not encountered any bears in the Pacific Northwest, but I did run into wolves out here. The farmers hate wolves because they attack livestock. My encounter with them was brief because they don't like loud noises coming from a rifle.
  4. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    I've met a wolf or two, but thankfully not a pack. One wolf is not going to be nearly as dangerous as a pack, because that one wolf is generally not going to be brave enough to go after you. I say generally, because occasionally you'll get an Omega that has gone enough around the bend to be dangerous to anything it encounters.

    Now I've met several bears, but I was deliberately hunting them so I have no useful information on them. I will say to look for signs of recent bear activity and to inquire about what may be in the area. Also (and this is rather important) carry some form of deterrent whether it's a gun or a nice big can of repellent.
  5. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    In the forest areas in Pennsylvania, encounters with black bears are very common. Hikers meet them on the trails and backpackers and campers, meet them head-to head, as they tear up tents or rip up truck bed covers searching for food. Even those who hang their food supplies up in the air often meet up with bears who have raided campsites before and knowingly come back looking for more food, as they have no fear of humans.

    I have watched youtube video's of people who have filmed the bears and foolishly approached these bears in a attempt to get the perfect shot. Black bears, as well as, any wild creature can be dangerous and deadly, if they feel threatened. The forestry department warns people to not approach the bears and to not feed the bears.

    I think to many people see tv shows of wild animals that are raised in cages or appear to be fun loving gentle creatures and they totally forget that the animal is wild. When I worked on a wildlife farm in Florida, I saw people do the dumbest things with wild cage raised tigers and cougars, I guess thinking them tame because they were hand raised. Wild is always wild, forget it and you might not live long.

    Anyways, meeting a wild animal is always amazing and it is easy to get lost in the beauty of the moment. I have seen many such animals at a distance and admired them from a distance. Not sure what I would do if I met one on the trail, other then to make a lot of noise and hope it left the area. What would you do?
  6. Jpix

    Jpix Newbie

    I have never encountered a bear or a wolf, though I told my husband that someday, I want to experience a bear encounter, specially if the bear actually looks at me and we exchange glances. I may be crazy, but it's just something that I've always wanted. My husband thinks I'm nuts.

    In Texas I don't hear of many encounters from my friends either, though you do run into a few coyotes and sometimes, though rarely, you can encounter a Mountain Lions/Cougars. Now those, are scary.

    Feral Hogs are very common in Texas and can be mean and we have gators as well.
  7. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    You don't actually want to meet a bear. They can be very violent and very tenacious. The only way a bear encounter could be worse is if it's a mother bear with cubs. She'll chase you up trees, down trails, across water. She'll cheerfully rip off limbs and try desperately to remove your internal organs. You'll hate her forever if you survive.
  8. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    How To Survive A Bear Attack!
  9. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Nice 2sweed, but more helpful would be the whole page that comes from.

    It's actually very relevant as it describes the difference between dealing with black bears and dealing with Grizzlies. Playing dead with a black bear will get you very mauled... that said they are delicious and I'm not the only one who thinks so. The aggressiveness is a kind of evolved response me thinks.
  10. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I liked the humor of it and I found it on youtube. So Esperahol, thanks for sharing another link. Usually a black bear will not attack unless you get between her and her baby's. We had a mama bear with cubs wander into our town the other day and the police and game commission were trying to figure out the best way to get them off main street and back to the woods. They finally had to call in for extra help to catch the mama bear and then round up the three cubs. Most times they come into town to get into peoples garbage cans.

    My friends who walk in the woods and have seen bears have never had a aggressive encounter. Most times the bear wanders off in a different direction. I have always been told it was the grizzles that would maul or kill people quicker than a black bear. But it maybe different in other areas of the country and world.
  11. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    The problem with black bears is that like coyotes they have very little fear of people. That's the dangerous part. Wolves and grizzlies tend to be more wary of people and so despite being more dangerous you're less likely to get mauled to death.
  12. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    The coyotes we have here were brought in by the game commission to control the deer herds, they kill the young fawns. But again they created another reason to keep the public out of the woods. So far I have not heard of any reports of anyone being attacked but the chance is more so as the years go on and the coyotes breed more. It increases the chance of rabies as well.
  13. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I found a few bear attack video's that show these animals up close and personal in Yellowstone National Park. I don't know about you but I would be very afraid of running into one of these big boys out on the trail or even sitting in my car. Watch these video's and please comment on them.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2013
  14. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    I hate when rangers port in creatures... it generally leads to nothing good. That said at least they aren't currently mating with wolves to give you woyotes or coyolfs. Apparently these hybrids are bigger, meaner, and completely unafraid of humans.

    I don't see the problem with bears in general, but as with any animal (including the family dog) you have to understand that they have instincts and will follow them. So you don't feed the bears, you don't approach, you leave the young alone, and you make yourself as unappealing as possible.

    That said interestingly enough there have been people who survived vicious bear attacks and then went on to continue hunting bears even if they had to do it from wheelchairs. They make me shake my head with confusion.
  15. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie

    I'm sorry. I don't think I can feign death than it is so imminent. Wouldn't it eat me if I'm already laying there?
  16. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    If your laying on the ground and a bear walks by it may decide your food or just play with your body by batting it around and chewing on you a bit. A black bear might leave you alone if your quiet and don't move, but there is no telling what a grizzly bear might do.

    Feign death generally means curling up in a ball and trying to protect your head and neck, and chest area from attack. I think it would be very hard for anyone getting bitten to not cry out. The best defense is not to be in that mess in the first place. Don't feed bears or try getting close to take pictures, and you will lessen the chance of a bear using you for lunch.
  17. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Depends on the type of bear - black bears don't have a fear of people and so they might investigate. Grizzlies do have a fear of people, but they also enjoy carrion so it's a bit of a toss-up. That said the best way to avoid this is to listen to warnings and make yourself an unappealing target overall.
  18. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I was talking with some friend's who had gone camping this past week. They had found a bunch of berries and decided to cook up a blueberry cobbler. The cobbler was yummy, but they had left-overs which were put in their cooler in their pickup truck.

    It is my understanding that a bear broke the back window of their truck to get into the cooler, plus he destroyed their cap on the back of the truck. This was in a regularly used campground. They said the rangers put in bear-proof dumpsters to keep the bears from spreading garbage around, so now the bears are a big threat to campers who try to keep food out of the bear's paws but are not having much luck. Plus the bears are getting into tents and tearing up campsites.

    There is a big concern about how long this goes on until someone gets hurt or killed, as these bears have no fear of man. What do you think about this?
  19. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    Obviously the bears have come to associate people with food - the question is why. It could be that people are leaving it where the bears can get it, it could be people are leaving left-overs around, or it could be that some idiot or another has in fact been feeding the bears. The other issue is what the bears are normally eating - while animals don't mind taking the easy way out, they generally will avoid people and having to do things like destroy vehicles... so why are they so earnest or desperate? Seems like a failure on the part of the Game Dept.
  20. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    A friend of mine has an idea that this odd behavior in bears, as well as, other animals maybe the results of them eating corn and other GMO crops. He says animals that have not been aggressive before are now acting out in different ways. I know of people that feed bears in town, just to have them come into their yard. Also bears and campgrounds have always been a problem, but breaking windows and ripping off truck bed covers is a whole new ballgame. It seems the Game & Forestry Commission are always planting something for wildlife and this could be part of the problem. If GMO food is not good for people to consume then think of the effect that these crops could be having on wildlife.

    Had a chance today to test the behavior of a bear. Another friend invited me to go blackberry picking with her. She had been picking and thought I would like some as well. As we were walking up the forest path up in the woods along the trail, something (bear) slide down out of a high tree and disappeared into the woods. Nothing bothered us as we continued up the trail to a spot that had been clear cut and grown up thick with blackberries. My friend had her German sheppard dog with her. we were picking berries and talking when suddenly we heard something big barreling through the bush toward us. Branches were breaking and twigs a snapping. I yelled out very loud "hey bear go away, get out of here" and my friend yelled as well. The bear stopped and turned away and left us alone. We figured it got a scent of the dog too. We stayed and picked more berries. Figured it was a baby that had slid down the tree and when mom bear came around it smelled us and came running. This time yelling at the bear and making noise did the trick.
    campforums likes this.
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