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Bear follows family while hiking - what’s the move here? (1 Viewer)

Mister CIA

Footballguy
Ron Swanson said:
fred_1_15301 said:
Seriously?  I thought this was common knowledge.  “If it’s black, fight back.  If it’s brown, lay down.  If it’s white, good night.”

And if you’re hiking anywhere in bear country, carry some damn bear spray.
The bear spray suggestions are the right answer. I wore it the entire time I was in Montana visiting my brother and did not have a single bear encounter. Great stuff.
"The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.

Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper."

 

Zasada

Footballguy
Thousands of miles on trails in the last few years, every one with bear spray in my vest.  

Only bear I have seen was from the car.  Never seen a mountain lion (although it would make my day if I did, and it didn't eat me).  I figure if I ever have an encounter with a mountain lion, I'll find out by feeling its jaws around the back of my neck.  

I'm sure the one day I forget to bring the bear spray...

 

Ben & Jerry's

Footballguy
steelerfan1 said:
I agree with the bear spray and or a 357 revolver or possibly 10mm hand gun for hiking in area with bear. If grizzly I think you’d need a 45 70 rifle so bear spray probably best if you don’t want be lugging something around.
A 44 magnum revolver is ideal for hiking 

 

GroveDiesel

Footballguy
krista4 said:
Really?  A black bear?  :lmao:  

They're not aggressive by nature at all.  I've come across them and I feel honored when I've been able to see one.

I know there are people who've done everything wrong (see e.g., some folks in NJ I remember from a few years ago), but otherwise it's silly to worry about a black bear.

Mountain lion/cougar on the other hand terrifies me.  And oddly enough, while no one has ever been killed by a black bear in Washington, someone died by virtue of a damn mountain goat.  I see those a lot more often and give them very wide berths.
That’s typically true, but the bear in the story cited in the OP is bad news. If a black bear is following/stalking you for a long way like this, it should be taken seriously as a threat. Obviously all’s well that ends well for the family in the OP, but for a black bear to follow them for that long instead of running off, it was seriously thinking about them potentially being a food source.

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Worked my way through college going up to Alaska, living in a tent for three summers, working in a fish processing camp and have had more than my fair share of bear encounters.   

Too many to begin sharing but once, I got knocked over by a bear while in our tent.  

There is a term that applies to most people who haven't had the kinds of bear encounters that I have had, BEARanoyed where they get flooded with fear at the mere sight of a bear.

Don't play dead with a black bear, play dead with a griz.  Grizzly bears are far more dangerous.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 What are the odds of being attacked by a bear?

According to the National Park Service, the odds of being attacked by a bear are 1 in 2.1 million. This means that it’s more likely to be killed by a bee than a bear.

29. Which bears attack humans the most?

The most dangerous bear to humans is the grizzly bear. It’s followed by the Polar bear and Eurasian brown bear. In contrast, the American black bear is the most dangerous in America.

30. Should you play dead with a bear?

If a brown bear or a grizzly attacks you, you should lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Also, be sure to spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over.

Remain still until the bear leaves the area because fighting back usually increases the intensity of the attack. However, animal attack statistics reveal that if the bear continues, you should fight back vigorously.

On the contrary, if a black bear attacks you, do not play dead! Try to escape. And if an escape is impossible, try to fight back with any object you can reach by hitting the bear in the face and muzzle.

=============================

These are the stats on bear and other attacks.

=============================

32 Bear Attack Statistics & Facts (2022 Update)

... bear attack statistics reveal that such incidents are rare because bears are going to lengths to avoid contact with humans.

...there’s no reason to panic and demonize the entire bear species. They’re not even close to being labeled as the most dangerous animal in the world.

...here were 23 fatal black bear attacks in the US between 2000–2016.

...sharks are responsible for 6 human deaths every year.

...Mountain lion attack statistics report only 15 attacks in the US since 1890.

...There weren’t any wolf attacks on people in the US since 1900.

...Deer cause around 120 deaths in the US annually.

Deer kill more people than sharks, bears, and alligators combined. However, they don’t viciously attack people.

According to deer attack statistics, a vast majority of the deaths result from vehicle-deer collisions...

...On average, lions kill 250 people per year in Africa.

...On average, hippos kill 3,000 people around the world every year.

 What’s the most dangerous mammal?

Elephants are the largest mammals on the planet, and they kill between 100–500 people globally every year. However, mammals that kill by far the highest number of people are people themselves.

...Every year, about 475,000 people die at the hand of another human being.

What animal kills the most humans per year?

...Mosquitoes kill 750,000 people every year.

 

Bozeman Bruiser

Footballguy
Probably my favorite bear encounter

I've seen plenty of paw prints and scat but no bears in the flesh. No grizzlies in my neck of the woods but hundreds of black bears so hopefully one day I'll see one at a safe distance. Given the massive fire currently burning and resulting displacement, I wouldn't be surprised if I see a few this summer.

I have had the privilege of seeing a pair of bobcats, a Mexican grey wolf, and a mountain lion this year while day hiking. The bobcats didn't even see me, the wolf stopped and locked eyes for a minute and carried on. The mountain lion was on the last quarter mile of a 16 mile hike and she was between me and the trailhead. She was maybe 70 feet away, watched me approach, then disappeared into the trees I had to walk right past to get to my car. Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.

 

Galileo

Footballguy
Probably my favorite bear encounter

I've seen plenty of paw prints and scat but no bears in the flesh. No grizzlies in my neck of the woods but hundreds of black bears so hopefully one day I'll see one at a safe distance. Given the massive fire currently burning and resulting displacement, I wouldn't be surprised if I see a few this summer.

I have had the privilege of seeing a pair of bobcats, a Mexican grey wolf, and a mountain lion this year while day hiking. The bobcats didn't even see me, the wolf stopped and locked eyes for a minute and carried on. The mountain lion was on the last quarter mile of a 16 mile hike and she was between me and the trailhead. She was maybe 70 feet away, watched me approach, then disappeared into the trees I had to walk right past to get to my car. Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.
Yes they did.

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Bear spray vs. momma grizzly. Pretty good endorsement.
I have camped in grizzly territory, the 'back country' of a National Park many times.  They provide information on how to avoid bears.

Wear a small bell so it rings every time you step.  They also suggest you purchase bear spray, which is basically a concentrated pepper spray.

The park ranger tells you that you can tell when you enter an area with bear activity because of the scat.

Usually someone asks how you can tell bear scat from another scat?

At that point the ranger says.

'It smells of pepper spray and usually has small bells in it.'

Baa daa boom, bing >>>>  rimshot

 

TheAristocrat

Footballguy
I don't know what to do when running into a bear but I've run into one.

I was in sixth grade and we were on our summer Boy Scouts week-long camping trip.  Got to the park Monday morning, got camping set up and such, and then had to attend the roll call.  My friend and I were bored as #### and just wanted to go back to his tent because he had gotten Metallica's Ride the Lightning on tape and had a Walkman that we could jam to full blast so both of us could hear it for the first time.  The news was that there was a bear in the area and to not travel too far from the campgrounds.  We just waited out the announcements until we could go back and listen to Metallica.

Mid week, both of us had a lot of downtime in the afternoon before dinner and we didn't know what to do.  My buddy took out the map that they gave us at those announcements and pointed out something quite interesting.  He showed me that there were walking paths around the lake that would get us to the Girl Scouts side of the lake and we could go see some girls.  Solid plan.  I was all-in.  The route would take us off the campgrounds for a lot of the walk but whatever.  We had already listened to Ride the Lightning at least three times so we were ready for something else.

About halfway around the lake, we came to a clearing between two sets of woods.  We walked into it a ways and my buddy hit me and pointed towards two small black bears.  We watched them for a bit and I remember remarking that if these were the bears everyone was worried about that we shouldn't worry because they weren't that much of a threat.  We stood there for a solid couple minutes watching them until mama bear came out of the woods.  Huge.  Probably 50-60 yards away but we could tell she was enormous.

We froze.  Slowly, like one step every 3 seconds, we were backing up closer to where we had came from.  Our movement startled her and she reared up on her hind legs and roared.  It was so loud we grabbed hands and started moving backwards at a slightly faster pace but still slow enough to try to pose no threat.  It felt like it took an hour to get back to the tree line and then we just hauled off running as far as we could until we needed to stop and take a pee since that had been welling up since seeing that mama bear.

Obviously, we got back to camp fine and weren't chased but that was terrifying at that age.

The next year we smartened up and just stole a rowboat and rowed across to the Girl Scout camp.

 
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TheAristocrat

Footballguy
Yeah anytime you see a baby bear, you better get the #### out of dodge pronto because mama bear isn’t far away.
I did not have that information at the time (city kid).  I wasn't even really prepared for making it to the girl's side of the lake.  But I learned that lesson.  Good times.

Moose are even scarier to run into, I guess.  Like dysfunctional children.  I haven't run into one but saw the aftermath of a car in a mountain camping spot in the Rockies and couldn't believe or imagine what happened.  No one was around but the car had impacts on all four sides and the back two windows were busted out.  The ranger said a moose can be spooked by anything and attack.  Including inanimate objects evidently.

 

shuke

Black Ice Skeptic
We rented a cabin in the Smokies last week.  Had about 10 sightings at our cabin.  I know black bears are historically non-agressive, but after we saw some, we were still a little antsy sitting out by the fire at night, especially after reading about a bear attacking a woman and child camping in the national park the previous week.

We weren't there for more than an hour when I saw my first one, about 10 feet from me as I was walking up the driveway.  I jumped because I was startled, and that startled the bear and it took off quickly.

Here's the best encounter I got on video of a mama and a cub.

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
We rented a cabin in the Smokies last week.  Had about 10 sightings at our cabin.  I know black bears are historically non-agressive, but after we saw some, we were still a little antsy sitting out by the fire at night, especially after reading about a bear attacking a woman and child camping in the national park the previous week.

We weren't there for more than an hour when I saw my first one, about 10 feet from me as I was walking up the driveway.  I jumped because I was startled, and that startled the bear and it took off quickly.

Here's the best encounter I got on video of a mama and a cub.


Wow!  Glad you guys were smart and did not leave any food on the patio.  That's amazing that you had 10 sightings - I'm very jealous!  We took a trip to the Smokies last year and unfortunately did not see any bears.  In general, black bears are very non-aggressive and curious animals.  As long as humans act with common sense, nobody gets hurt.  

 

Chemical X

Footballguy
Weather Channel IG

Spoiler: it ends well

Canadian family with 2 small boys was hiking in British Columbia. (Black? IDK) Bear followed them awhile, eventually stopped.

I know what NOT to do. Don’t run, don’t climb a tree. What is the right way to handle this?

Keep calm and keep walking.

Make yourself big? That’s only small animals, right? Like, I’m squaring off with Smokey, k?

Play dead. You serous, Clark?

We do hike, often, and it occurs to me I don’t have a clear plan how this confrontation should be handled.
i wouldn’t avoid the situation, i’d likely approach the bear and try to understand what is bothering him and what i can do to help.  running away from your problems is not the adult way to handle a situation.

 

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