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Old July 25, 2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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Grizzlies in New Mexico?

Not exactly a hunting question but I am debating with some other scout leaders on wether there are grizzlies around Philmont scout camp in NE new mexico. found some internet discussion on reestablishing a population a few years ago but nothing recent.
I'm saying chances are slim to none there are any there.

Anyone familiar with the area?
(trying to keep the mothers here calm)
Thanks , Cliff
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Old July 25, 2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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Black bears at Philmont

After three Philmont treks and the return of our 2011 crew two weeks ago I can reliably say that there have been no reports of grizzlies roaming Philmont. However, search "Philmont bears" for information about black bears common at the Scout ranch. Our returning crew reported very dry conditions and many burnt areas throughout the ranch. These conditions may have some effect on the black bears in their search for food.

The best defense is to follow all the ranger training and printed advice concerning personal hygiene, bear bags, bear discipline, "smellables," food preparation, and camp site organization. My crews and I have seen several bears during our treks but were never in immediate danger because we religiously followed trail discipline. One bear approached within 30 feet of one of our campsites. This bear was not interested in the macaroni and cheese the Scouts were preparing. Neither was I.

Grizzly range:
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Old July 25, 2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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For the mothers that are concerened you could always tell them to buy jr some bear spray. I dont know how old the scouts are but if they are older this could be a good idea but if they are younger maybe the adults could get some. Its just a thought I know it makes my GF feel safer when I have my bear spray when we are in cat country.
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Old July 25, 2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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I agree with Tuzo,

I worked in Alaska for several years and Now Wyoming. I like the bear spray but a 44 and some Bear aware training works good for me.

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Old July 25, 2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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The nice thing is, it just says "bear" on the tag. So I'd like to see the face of the NMGW officer when you bring in a grizzly pelt to be tagged.
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Old July 25, 2011, 02:16 PM   #6
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Are there any in Colorado?

Several years ago, while living in Colorado, I read in the paper where the DNR initiated a law that prohibited the shooting of Old Griz. I remember asking if there were any left and the answer was that they were not sure but just in case, they would be protected. I am not current as to their population at this time but if there aren't any up there, then extremely doubtful that they would be that far south. Now Black Bear is a different story. .....

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Old July 25, 2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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No firearms for Philmont bears

Personal firearms are prohibited at all Scouting locations and activities. Bringing a firearm to Philmont is a great big NO. Restrictions concerning bear spray should be confirmed with Philmont staff.

In addition to my previous post, I highly recommend that your crew use pristine water bottles during their trek. If a water bottle contained anything but water - such as drink mix or juice - it should not be carried on the trail. No amount of rinsing will completely remove the scent and bears like sweet smelling stuff. Nearly all bear attacks at Philmont were due to Scouts and adults not strictly following safe handling of food and personal items procedures outlined by Philmont staff.
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Old July 26, 2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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Thank you all

not worried about black bears with 16 of us traveling together and having plenty of experience with them here in NY/NJ. Tuzo what treks have you done? My first time we're doing no. 13.
personally, my biggest fear is sharing a tent without deodorant

not worried about attacks just keeping em out of our packs at night, no matter how careful you are you're not going to eliminate every interesting (to them) smell. Sounds to me our chances of seeing black bears is slim also.
back to packing!
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Old July 26, 2011, 09:41 AM   #9
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Drifting: Philmont is located in some beautiful country. And it's not all that far from the Whittington Center at Raton, if one has time for a visit. I've not yet had the chance to see the new museum, there. But it's definitely worth a trek.
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Old July 26, 2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Oh no! No pit stop!

cnimrod, don't worry about no deodorant. My Scouts were good at rising before first light, hiking about one hour, breakfast at trailside, destination at noon, activity, laundry, and wash up before supper. A couple drops of Campsuds on a wet bandana will wash an average Scout without leaving odor or residue.

Our crew recently returned from a southern trek that included Mt. Phillips and Tooth of Time. It was hot. My crews stayed in the north and included Mt Baldy. Two treks traversed the Valle Vidal wilderness. There we did not follow trails and the Scouts used their land navigation skills to navigate - no GPS.

Have a great trek, wish I could do it again.

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Old July 26, 2011, 09:40 PM   #11
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Not unusual for scouts to spend a night at Whittington Center on the way to Philmont. Black bears common @ Whittington center but no major issues in my stays there. My brother was a trek leader @ Philmont for two years. Black bears are no problem if you follow instructions, no worries about griz. I recall a letter he sent home in which he mentioned a lightning strike where three persons were injured, but not seriously. Seemed odd that lightning was more of a danger than bears, but there you are.
Museum is nice, Art. A bit small but a good start. Some very interesting stories on the displays. New gift shop is quite good as well. Small but excellent book selection.
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