Protection from Bear?


PDA






Northslope Nimrod
June 18, 2007, 02:45 PM
This weekend we had an 11 year old boy that was drug from his tent and killed by a Bear in Utah.
I sleep with a firearm, however, I fear that a Bear may yank me or one of my children far from our tent before I can react.
Also, I often sleep alone with nothing but a piece of plastic and a sleeping bag while hunting elk.

Thus, is there something I can spread around my camp area that will keep bears out?

If you enjoyed reading about "Protection from Bear?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
ArmedBear
June 18, 2007, 03:50 PM
A Dog?

It might not keep bears away, but it'll probably let you know there's a bear around.

Then again, a frightened dog will run to its master for protection, and perhaps lead the bear right to you.

Depends on the dog, of course. This one would probably work.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/images5/Catahoula_Leopard_Flip_11mon-2.jpg

Northslope Nimrod
June 18, 2007, 04:37 PM
Would work....but I'll pass on the dog. There aren't enough birds left in my area to hunt.....and I don't want to care for a dog for just this one issue. Plus, I don't want to hunt elk with a dog by my side.
Any other ideas?

ArmedBear
June 18, 2007, 04:51 PM
Well, if there was such a thing as something you could spread around to keep bears out, it'd be mighty popular a bit north of me. Yosemite has a lot of bears, a lot of campers, and no firearms allowed. We could get pretty rich selling the stuff to campers in California alone.

Bears don't have predators, AFAIK. So they're not smelling for a threat; they're smelling for a food source. You could keep deer away by spreading mountain lion pee around, probably. But not bears. And if the bear avoids the scent of humans, you have nothing to worry about from that particular bear, anyway.

Some sort of perimeter alarm is the best thing I can think of, which means settigng up a bunch of lasers or ground vibration sensors around your camp, or a dog.:)

The expense and hassle of a high-tech alarm system at a campsite probably accounts for the popularity of dogs. And they'll play with your kids, too.

But you're right, they do require a good amount of care, and they're probably not much good for elk hunting.

Polishrifleman
June 18, 2007, 05:03 PM
I think a pre-warning system is a good idea but tricky. It sounds like you travel light so hauling extra stuff around might be a pain. Possibly some type of string with an audible device bells or something that you would hear rolling around. Place it outside camp about 4ft off the ground strung through the trees. This might unecessarly get your heart racing if a deer of elk go through it but then you would be alert.

USMC_2674
June 18, 2007, 06:34 PM
If you place it 4ft above the ground, most of the black bear around here will just go right under it and never trigger your alarm.

I live in Utah. I have trapped Blackbears with BYU. I have hunted them.

Place them 2ft above the ground. Many people overestimate how big our bears are. Not browns. Not grizzlies. Blacks.

But plain and simply the best thing you can do is make sure you don't have any food in camp and just don't worry about it.

This is the first black bear attack in Utah County in 28 years. There have been millions of people camping in Utah County in those 28 years.

Semper Fidelis,

Kent

Mr. 16 gauge
June 19, 2007, 11:39 PM
When we were in Glacier NP, they tourist spots sold pepper spray in case of bear attacks. I thought it was just wishful thinking until I saw a video of a guy actually sneaking up on bears so he could surprise them and spray them in the face!:uhoh: The stuff worked.....sent the bears (grizzlys) runnin' for mama!

As for dogs, there is one breed, the Karalinjian (sp?) bear dog that is bred specifically to be a warning/guard dog against bears. NOT good with kids, FWIW, but I have seen footage of them and they are FEARLESS!!!

Alphazulu6
June 20, 2007, 01:45 AM
Leave the damn dogs out of bear protection. A bear will kill a dog no problem. Its 300 lbs of wild animal vs some canine that really does not need to be exposed to that. If you want to protect yourself against a bear then carry a .30-60+ or if your hiking a .357/44 mag.

Nematocyst
June 20, 2007, 01:58 AM
There is irrational hysteria afoot about black bear attacks. :uhoh:

Here's the first rational response I've read:

This is the first black bear attack in Utah County in 28 years.
There have been millions of people camping in Utah County in those 28 years.

Nematocyst
June 20, 2007, 02:01 AM
#2 rational statement concerning black bear attacks.

Bears don't have predators, AFAIK. So they're not smelling for a threat;
they're smelling for a food source. Keep the ******* food out of your tent!

Northslope Nimrod
June 20, 2007, 12:49 PM
Yes, maulings are VERY rare in Utah. Encounters are not so rare.
When it happens, you start thinking about avoidance and defense possibilities. Mostly just an intellectual exercise....like "what would you do if...." scenarios.

The big issue now in this case is that there was an incident the night before....presumably with the same bear. The blame game is going on right now.

We have a place near the Uinta Mts. About every other year, a bear is taken out of cabin communities by the Fish & Game Dept. No doubt, food attracks 'em.

I have a number of acquaintances that have had some close calls with bear in Utah. A neighbor actually shot at one with his bow and arrow in self defense. The arrow hit a small tree just in front of the bear and stuck in it. His brother was just down the hill below him. You can still see the fear in his eyes when he tells the story....but I think his brother was even more scared. As he heard his younger brother yelling and screaming at the bear, he thought he was being mauled (as he couldn't see them). The bear eventually left, but not until after charging toward the young bow hunter a number of times.

Edited to add: I don't like dogs in the mountains. Just me. But IF I had a dog in the mountains, I would not hesitate to sacrifice the dog for me or my family. If my dog dies protecting me, he has served me well.

trueblue1776
June 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
Get a Carelian Bear dog, those things are insane.

quatin
June 20, 2007, 12:55 PM
This is the first black bear attack in Utah County in 28 years.
There have been millions of people camping in Utah County in those 28 years.

The chances of you being attacked by a 2 legged creature is also pretty slim. Yet some of us still prepare for that.

one-shot-one
June 20, 2007, 01:45 PM
i know 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot but i bet if someone researched it you'd find that your chances of being "attacked" by a "two legged" preditor are greater than any bear.:)

wolf_from_wv
June 20, 2007, 05:22 PM
I thought it was 47% of statistics that were made up... :)

Last month (?) we had a bear at the country club. They trapped it and relocated it. Last weekend there was a bear in a nearby city by the high school.

budney
June 20, 2007, 05:26 PM
Bears are generally wary of humans, so making them aware of your presence is good. Consider sewing bells on some of your gear. Also, +1 on the pepper spray.

You should also learn how to differentiate between black and brown bear. Their droppings are a good way to tell. Black bear droppings are tubular, between 1-3/8 inches and 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and often contain visible plant matter. Brown bear droppings contain lots of little bells and smell strongly of hot peppers.

--Len.

koja48
June 21, 2007, 12:10 AM
It's what you DON'T spread around your camp area . . . cache food, get rid of trash, keep a clean camp. Personally, I keep a short-barreled shotgun full of slugs around mine when in bear country . . . effective against predators, 2-legged & 4-legged alike, should a situation arise.

quatin
June 21, 2007, 12:19 PM
i know 90% of all statistics are made up on the spot but i bet if someone researched it you'd find that your chances of being "attacked" by a "two legged" preditor are greater than any bear.

My point is that bringing up the statistic that it "probably won't happen" is moot on this board. Since it "probably won't happen" that you'll get robbed, but many people on this board prepare for that. Arguing which "probably won't happen" is more likely doesn't take away from the fact that bears sometimes attack people.

GRB
June 21, 2007, 12:36 PM
I think one of the best things you can do to prevent problems from black bears, while camping out, is to set up your camp properly. The sleeping area should be at least 15 yards from the eating and food preparation area. You should set up your tent before you prepare any food to reduce food smells around the sleeping area. After preparing food and eating, don't wipe hands on your clothing. Use a rag that stays in the food preparation area, and if at all possible wash with soap and water (alcohol gel or cleansing wipes are also good and sometimes much more practical). Any unprepared food should be hoisted up into a tree, suspended by a rope. It should be at least 8 feet from the ground, and a few feet down from the branch over which the rope is hung. Clean all pots and pans and grill used for cooking. Burn used paper goods or food wrappers (if legal to burn them in the area in which you are camping). Make sure no scraps remain around the area, burn any (again if legal).

If you want a campfire near your tent, fine, but no cooking in it, not even marshmellows. Absolutely no food should be brought to within 15 yards of your sleeping area, further away is even better.

Keep a couple cans of bear repellant in the tent with you. Use the type with a protector activator button so you don't roll over and set it off by mistake. Each person on the trip should have a can.

A gun might be nice too. A powerful revolver would be a decent choice in Black Bear country. Be careful not to get spooked and shoot anyone by mistake. A fairly large, sheath knife is also something to have with you at all times. If ever actually attacked by a black bear (it is really on you biting away), you may want to do one of two things - play dead or fight back. It sure would be good for you to learn something about black bears and why and how they attack before you decide which to do, because the reason for the attack will make all the difference in the world as to which one to choose to do. A female protecting cubs usually requires a very different response from you than would a large male bear that was hunting you for food. Of course avoidance is the best thing to do to not be attacked.

Black bear attacks are fairly uncommon, but they do take place now and again. It is a good thing to know how to handle one should it ever happen to you. So if you are out and about in bear country pretty often, or even only once a year, you should be in the know before you go.

All the best,
Glenn B

22-rimfire
June 21, 2007, 01:08 PM
I have often wondered if spraying ammonia or bleach around a campsie would have a discouraging effect on bears?

salthouse
June 21, 2007, 01:34 PM
Take along a second sleeping bag filled with 25lbs of bacon. The bears will leave you alone.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2007, 01:36 PM
Bears don't have predators, AFAIK.

?? Sure they do, where hunting is allowed. And of course brown bears prey on the black ones.

I agree this whole thing is getting overblown. You don't need an alarm system in the woods. Just use common sense and keep aware of two and four legged threats.

MassMark
June 21, 2007, 03:42 PM
Glen Bartley made a great post. There's so much hysteria about bear attacks in this country - while those spreading the madness generally don't realize how rare bear attacks are. It would almost be like not walking outside your home without a helmet for fear of being hit by an object falling from a building.

Some "Google-time" will reveal not only how rare bear attacks really are, as compared to deaths caused by say bicycles. It will also reveal that guns are a less effective deterent to bear attack than pepper spray.

I live in black bear country. The area around my home is thick with them and encounters with bears in my yard and the woods are so common that I've lost count. Respect for the bear and it's habits, environment and "space" is more important than figuring out ways to kill one. Prevention is worth a pound of bullets....

Bob R
June 21, 2007, 04:42 PM
Bears....what's the big deal. In the big scheme of things, they are very far down the list of things that will kill you. We drive every day, that concerns me more than bears.

I live next to Glacier Nat Park, and I have seen lots of bear sign, a few griz, and a few blacks. When I am off traipsing through the forest, I carry a Winchester defender stoked with Brenneke slugs. I carry it for a couple of reasons, first is for protection from 2 and 4 legged critters. Second is for food in case I have to spend a few more days than I planned for out in the woods. So, along with the slugs, I have a few bird shot shells with me for mr tree rat or bunny rabbit.

What worrys me when I am out in the woods is moose. Those things can be mean, they will stomp you and then go back to eating grass while you lay there in a bloody pile. Thankfully we don't have as many of them as some other states, but they are out there.

bob

USMC - Retired
June 21, 2007, 04:49 PM
All you really seem to need is a log...

Link to full story (http://www.walb.com/Global/story.asp?S=6692416)

Man kills bear with log at Low Gap Camp Grounds

Associated Press - June 21, 2007 3:04 PM ET

HELEN, Ga. (AP) - A camping trip to Low Gap Camp Grounds turned into a harrowing experience for a Norcross man and his three sons when they tangled with a 300-pound black bear.

But the encounter last weekend proved fatal for the bear.

Chris Everhart says the bear had taken their cooler and was heading back to the woods when 6-year-old Logan hurled a shovel at it.

Everhart says he fearing what might happen next, so he grabbed the closest thing he could find -- a log -- and threw it at the bear. It hit the bear in the head and killed it.

Ken Riddleberger, a region supervisor for game management with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says Everhart was given a ticket for failing to secure his camp site.

Dr.Rob
June 21, 2007, 04:53 PM
This topic has been beaten into a shiny fur rug over the years, and comes up again any time someone is mauled or killed or another 'big bear' pic sweeps the internet.

I keep a firearm around when camping, but for years as a boyscout I didn't. We erected no barricades, laid no tanglefoot, nor tripflares nor motion detectors, and we camped in bear country a lot. We DID hang our food in bear bags. The worst thing that ever got in my tent was a skunk.

That's another story.

You can go overbaord thinking of 'bear defense.'

Don't keep food in a tent, ever. Cook away from your tent. Know the local flora and fauna. Enjoy your time in the woods. If a bear sees you/smells you it will most likely run the other way.

Think of a firearm as part of a first aid kit, you hope you never have to use it, but if you need it, you really need it.

MeekandMild
June 21, 2007, 04:58 PM
How about a screamer (http://www.shopdefense.com/item.asp?id=130&desc=130db-personal-alarm)? This is a little battery powered 130 decibel alarm which screams when the lanyard is pulled. The idea would be to use them like the old tin-can-filled with rocks-on-a-string alarms so when the bear walks by he pulls out the lanyard. They might create a really interesting situation if they were rigged so as to give a good chance of tangling with the bear's legs.

I bought a couple of these back in the early 90's (I believe it was from Cheaper than Dirt) and sometimes carried one of them in places where guns and pepper spray were forbidden. :D

islandphish
June 21, 2007, 05:07 PM
A couple things,

If a black bear attacks you DO NOT play dead. Fight back!

Also the Denali National Park "bear video", required for overnight backcountry exursions, says to use the triangle method. That is 100yard legs of a triangle with separate spots for sleeping, cooking and food storage. Also, use a bear resistant food container so that if a bear does come around, you aren't feeding him and habituating him to take things from humans.

Bear bagging is not always possible so the bear resistant food container becomes even more important.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2007, 05:48 PM
They might create a really interesting situation if they were rigged so as to give a good chance of tangling with the bear's legs.

I'm picturing a panic stricken bear bolting through camp with a tangle of string and a screaming alarm behind him, running through tents and equipment LOL

Highland Ranger
June 21, 2007, 09:13 PM
Jackalope . . . . now they are fearsome . . . .

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-wyoming/Jackalope.jpg

ArmedBear
June 22, 2007, 04:34 PM
In all seriousness, if we COULD figure out something you could spread around camp to keep the bears away, and it worked, we could get rich!

Camping and outdoor sports are big business nowadays.

It would have to work, though, or we could get our asses sued off.:D

koja48
June 23, 2007, 02:22 AM
Got it! Post unpunched bear tags around the camp . . . you'll never see one . . .

Cosmoline
June 23, 2007, 03:34 AM
That always works for me

22-rimfire
June 23, 2007, 09:27 AM
The North GA man used a log. He didn't need a gun. :)

I had posted a link, then realized it was the same story as #26 (several posts back).

JP1954
June 23, 2007, 12:41 PM
The North GA man used a log. He didn't need a gun.


What they left out of the story is that this guy plays for the NFL and has been on steroids for years. The log was moving at 500 fps.:neener:


I have to confess I haven't read all the thread so maybe this has already been said, but from what I have read, Bear pepper spray is said to be very effective for defense againsts bears and others such as cougars. UDAP has a website which is interesting. The company's founder is the survivor of a bear attack. It motivated him to start the company. The story is an interesting read. I bought some of the stuff but haven't used it. In addition to defense, I would imagine it gives the bear a good reason to avoid human contact in the future which is win/win for both the next guy who comes along and for the bear.

Somebody said to fight back if attacked. From what I have read most attacks are usually a defensive reaction by the bear in which case they say to drop and cover your head and don't fight back. they say the Bear may paw at you a bit but once it realizes you are no longer a threat it will leave.

The only time I have read of fighting back is when the attack is due to it preying on you as a meal which I hear is quite rare. In that event I would think you are really screwed because if you've ever seen a car that has been dismantled by a bear as I have, hand to paw combat with a bear is a very bad odds scenario.:eek:

There are books written documenting real life bear attacks. I think it is a good idea for people to read up on bears before they spend time in bear country. These books may give you some ideas on how to avoid encounters and some insight into bear behavior, and the best odds strategy to use if confronted by a bear in a given situation.

KINGMAX
June 23, 2007, 12:50 PM
Your best defense is making plenty of noise. Bears for the most part will avoid humans, (Humans = bears only natural enemy/threat). Make as muck noise as possiable. If you see any cubs, do not approach them, leave the area ASAP. Do not run, it may set off the bear to attack mode.

I have lived up on Mount Mitchell North Carolina, 6683 feet above sea level, = Black Bear Country.

jeepmor
June 23, 2007, 01:21 PM
You might try a packing some cayenne pepper around the perimeter if you want to pack light. Beyond that, food separation from sleeping quarters is key.

I like the bear tag idea, always works for me. Have tag, never see one. Don't have one, there they are.

Just like cougar, when did we see one. In the two months you cannot hunt them in Oregon...sheesh.

jeepmor

RubenZ
June 25, 2007, 12:26 AM
Hang a bell on the center of your Tent. When and If the Bear pokes at your tent it'll ring a ding a lot. That should wake you up in time to blast the sucker.

Bwana John
June 25, 2007, 12:12 PM
Best protection against bears, and just about everything else in the woods is a good dog, they give you early warning against threats that you would never perceive yourself.

budney
June 25, 2007, 01:27 PM
Best protection against bears, and just about everything else in the woods is a good dog, they give you early warning against threats that you would never perceive yourself.

Yup--like every dangerous possum and man-eating chipmunk for miles. As an added benefit, you can read all night, since you won't be getting much sleep. :evil:

--Len.

RubenZ
June 25, 2007, 01:49 PM
ya, take a chihuahua :)

campbell
June 25, 2007, 06:56 PM
Somebody said to fight back if attacked. From what I have read most attacks are usually a defensive reaction by the bear in which case they say to drop and cover your head and don't fight back. they say the Bear may paw at you a bit but once it realizes you are no longer a threat it will leave.

He said to fight back if a black bear attacks. Browns/grizzlies behave as you describe, but this is not typical for blacks. Every black I've ever seen has hightailed it out of there the minute it was aware of my presence. Any black that is willing to approach you is conditioned to humans and is possibly looking at you as a potential source of food.

Re: dogs. Something to remember around here in Salt Lake is that there's quite a few designated watershed areas where dogs aren't allowed.

jmr40
July 2, 2007, 09:26 AM
Keeping a clean camp is great advice, but you have no control over what previous campers in the area have done. 2 or 3 years ago here in Georgia some backpackers saw some bears and got the bright idea to place food out for them to allow them to get some great pictures. After the bears learned to associate people with food several backpacks and tents were torn up by bears looking for food. The Forest service had to close the area to camping and the offending bears were tagged. The plan was to kill the bears that winter if they were not taken by hunters in the fall. I never heard the outcome, but the area was open to camping the following spring.

jeepmor
July 2, 2007, 11:12 AM
Best protection against bears, and just about everything else in the woods is a good dog, they give you early warning against threats that you would never perceive yourself.

Yup--like every dangerous possum and man-eating chipmunk for miles. As an added benefit, you can read all night, since you won't be getting much sleep.

So, you've met my dog haven't you.

Wheeler44
July 2, 2007, 02:30 PM
DO NOT spray pepper spray around your camp site as a deterent. The carrier is vegetable oil and after the "pepper" flashes off only the oil is left. Kinda like salad dressing to bears. Pepper spray works well to fend off bears, just not to "repell" them.

three rivers catahoulas & plotts
July 2, 2007, 07:08 PM
99.99% of the time a black bear is going to go the other way, but and this is comming from years of hunting bear in N.California, if you do confront a bear try to look as big as possible and make as much noise as you can and most of the time they will head for the hill's, but if you come on a sow with cubs dont try to confront her because she will get a little pissed and defend her young. and for the bear in Utah that bear was starving and wasn't affraid of people because it had been fed by humans it's whole life.

Logos
July 3, 2007, 10:18 AM
I remember a case in one of our state park campgrounds where a black bear collapsed a guy's tent on top of him and when the guy tried playing dead, the bear bit him a couple of times (through the tent) and was obviously trying to feed on the "dead" meat.

So.....that strategy was a dismal failure in that situation. The next strategy was getting up and yelling and screaming. When confronted by a moving, screaming tent.....the bear departed.

You have to make strategies on a situational basis.

RubenZ
July 3, 2007, 10:34 AM
Just to show a bears speed. Check this video out I'm sure you all have seen. I don't think anyone here could outrun a bear

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XwNd7tGN1ZU

T.R.
July 3, 2007, 07:46 PM
I suggest bring a chubby and out-of-shape person along for just in case. You don't have to out-run the bear. Just out-run the other person!

TR

buttrap
July 4, 2007, 04:25 AM
Just pack a .22 pistol...shoot your buddy in the knee and run like heck.:neener: 99.999% of the time a black bear will just run off, its when they dont you have a problem. Black bear attacks are less common than Uris H attacks but also have a much higher chance of being fatal when they do happen. A pissed off mad black bear is not good to mess with at all. You dont get too close to mom when she has little ones or bump into one on a deer or elk gut pile they dont stick around long enough to be a issue.

Troutman
July 5, 2007, 10:41 PM
Was reading that a poster (from NY) was a boy scout and another poster wrote like he was in the boy scouts or was one. After reading these posts and other posts, I want to break out the marshmallows.
Even NY does have or did have black bears. Not so much at Pouch (Staten Island) Boy Scout camp. Or alpine Boy Scout camp (New Jersey). Their was/were black bears at sonita hills…ten mile river….Catskills, Adirondacks’ country. They can/ could be found near dumpsters looking for food. At times those bears would go through campsites looking for food. Always kept food away from the tents, lean-tos’, and in insulated chests (igloos).
Those Camp masters use to chase them off (from dumpsters). Not that much of a threat, like their cousins. Would not want to play footsie with them. Or to adopt one of their cubs.

Remember this motto: “Be Prepared”.

Nematocyst
July 11, 2007, 06:52 AM
Those Camp masters use to chase them off (from dumpsters). Not that much of a threat, like their cousins. I wonder if those "camp masters" would be willing to chase griz away (from anything) in BC or AK?

Troutman
July 11, 2007, 03:04 PM
<<I wonder if those "camp masters" would be willing to chase griz away (from anything) in BC or AK?>>

If he wasn’t willing.
I would be refreshing one of the laws to him …….a scout is…….brave.
I know the days (summer) are long….19 hours of daylight. Not much sleep, one gets at nights (short). He will make up for it during the winter months. The flip side of summer. Long nights…..short days. Shorter work days! Long hours for the night watchman.

kolob10
July 11, 2007, 05:00 PM
I've hunted in bear country for years and even had a few "close calls" with grizzly while hunting. KEEP FOOD SCENT AWAY FROM SLEEPING AREAS. Carry the biggest firearm you can safely and effectively handle. I've never been attacked by a two legged varmint but carry a sidearm daily for "protection". Why would it not be prudent to "hope for the best and prepare for the worst" that way you will never be disappointed. Good hunting gentlemen!

B.D. Turner
July 11, 2007, 05:27 PM
When I was in the scouts our scout master always packed a .357 when we went on a camping trip.

If you enjoyed reading about "Protection from Bear?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!