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Old June 16, 2021, 02:42 PM   #26
Nodak1858
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I'm pretty sure after the smell of me soiling myself the bear would leave for its own good.
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Old June 16, 2021, 08:21 PM   #27
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What, pray tell, are backpackers supposed to use? Are there bear-proof tents that weight less and 50 lbs?
Of course there aren't any lightweight bear-proof tents. Heck, most vehicles aren't bear-proof either.

Let me put it this way. Sleeping in a tent in bear country is like sleeping in a house with all the doors and windows unlocked. Everybody seems to feel safe doing it and then act all surprised when something bad happens and then claim things like "it happened so fast."
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Old June 17, 2021, 11:51 AM   #28
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How do you protect yourself from quick and intense bear attack like this?
Its pretty simple, you do not allow food, or food residue into your tent, you do not retreat into your tent to escape a bear that is rummaging about your camp. I work with wild bears, and I have been for some 40 years, both in Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba Canada. This story is incomplete, so its impossible to properly assess what actually occurred, however I can certainly make educated guess as to what took place.

The A-number-1 reason for Ursus invading tents is "food" in the tent, even if the backpackers thought it clean of such, a forgotten candy bar in backpack, or whatever, is all required to invite the immediate inspection of ol Ursus, and they will come.

As for defense from bears, the best is bear spray coupled to a cool head, never run, never drop to the ground and play dead, match aggression with aggression and 99.9% of folks will simply leave with a great story for future campfires...
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Old June 17, 2021, 12:21 PM   #29
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Learn to differentiate a defensive attack from a predatory attack.

If unarmed and no bear spray in a defensive attack, play dead.

If it's a predatory attack then fight.

Read Herrerro or better yet, Shelton.



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Old June 17, 2021, 01:00 PM   #30
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Let me put it this way. Sleeping in a tent in bear country is like sleeping in a house with all the doors and windows unlocked. Everybody seems to feel safe doing it and then act all surprised when something bad happens and then claim things like "it happened so fast."
I've spent many nights in tents in black bear territory. Sure, there's a small element of risk. But black bear territory also makes up the vast majority of wilderness areas in the United States.
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Old June 17, 2021, 04:09 PM   #31
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Sure, there's a small element of risk. But black bear territory also makes up the vast majority of wilderness areas in the United States.
There is only a small element of risk that somebody will walk through your unlocked door as well, but do you lock your doors?

Yep, the range for black bears is extensive, but they have been extirpated or largely extirpated from most of that range. The same for grizzlies. Their 'territory' makes up the vast majority of areas across western north America, but when was the last time grizzlies were seen in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, etc.?

Literally, 10s of millions of people hike, camp, ride bikes, ride horses, ranch cattle, and reside in areas of known to be not just bear territory, but active bear habitat. The risk to any one of those people at any time is extraordinarily low. Again, it isn't the risks, but the ramifications of being attacked.

The reason why we carry guns for self defense, have guns for home defense, for most of us, isn't because we have high risk lifestyles. The odds of us needing a gun on any given day are actually terribly small. Yet again, it isn't the risk, but the ramification of not being able to defend ourselves that is of concern. I have carried for over 21 years and had a gun for home defense for 40 odd years. Never once have I had a defensive use.

Funny thing about bear attacks. They are exceptionally rare, whether they are the fault of the bear or the human, but they are always quite newsworthy.
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Old June 18, 2021, 01:41 AM   #32
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OK, so all this bear attack talk made me wonder: how many bear attacks happen?
Bear attack stats
Not exactly a great hazard. The odds of being attacked by ANY bear is kind of like getting hit by a train or picking the winning lottery numbers. I'd say go ahead and camp in bear country. I wouldn't use peanut butter as a deodorant, but the chances are mighty slim.
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Old June 19, 2021, 09:01 AM   #33
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Scorch, spot on in that these are very uncommon in the grand scheme. To be fair, your stats ONLY include fatalities. That is sort of like only categorizing violent crime statistics based on murders and nothing else. My town, for example, has extremely few murders every year, but has a moderate amount of violent crime including rape, domestic abuse, fights, etc. The OP's incident would not make the stats because neither camper was killed. Again, the issue isn't how many attacks happen so much as the ramifications of the attack. If the scared/angry bruin comes in contact with you for more than just a few seconds, chances are you are going to the hospital or morgue. A single bite or raking of the claws is enough to put you there.

Most bear country campers, backpackers, wilderness hikers (and there are 10s of millions of them each year, right?) will suffer countless other non-newsworthy maladies for every bear attack. "Slip, trip, and fall" injuries were listed as the most common types of injuries requiring assistance (according to the Forest Service safety bulletin we had in the 90s) where extraction from the woods was necessary. More Alaskan campers have their trips cut short by giardia attacks, probably every week, than people get physically attacked by bears.

Take this lady. This event happened a few days later. She is an avid hiker and was enjoying a nice solo overnight hike through bear country (sunset was 11:40 pm) when she last texted her husband at 1:29 am that she had deployed her bear spray against multiple bears and needed help...then nothing. She was found a day and a half later, very much alive, but injured, not from the bears, but apparently from a later off trail tumble after she tried to descend the hill off trail. Of course, this story would not have made national news had the bear aspect not been included. She just would have been another lost hiker that called for help.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/alaska-hik...ry?id=78333274
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Old June 20, 2021, 08:18 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy View Post
Let me put it this way. Sleeping in a tent in bear country is like sleeping in a house with all the doors and windows unlocked. Everybody seems to feel safe doing it and then act all surprised when something bad happens and then claim things like "it happened so fast."
Yeah but sleeping in a tent in bear country or in a house in the summer with windows open and a 44 mag handy is like Harry Callahan going: "Go ahead, make my day".

Now seriously, living life well is about wisely managing risks in every single aspect. Going out at night is risky, skiing is risky, camping is risky, swimming is risky.... The safest life (from the point of view of physical threats) would be life in solitary confinement.

I do not understand why some folks rock climb. Others do not understand why I ride motorcycles. We are all different.

Each of us chooses which risk is worthwhile and acceptable.
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Old June 20, 2021, 11:58 PM   #35
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Each of us chooses which risk is worthwhile and acceptable.
I really doubt most people do. They blunder through life with the "it will never happen to me" attitude and then are all surprised when it happens to them. Being naive, ignorant, complacent, or just in denial seems very common in the attitudes reflected. You know the "we live in a good neighborhood" attitude. Using your example, when most folks go skiing, they aren't looking at the short term and long term impacts of what possible skiing injuries may cause them to endure. They are just thinking about what a good time it will be.
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Old June 21, 2021, 01:54 AM   #36
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I really doubt most people do. They blunder through life with the "it will never happen to me" attitude and then are all surprised when it happens to them. Being naive, ignorant, complacent, or just in denial seems very common in the attitudes reflected. You know the "we live in a good neighborhood" attitude. Using your example, when most folks go skiing, they aren't looking at the short term and long term impacts of what possible skiing injuries may cause them to endure. They are just thinking about what a good time it will be.
Great post. A number of things you said are so true.


Yes, you are correct, many folks live in the short time. Just like gambling, which is fine as long as you can live with the results. If you gamble $100.00 and lose and prepared to live with the loss then fine. However if you gamble and bet your House and lose, then you are in a deep mess.

The sign in the parking lot that warned of Grizzlies in the area, would be enough for me. Too much risk for the rewards. I hunt and hike all the time in a good population of Black bears. I know them well but respect them. But a Grizz, lol, no way. The idea of my face being ripped off by a angry charging Grizzly or Brown Bear is enough for nightmares.

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Old June 21, 2021, 09:50 AM   #37
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Bear spray? Shotgun? Handgun?? Dogs? All ridiculous and unnecessary in bear country.

When I camp in a known bear area, I simply hang a sign in the middle of my campsite that says "BEAR FREE ZONE" .

Problem solved.

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Old June 21, 2021, 10:10 AM   #38
Carl the Floor Walker
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Originally Posted by shurshot View Post
Bear spray? Shotgun? Handgun?? Dogs? All ridiculous and unnecessary in bear country.

When I camp in a known bear area, I simply hang a sign in the middle of my campsite that says "BEAR FREE ZONE" .

Problem solved.
Yep

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Old June 21, 2021, 10:40 AM   #39
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I really doubt most people do. They blunder through life with the "it will never happen to me" attitude and then are all surprised when it happens to them. Being naive, ignorant, complacent, or just in denial seems very common in the attitudes reflected. You know the "we live in a good neighborhood" attitude. Using your example, when most folks go skiing, they aren't looking at the short term and long term impacts of what possible skiing injuries may cause them to endure. They are just thinking about what a good time it will be.
Yes, but this IS the reward. The good time has value in itself, that's all I am saying. That's why I first mentioned solitary confinement.

Do you enjoy an ice cream once in awhile? Sweets? A beer? Salami and cured meats?
Why do you? It is for the enjoyment or for the nourishment?

<< They blunder through life with the "it will never happen to me" attitude>>
I honestly don't think so. I do think they go through life "hoping it won't happen to them".

How many of us reading this board are overweight? How many of us sit down more than 4 hrs every day? Because that is riskier than the bear and the negligent discharge.

I do not think most people blunder around unaware of the risks in life. Most people are not stupid and I think it is a mistake to underestimate others that way. They just attached different values to perceived risks and rewards, and yes, sometimes they misjudge risks, but they do not ignore them.

Are every one of us who is overweight and with high blood pressure being stupid people who are blind to the risk? Or do we simply choose to live life despite it?
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Old June 21, 2021, 07:00 PM   #40
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I never said there wasn't a reward. Rewards are completely different from risks. You said people evaluate which RISKS are worthwhile and acceptable. I simply pointed out that most people don't truly take risks into consideration. They don't actually do the evaluation you implied that they did.

Quote:
Are every one of us who is overweight and with high blood pressure being stupid people who are blind to the risk?
Another great example, but you are mixing descriptors. I don't know about stupid. I didn't use that word, but I would wholeheartedly argue that most overweight folks with high blood pressure fall into one or more of the categories of being naive, ignorant, complacent, or just in denial. They don't think anything bad is going to happen to them, at least not right now. Most, in this case, are probably just complacent. Of course, when it comes to risks, being complacent is what gets people killed, in security matter, in health, and elsewhere.
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Old June 22, 2021, 12:29 AM   #41
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I used to work in the bush in Canada so when you spend 100-200 days per year in bear habitat, you tend to see more of them.

The best way I know of to not to see any bears (other than to not have food in your sleep tent and store and process your food properly) is to buy expensive black bear tags during hunting season. I know that usually results in me seeing NONE..........
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Old June 22, 2021, 07:17 AM   #42
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Sometimes, you're just screwed.
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Old June 22, 2021, 07:53 AM   #43
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Early in July a friend and I will take our bicycles up to Northern Montana, just to the West of Glacier National Park and head South for 3 weeks roughly following along a route called the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR).

That start area is known to have a high concentration of Grizzly. Every year hundreds (or even thousands) of people follow the same route. I am not aware of a single grizzly attack that has occurred on that route in the decade or so it has been in use.

I am well aware that they are there and I will follow due caution. I will have bear spray and be loud and generally obnoxious while moving on the trails. Food bag goes up a tree or in a locker (if available) when camped and no chow in the tent.

The community that uses that route all are aware of the bears and many of us are quite scared of an encounter and take appropriate caution. The reward side of the equation should be obvious: the chance to take in some of the most beautiful country in the world in a physically challenging manner.

Bears aren't the real risk though. Automobiles are far more deadly to cyclists than wildlife, and their range is far broader.
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Old June 22, 2021, 08:01 AM   #44
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Stay out of bear country.
What this guy said. Problem....solution.

(not a lot of large bears in Texas, now javelinas, thats different)
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Old June 22, 2021, 09:34 PM   #45
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Early in July a friend and I will take our bicycles up to Northern Montana, just to the West of Glacier National Park and head South for 3 weeks roughly following along a route called the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR).
That sounds amazing. And worth the risk.

I think there's something primeval in this fascination with bear attacks. As a species we haven't spent that much time at the top of the food chain. As others have pointed out bears are not a big risk relative to other contemporary threats.
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Old June 23, 2021, 12:57 AM   #46
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dont ever camp in bear country is best defense , if you must stay inside RV or other protected shelter, not flimsy tent.

also carry a Glock 20 10mm pistol for sidearm and a 12 ga shotgun loaded with magnum slugs.

Alaska State Troopers use the G20
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:41 AM   #47
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A few years ago, I was reading through the Alaska game stats on bear attacks. As I remember it, full on 25% of the bear attacks happened so fast that an armed human couldn't pull a firearm before the attack was in progress.
These things happen.
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Old June 25, 2021, 06:20 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ghbucky View Post
Early in July a friend and I will take our bicycles up to Northern Montana, just to the West of Glacier National Park and head South for 3 weeks roughly following along a route called the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR).

That start area is known to have a high concentration of Grizzly. Every year hundreds (or even thousands) of people follow the same route. I am not aware of a single grizzly attack that has occurred on that route in the decade or so it has been in use.

I am well aware that they are there and I will follow due caution. I will have bear spray and be loud and generally obnoxious while moving on the trails. Food bag goes up a tree or in a locker (if available) when camped and no chow in the tent.

The community that uses that route all are aware of the bears and many of us are quite scared of an encounter and take appropriate caution. The reward side of the equation should be obvious: the chance to take in some of the most beautiful country in the world in a physically challenging manner.

Bears aren't the real risk though. Automobiles are far more deadly to cyclists than wildlife, and their range is far broader.
Your route goes through Columbia Falls, about 15 miles west of this encounter: A grizzly bear attacked and killed a 38-year-old mountain biker Wednesday as he was riding along a trail just outside Glacier National Park. Columbia Falls won't have any bears but north of that your route hits the western boundary of the Park.

Having said that, thousands of hikers and campers spend the night in Glacier each year and don't have a problem. This attack was really a freak event. I only bring it up as I live a couple hours away and it was big news after it happened.
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Old June 25, 2021, 06:36 PM   #49
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Based on my extremely close encounter with a feral hog a couple of years ago, and how fast things happened, I’m sure that if a bear was surprisingly within 40 yards of you and decided to attack you, you would be in desperate straits. Maybe if you had a gun in your hand already, you’d get a shot or two in. That hog could have had me if he had wanted to. The speed was shocking.
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Old June 25, 2021, 07:02 PM   #50
Carl the Floor Walker
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If attacked by Mr. Griz or Mr. Brown, I would say to survive you would have to carry a big bore magnum and be faster and a better shot than Jerry Miculic with a 9mm on his best day.
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