Jun 20, 2007 at 7:44 pm #1223776
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Tragically, a rare black bear attack kills an 11 year old boy while sleeping in his tent in Utah last week.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl…a071140D93.DTLJun 20, 2007 at 9:04 pm #1392901
Is it just me or are Black Bear attacks and even killings on the rise? Not only in the western Us, but all over the US.Jun 22, 2007 at 1:25 pm #1393103
The more people in the backcountry, and the more attentive the media, the more black bear reports there are, IMO.
It's hard for some to remember, but if you're swimming in the ocean, or hiking in Bear country, there's competition for the top slot in the food chain.Jun 22, 2007 at 9:00 pm #1393141
I agree, but I was just saying…all the books you read describe black bears as not as agressive and confrontational, yet the oppisite is happening….and I dont think its just a matter of more people reporting it……any time a black bear kills someone I think that is newsworthy…….im sure it is our own fault for leaving food, feeding bears, and the likeJun 23, 2007 at 7:24 am #1393179
read this……marine kills attacking black bear with a piece of firewood…Jun 29, 2007 at 1:27 pm #1393928
We were recently wondering if some of the backpackers who go missing here are victims of bear and cougars. Seems like a couple a year don't get found. Seems like the territories and habits of humans and bears are bringing us more into each other's realm, with some sad results for both.Jul 23, 2007 at 9:36 pm #1396280
Less hunting and different hunting (in Oregon, no dogs = inneffective to no cougar hunting) adds up to bolder cougars and perhaps (though I think it is subject to debate) bears. The end of cougar hunting here means they are not harassed (more often the case than getting killed by hunters) and so they do not learn to fear humans, nor to associate humans with dogs able to chase them and perhaps tree them. The law in Oregon was changed by a referendum that appealed to the soft hearted and those unfamiliar with hunting and wildlife management.
it will only change when more human remains are dragged out of the woods.
So learn what to do if stalked, and if you are lucky you will be ok. Juvenile cougars, in particular, are persistent,have a bit of a tendency to hunt with another cougar (perhaps a sibling?) and do not know enough to back off quickly.
If in a group, sit facing one another so you can cover each others' backs.
And keep small people and kids close to hand if you suspect you might be in cougar country.
This sounds paranoid, but it beats having a 140-180 pound cougar on your back.Jul 31, 2007 at 1:00 pm #1396952
I agree with Kevin. We are leaving too much food laying around. On several hikes where I spent time with "thru hikers" I observed food in tents, shelters and trash laying around. When I confronted them about the problem they acted as if I was crazy. At Tray Mountain I watched a mouse run in an out of a pack. When I asked the owner what was in it he listed off the contents. His tooth brush was in it instead of on the bear cable. While I'm not sure a bear would have come looking for a toothbrush I have always hung all "smellables".
Recently while camping with a group of Boy Scouts just north of the NOC we had a couple of bears wander into our camp. I slept through the visit but my tent mate said they walked up the trail, looked around and then left. All food, first aid kits and anything else with a smell was hung 12 feet above the ground.
Most of the bear attacks I have heard about in this area always involve people wanting their picture with a bear and luring the bear with food. They are wild animals not your dog. Even your dog will go through the trash if you leave it accessible.
I really enjoy hiking the mountains here and meeting other hikers but I am always amazed at how unprepared some are for the wilderness. I am always disappointed at the trash other hikers leave behind. Burning trash is not an acceptable method of disposal. If you bring it with you store it properly and pack it back out!
I was just reading an article about cooking in tents. I don't know how the rest of feel about this but can you think of a better way to attract bears than to cook/eat where you sleep? Even the clothes you cook in will hold the odors of your food. Its like calling "Come eat me Mr. Bear". The best procedure is to cook and eat prior to arriving at your destination for the evening or at the very least do it down wind of your sleeping area. That way any bears that smell supper are not nosing around your shelter.
It may sound like over-kill but animals especially bears have a keen sense of smell. I have heard they can smell an open tuna pouch over a mile away. Even things we can't smell will attact them.
The best defense from bear attack is to keep a clean camp site and store smellables out of reach.Jul 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm #1396964
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Yep. And until more people figure that out, the annual competition for the Darwin Award will remain a great spectator sport. Actually, the should be 2 categories in the bear division; 1 for odor/food management in the backcountry and 1 for small pet/trash management in suburban backyards on the wilderness fringes. I personally feel that the media unfairly covers the suburban contestants at the expense of the backcountry contestants, but that may be changing.
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