Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 10 Guests and 42 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3250 Members
13 Forums
5333 Topics
49539 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#24754 - 06/05/12 10:00 PM Re: Bears [Re: wbtravis]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
CaT,

I ain't ever used the stuff. I've only run into 4 bears in the wilderness in 16 years...and 3 of those in Ice House Canyon.

Hmmm...does Ice House Canyon count as wilderness?


Technically, I guess. Honestly, heck no.

I saw one bear in Icehouse Canyon, and it was at the trail head at about 3 in the afternoon. I was warned of its presence by a couple carrying their young child at a half run UP the trail, in an attempt to escape the bear. They did not appreciate my laughter, IIRC.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

Top
#24884 - 06/10/12 01:57 PM Re: Bears [Re: Bulldog34]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
I am curious: I wonder if ANY hiker on the JMT or in the Sierra anywhere has actually been successful using pepper spray on a bear. I think that is pretty unlikely.


Steve, define what you mean by success?

Top
#24885 - 06/10/12 02:33 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken
Quote:
I am curious: I wonder if ANY hiker on the JMT or in the Sierra anywhere has actually been successful using pepper spray on a bear. I think that is pretty unlikely.


Steve, define what you mean by success?


I would call it successful if they were actually able to hit the bear with the stuff, enough to cause it to change course or whatever it was doing that the human wanted it to stop.

I am thinking it would be pretty difficult to even get close enough to a Sierra bear in order to spray it.

Top
#24895 - 06/10/12 04:38 PM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
sort of like this?

Carrying a small can of pepper spray is a good way to feel self confident around black bears. It works as well on bears as it does on dogs. They don't go away mad, they just go away. This 4-year-old girl made this bear run away by spraying it in the eyes. The next day, the girl saw the same bear and it ran up a tree.




Top
#24896 - 06/10/12 04:40 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
"A big revelation to me was how reluctant black bear mothers are to defend their cubs against people, even when the family is cornered in a den and I'm trying to stick the mother with a needle to tranquilize her. Defense of cubs is more a grizzly bear trait. There is no record of anyone being killed by a mother black bear defending her cubs, and attacks are very rare. We routinely capture black bear cubs in the presence of mothers and have never been attacked. "

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/b...lack-bears.html


Top
#24900 - 06/10/12 06:43 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Thanks for the link and info Ken.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

Top
#24902 - 06/10/12 08:29 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken
sort of like this?

Well, yes. But I want to know about Sierra bears, not those tame types up in Ely, MN. My point is that I think it is just extra weight for a hiker or backpacker to carry.

Top
#24903 - 06/10/12 08:39 PM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Also bear/pepper spray is illegal in Yosemite Park. I overheard an REI employee advise a customer of that fact the other day, and just confirmed it: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weapons.htm

The rules may be different in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP. A google search suggests that some pepper sprays may be legal, depending on how they are forumulated, and assuming that the owner/user is 18 years or older.

Top
#24904 - 06/10/12 08:54 PM Re: Bears [Re: pratic patel]
2600fromatari Offline


Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 452
Loc: San Diego
I've seen a guy literally chase a bear at the Portal, chase. This was in broad daylight and not during the wee hours of the night.

I've carried a large can of bear mace before, but only had to use it once (in Yosemite no less, sorry rangers, didn't know), and against an angry buck, not a bear.

When I first went up Whitney, I asked a ranger at the Visitor's Center whether the mace was necessary. He said he doubts it, but also said that I should carry it if it'll give me peace of mind. I think that's good advice. I rarely carry it anymore, but if it'll let you sleep at night, bring it along. I worry more about the other critters out there like mad deers and mountain lions.

Top
#24907 - 06/10/12 09:57 PM Re: Bears [Re: Akichow]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Also bear/pepper spray is illegal in Yosemite Park. I overheard an REI employee advise a customer of that fact the other day, and just confirmed it: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/weapons.htm

The rules may be different in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP. A google search suggests that some pepper sprays may be legal, depending on how they are forumulated, and assuming that the owner/user is 18 years or older.

Thanks for the surprise info, I never knew that about pepper spray in Yosemite. You can carry a gun but not pepper spray. Makes perfect nonsense to me.

Top
#24908 - 06/10/12 10:34 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1098
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: Ken
"A big revelation to me was how reluctant black bear mothers are to defend their cubs against people, even when the family is cornered in a den and I'm trying to stick the mother with a needle to tranquilize her. Defense of cubs is more a grizzly bear trait. There is no record of anyone being killed by a mother black bear defending her cubs, and attacks are very rare. We routinely capture black bear cubs in the presence of mothers and have never been attacked. "

http://www.bear.org/website/bear-pages/b...lack-bears.html


I'm not buying this one about Momma bear not defending her cubs. This bear support organization's anecdotal experience seems to be different than what the average hiker might encounter - accidentally finding yourself on a trail between a Momma Bear and her cubs. It's basic animal instinct and I would be very concerned in that situation. A google search will find recent examples of Momma bear attacking a human who came between her and her cubs. Black bear attacks are rare, but they shouldn't give out reassuring advice that defies common sense.

Top
#24909 - 06/10/12 11:18 PM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have reservations about those tame bear stories, too. Talking with a ranger at McClure Meadow several years ago, he had a number of stories of people being pretty badly hurt by bears (at various locations on the JMT) One instance was where a hiker was chasing a cub away from food, and was attacked by the mother bear.

Top
#24910 - 06/11/12 05:04 AM Re: Bears [Re: SierraNevada]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Quote:
This bear support organization's anecdotal experience seems to be different than what the average hiker might encounter

Actually it's a single individual's first-hand 40-year-experience, not the organization's, and being first-hand, probably not anecdotal.

That being said, he didn't say attacks were non-existent, just rare (more so than most other dangers we face), and that black bears are not as they are perceived to be by the general uninitiated public. Does "animal instinct" necessarily apply in the same way and to the same extreme for each species? I doubt it. That's what makes them different. I would imagine we could learn a lot from this person about how to behave around bears if/when we encounter them in the wild.

CaT
_________________________
If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

Top
#24911 - 06/11/12 08:01 AM Re: Bears [Re: CaT]
saltydog Online


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1547
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Another thing to remember about rare occurrences, is that they are the ones that get reported. No one goes running to the rangers or press with stories of not being attacked, so it could be the case in any number of encounters for every reported attack.

The fact that it happens at all, however, would seem to argue against allowing a 4-year old to get anywhere near a cub.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

Top
#24918 - 06/11/12 09:51 AM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Steve C
I have reservations about those tame bear stories, too. Talking with a ranger at McClure Meadow several years ago, he had a number of stories of people being pretty badly hurt by bears (at various locations on the JMT) One instance was where a hiker was chasing a cub away from food, and was attacked by the mother bear.


Ah, but do remember that these are the same ones that will tell you that you need to filter the water to save your life. smile

Do remember that the individual being discussed is the retired former chief bear biologist for the US Forest Service, not just some rube feeding circus bears, or a nut like Tim Treadwell. He is a life-long bear researcher, with a string of academic publications that is truly impressive:

-Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., has spent over 42 years learning about wildlife and sharing his information with the public......
-he has radio-tracked over 100 bears in the vast forests of northeastern Minnesota, studying some for as long as 22 years....
-By 1975, Rogers' bear study was ranked one of the four top studies of large mammals in the world, along with studies by Jane Goodall, Brian Bertram, and Ian Hamilton. Professor E. O. Wilson of Harvard University wrote, "A new level of resolution has been attained, in which free-ranging individuals are tracked from birth through socialization, parturition, and death, and their idiosyncrasies, personal alliances, and ecological relationships recorded in clinical detail."
-The study became even more detailed in the next two decades. Rogers formed trusting relationships with wild black bears, including mothers with cubs, and spent 24-hour periods walking and resting with these intelligent animals, detailing their activities, diet, ecology, social organization, vocalizations, and more, providing much of the scientific information on black bear behavior available today
-Rogers has written over a hundred scientific articles on black bear behavior and ecology and has served as senior author on more peer-reviewed scientific articles on bears than anyone in the world.
-Regarded by many as the Jane Goodall of black bears, Rogers has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Behavioral Biology from the University of Minnesota. Rewards include the Quality Research Award from the U. S. Forest Service and the Anna M. Jackson Award from the American Society of Mammalogists


But then, we can simply ignore those who have devoted their lives to the research of bears and what they have observed, researched, and written about, because our "common sense" tells us the way things are. Don't drive east of Badwater, you might drive off the earth.

"Eppur si muove" -Galileo

I particularly find it amusing to find rejection of science regarding bears, and embracing of science on outhouses. I guess whatever works, eh?





Top
#24920 - 06/11/12 10:12 AM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken
But then, we can simply ignore those who have devoted their lives to the research of bears and what they have observed, researched, and written about, because our "common sense" tells us the way things are. Don't drive east of Badwater, you might drive off the earth.

"Eppur si muove" -Galileo

I particularly find it amusing to find rejection of science regarding bears, and embracing of science on outhouses. I guess whatever works, eh?

Not rejecting science at all, Ken. All I am saying is that, while this researcher is quite comfortable around bears, I believe he is also far more knowledgeable in how to posture himself around bears with his behavior and body language. That expert knowledge allows him to approach bears and to work with them, without putting himself in much danger.

But for a common hiker like me, and most other hikers, I would think bears might read our body language and behavior differently, so approaching a bear might be way more dangerous for us. Sierra bears are in a quest for survival, with food being their highest priority. Since hikers and campers are often carrying a significant amount of that scarce commodity, the bears are attracted to hikers, and hikers and others are frequently chasing the bears away. This creates an adversarial situation, and bears have learned to be wary of humans. When these bears and humans come into contact, sometimes there is trouble.

There is no way this information doubts or discredits the research.

Edit: This amazing and wonderful gorilla encounter could have been far different if the humans had grabbed sticks and rocks and started yelling.
  Gorilla encounter on wimp.com
  Also on http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Top
#24928 - 06/11/12 10:47 AM Re: Bears [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
I'm confused, Steve.

You don't reject the science.

but the assertion by the scientist, that there has never been a documented attack of a mother black bear in defense of cubs is something you don't accept.....is not a rejection?

in spite of this lack of rejection (?), and feeling that hikers in the Sierra are at greater risk, you feel that hikers should NOT carry bear spray, which has repeatedly been documented to work to repel bears.....huh?

Top
#24929 - 06/11/12 10:48 AM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles

Top
#24931 - 06/11/12 11:00 AM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7224
Loc: Fresno, CA
> but the assertion by the scientist, that there has never been a documented attack of a mother black bear in defense of cubs is something you don't accept.....is not a rejection?

All I know is what the ranger told me at McClure Meadow (in 2008, I believe). He had seen a few people pretty badly hurt by bear attacks, and the one I recall was of the cub. Maybe George could help me on this one. ...edit: thinking about it, a ranger's verbal tale is not documentation, so I guess the researcher is technically correct.

I am thinking there is some disconnect between this researchers statements and those of the Sierra ranger. Is the researcher talking about all black bears, or is there some species difference between his research subjects and the Sierra version? ...I just don't know.

> in spite of this lack of rejection (?), and feeling that hikers in the Sierra are at greater risk, you feel that hikers should NOT carry bear spray, which has repeatedly been documented to work to repel bears.....huh?

The correct way to repel bears is to make sure all food is properly secured. If the food is safely stored in a canister, the bears will not bother it. And the bears are not going to attack the people. Carry and use a canister, not bear spray.

Top
#24933 - 06/11/12 12:25 PM Re: Bears [Re: Ken]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 777
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
I'm curious about the model of Ursack that was being used in the video. The only one recommended as "bear-proof" by the manufacturer is the Ursack White. All the other models will only keep small critters from getting into the food. Even the Ursack White must be used properly, using the manufacturer's instructions.

The researcher you reference is only one of many bear researchers; his data might or might not correspond with the data gathered by researchers in other parts of North America. As I recall from my science classes, it is important not to argue from the particular to the general, but from the general to the particular. In other words, good research must cover all possible data, from multiple sources, before making any kind of generalization across the board on any topic.

Better safe than sorry; follow the rules of behavior in bear country or don't be surprised if Ursa gets your food...and more.






Edited by Bob West (06/11/12 12:26 PM)

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >