Black Bears Won't Hurt You.

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Seniorman, May 23, 2012.

  1. Seniorman

    Seniorman Guide

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    We hear that nonsense all the time, don’t we? Others will say “Ahhh, Black bears are more afraid of you than you are of they. Why carry that extra weight?" Here is just another prime example how that nonsense can get you hurt... or killed.

    Doesn't happen often ... but then once is enough, huh?

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_new...mping-trip-survives-outhouse-bear-attack?lite

    That guy is incredibly lucky his partner had a gun and had the ability to use it.

    Just another reason why you won’t find this child out in the boonies without a heavy caliber handgun, or a rifle.

    S.M.
     
  2. Bard

    Bard Scout

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    Apparently bears are making a comeback in Texas now and are massively protected. I worry more about mountain lions where I do most of my backpacking, hiking, camping, etc..
     
  3. Colorado Plainsman

    Colorado Plainsman Scout

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    Yeah there was a lady mauled by a black bear outside her home in Trinidad Co last week she's ok luckily. Not sure what provoked the bear.
     
  4. armtherednecks

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    the best bear spray is a 12 gauge!
     
  5. bearhunter2

    bearhunter2 Guest

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  6. okcaveman

    okcaveman Scout Bushclass I

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    The thing is, we have distanced ourselves so far from the natural world by technology that most people do not understand that predator means meat eater. We are made of meat. Most animals fear us, but under certain circumstances all can harm us. And predators (bears/mtn lions/wolves/coyotes....etc) can will and have killed and eaten us. Iv heard so much about how wolves wont attack man.... I call B.S. They can and do take down moose. A unarmed person is much easier prey. Does it happen often? Maybe... Maybe not... People go missing every year that are never found. Who knows what happened to them....

    For an eye opening read, check out Night of the Grizzlies. The story of the 2 young ladies who were killed/partially eaten in Glacier NP after I believe 57 years of no documented human fatalities by grizzly, and the events leading up to that night.

    Bottom line, we are only at the top of the food chain as long as we use OUR natural weapon (our brain), and the weapons we have created to keep us there. When animals lose the fear that mans reign at the top has created, we once again become prey, as evidenced in the events in Glacier NP and many others
     
  7. LMT66

    LMT66 Supporter Supporter

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    Pretty sure it was "Mission Accomplished" as for his reason to hit the outhouse!
     
  8. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    Another problem:
    Brown bears aren't always brown and Black bears aren't always black.
     
  9. dwightp

    dwightp Guide Bushclass I

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    Yeah, the interesting thing about that is that they went decades without a death in the park caused from a grizzly and then they had fatalities in TWO completely separate incidents......miles apart.....on the SAME night.
     
  10. coaldigger

    coaldigger Scout

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    They are "Wild Animals" & they are Predators....Big ones at that....Don't trust'em...I'll try to keep my distance & I always pack heat !
     
  11. Galthoas

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    Bears will attack, there is no doubt bears are predatory if they see fit, but more often then not bears would rather take an easy meal because they need the weight packed on before winter. Chances are she either spooked the bear, or something else caused the bear to become violent before she came across it. This is the typical and most common cause associated with bear attacks from what I have been able to find in research. Now most bears that I have seen and heard huff while breathing, something you can hear if your paying attention to your surroundings, but the one I ran nose to nose to was not huffing or I would not have walked in to her. Huffing sounds something like their short of breath with a bit of grunt and rasp mixed in unless they are actively stalking, then they can be deathly quiet. I also freely admit all my experience is from brown bear in Alaska and I have only come across maybe a dozen total.
     
  12. Dearborn

    Dearborn Scout Deceased

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    The book, "Night of the Grizzly," might make mention of a weather phenomenon that I have heard of - intense stormy weather prompting profound agitation in bears.

    In another matter, I was bluff charged by sow black bears with cubs on two occasions in Yosemite years ago, and I will never forget the fear. In the second encounter, I was a seasonal ranger armed with a 2" .38 Special. I have tried to be better armed since, but I now live and recreate in grizzly country. I avoid G-Bear as much as possible; they are real bad news.
     
  13. GeoKrpan

    GeoKrpan Guide

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    About 15 years ago a local mountain biker was attacked by a mountain lion on a narrow trail cut out of the side of a steep mountain. He managed to fend it off by putting his bike between himself and the beast. I don't think that would deter a bear.

    I saw a huge black bear, that was brown, on a remote trail that I was climbing on a mountain bike. I saw him before he saw me and I made noise. He turned to me and then ran in the other direction but I was ready to turn that bike around and waste all the altitude that I had gained. I hear bears are fast but I don't think he would have caught me.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  14. wonderingson

    wonderingson Scout

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    yikes. that is crazy . attacked at your most peaceful moment of the day.
     
  15. drewhelean

    drewhelean Guest

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    I think the bear just wanted toe find out if WE s**t in the woods! Lol

    He's lucky he got away with just a few scratches...
     
  16. Woodcritter

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    After a half century of living, working and playing in bear country, I am convinced that the threat of humans and their dogs dwarfs the threat from black bears. Every bear attack makes the news. That's because such attacks are noteworthy for their rarity. I've had a few unpleasant confrontations with drunken and/or unruly humans, and I have been bitten by their out-of-control dogs on at least two occasions. I support everyone's right to go armed in the woods, but if you are called on to use your weapon to defend yourself it will likely be against a member of our own species or his attendant canine.
     
  17. RDog

    RDog Scout

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    Right on Woodcritter.

    Can bears attack? Sure, but the drive to the trail is way more a concern to me, as are people, and the lose running dogs I have had contact with.

    Now if I were in brown bear/grizly country I would be more concerned.
     
  18. dwightp

    dwightp Guide Bushclass I

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    I agree with the others, yeah, you will occasionally hear of a black bear attack but they are extremely rare. I have camped extensively all over Western Canada and have lost count of all the bears I've seen in the wild. I respect black bears but do not fear them. Grizzlies, however, are another story..........very unpredictable and very, very scary.
     
  19. Scott Allen

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    It's that time of the year around here that you start seeing a lot more bears. The females are pushing the 2 year olds out in preparation for the rut and they are wandering around looking for territory. Also, the males are searching for females in heat.
    My neighbor had one on his porch the night before last. Time to load up a shotgun to protect my chickens and bees. I don't much worry about the bears otherwise.

    Scott
     
  20. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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    "Black bears won't hurt you." is, strictly speaking, false, but the reason people say that is that black bear attacks are so rare given the number of bears and the number of people who are out in black bear country who see and encounter bears. There are estimated to be approximately a million black bears in North America at present.

    This is not to say that one cannot be hurt or killed by a black bear, but the dangers are small when compared with brown bears, which really are very dangerous and aggressive by comparison. The number of fatalities by black bears is small (1 to 2 per year, on average, for all of North America) and only a handful of injuries.

    For any who are interested in a scientific review of the facts on bear attacks, I strongly recommend Stephen Herrero's Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance. Herrero has conducted an exhaustive study and survey of every bear attack and incident (by both black bears and brown bears) since 1967. His research findings show that black bears attacks are very rare, easier to avoid, less severe and seldom fatal, though fatalities do happen.

    Regrettably, media reports of bear attacks, like reports of any violent attack, resonate powerfully in the human psyche, remaining fixed in memory, and resulting in an exaggerated sense of danger. No doubt this natural disposition to overestimate risk is healthy by keeping us vigilant against the most severe threats, but severity is not frequency. A bear attack is a severe threat, but a low frequency one. One is far more likely to be injured or killed on the drive to where one begins one's hike or camping trip than from any encounter with an animal, including bears, but especially black bears.

    On a related note, I heard Herrero interviewed on a radio show about 4 weeks ago. When the interviewer asked him what people should do if they should see a black bear while hiking or camping. Herrero advised, "You relax and enjoy the experience." Again, he was speaking of black bears, not brown bears. I hasten to add that Herrero was being interviewed by people in the province of Ontario, who were asking this in connection with bears in Ontario (we have no brown bears here). He also pointed out that despite the impression in the mind of the public that bear attacks are on the rise, this is not the case. The incidence rate of bear attacks has not increased despite decades of reporting on bear attacks. This is highly significant in Ontario since, for several years now, there has been a ban on the spring bear hunt and so there are now somewhere in the area of 100,000 bears in Ontario. This has resulted in many more bear sightings and no doubt such an increase in bear sightings fuels even more anxiety about the threats posed by black bears, despite there being no increase in attacks.

    As for what weapon works best in the case of a black bear attack, it's pepper spray, according to all the evidence we have. Firearms are less effective. They're great for hunting, but not as effective as pepper spray when it comes to stopping or preventing an attack from an aggressive bear. Consequently, when I'm camping or on a hike where bears live, I always carry a canister of bear spray on my belt.

    For any who are interested in bear attacks, want to know how to spot signs of aggressive/predatious bear behavior, and what actions/preparations to undertake to avoid a dangerous or deadly encounter, I strongly recommend Herrero's book. It's something of a terrifying read, as the book is filled with unvarnished and gruesome details from bear attack reports (if this book doesn't put a healthy fear of a bear attack in you, nothing will), but one should read it so as to have a fact-based perspective on the frequency and severity of bear attacks and what actually works best for avoiding them and how to survive them if you do suffer an attack.

    Hope this helps,
    -Martin
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  21. saxon

    saxon Guide

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  22. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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  23. GMScooter

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    Bear attacks may be rare but I work from two different assumptions.
    A. Bears are capable of killing a human.
    B. If one is charging at me, he plans on testing my first assumption.
    Based on these two assumptions, I plan accordingly, steer clear and carry a big gun.
     
  24. JOttum

    JOttum Scout

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    I read "pepper spray" in that warning sign posted by Sgt Mac as .45/70 Marlin lever action or .45 1911.
     
  25. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Then you lose -a gun may make you feel better but is not as effective as bear spray.........:) and......go
     
  26. GeorgeHedgepeth

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    I would not feel at all adequately armed with a .45acp (which I dearly love) in bear territory. At least not brownies... I have had rather poor results on hogs with that cartridge and bears are worse.

    I have had 2 friends kill bears in INVESTIGATED attacks. They were both cleared. How rare are bear attacks? REAL damn rare in Kansas or Delaware, maybe not so rare in back country BC or Alaska...
     
  27. GeorgeHedgepeth

    GeorgeHedgepeth Tracker

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    Its funny how folks hired as bear guards carry .338 rifles instead of bear spray... your mileage may vary.
     
  28. Bush Otter

    Bush Otter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have had to fight inmates complete orange from OC a 45/70 would have defused the situation as it would with a bear.
     
  29. wizard

    wizard Supporter Supporter

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    This link is for a trip that Lars Monsen took completely across Canada, solo. It is interesting to watch in itself, very informative. I found the bear incidents as very informative. On numerous occasions he had to fire 12 guage shells off repeatedly to scare off bears. The bears sort of acknowledged the noise and did not go away easily. He later had to kill a bear that was trying to take him from his shelter. If you go to YouTube and follow all the episodes, it is worth it!
    Lars Monsen - Canada EP1P1 - YouTube

    Seems a 12 guage is a good bear gun. I would not even consider a .45 acp or a .44 mag handgun. Both have limited capabilities against something that large and heavy.

    We had a bear death here in Arizona a few years ago. A lady was walking her dog in her neigborhood. This was in the mountain area in eastern Arizona.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  30. Boondock

    Boondock Scout Bushclass I

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    And this whole time I've been worried about a snake biting me while visiting the outhouse.

    I'm sleeping with the lights on tonight.
     
  31. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    I love bear protection posts. Really let's me know who's been there and done that.:4:
     
  32. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have spent over 20 yrs roaming around black bear country and have seen alot of bears with most running the other way as fast as they can and other curious ones easily shooed away.i get a kick out of guys hiking with shotguns.fear of bears is a natural thing but extremely over exaggerated due to a few good stories every year.now Grizzlies ....I would carry my shotgun -that's a whole other animal
     
  33. JOttum

    JOttum Scout

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    I was not at all attempting to be serious here. I have seen all the same reports everyone else has about how bear spray is more effective in a bear situation than a fire arm.

    Should I ever find my self on foot travelling , camping, or hunting in bear country I will b sure to have some with me.
     
  34. captainamer

    captainamer Scout

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    ok so im just curious. your saying one should not try to protect them self by carrying a weapon? I personally have had a black bear come after me in California in the sequoia national forest back in 1995. I was in the marines and my M-16 was all I had. If I had nothing I wouldn't be here today.

    It may be rare, but I personally feel it is not responsible to walk around with out the means to protect yourself. Hopefully you don't have to and I have very rarely had to use a weapon to, but I would rather have it and not need it.

    Reminds me of a quote. AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)

    "Same principle as a condom. I'd rather have one and not need it, then need it and not have one"
     
  35. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Nope ,not saying that at all.i have carried bear spray many times and truthfully I rarely go in the bush without a knife or an axe etc...of which I also believe are enough to get rid of or kill a blackbear if I had to.Maybe I'm over confident in myself and may get carried away next week and made fare of but that's just me.my very first post was just a tease to get the gun guys going against the bear spray and of course it worked -I'll stay out of it now.everybody should do what makes them comfortable as long as they are getting outside and off the couch
     
  36. captainamer

    captainamer Scout

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    first off you did not upset me or even get me going. I was just very curious about what you really thought. Thanks for the reply. I have thought of having bear spray. I recommend it to anyone who is not confident with a firearm. Im thinking now maybe I should carry both.

    Have a good day and again thanks for your reply
     
  37. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    Yeah... lost me there bro. Heh heh.
     
  38. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    I forgot to add something also.here in Canada we cannot carry handguns at all and in non hunting seasons you would really have to explain why it is you are carrying a shotgun (you would be thought a poacher).i have never seen anyone in Canada carrying a rifle just for bear protection (the west coast will differ for sure).i guess it may be a culture thing too
     
  39. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    You go for the eyes :) :)
    -it's obviously unproven since I am still here
     
  40. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    LOL.
     
  41. wulfesinger67

    wulfesinger67 Guide

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    people for get out in the bush we are not top of the food chain!! we can be part of the main course!!
     
  42. hdjno83

    hdjno83 Tinder Gatherer

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    although Ive never had to put down a charging bear (brown or black) i do know several people who have had to. its not a situation that anyone want to be in. as to the bear spray vs. shotgun vs. handun vs. rifle thing... anything is gonna be better than a pointy stick. Ive chased several out of my camp by waving a jacket in the air. others have taken blasts from an air horn and solid hits from rubber buckshot to get the idea. every situation is different. it all comes down to this... if a bear (brown or black) is hungry and intent on eating you, theres nothing but complete nervous system shutdown thats gonna stop him. i have yet to see the can of pepper spray thats capable of that.

    all things considered. good camp discipline and cleanliness is probably the best idea to deter bears. if they don't know your there or don't recognize you as a source of food then they have no reason to investigate further. I'm still carrying my 45-70 though.
     
  43. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Ok last post -I am a hunter and am not afraid of guns at all .the talk of having to put down a bear needs some clarification.i believe ,not all! But a lot of bears that are put down are just bluff charging and would not of attacked if allowed.a bear will huff and puff and make a few fake charges and if you hold your ground they will go their way and not need to be shot and I guarantee alot of dead bears would tell you if they could that they were just trying to scare you :)
    -I do want to shoot a bear and try one for myself just in case you think I'm a bear hugger
    -go in 40 seconds here for 5 seconds
    Bits and Bites - YouTube
     
  44. wizard

    wizard Supporter Supporter

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    Most common injury in the outhouse is Black Widow spider bite on the weenis. Have not had the pleasure!
     
  45. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

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    There's a great trivia question...
     
  46. beekeeper

    beekeeper Scout

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    As for my 2 cents: I respect bear, any thing that can pick up a full super of honey (about 80 lb or 40 k and toss it over a 6 foot -2 m fence WITH ease. Boxes I have trouble hefting. Break up logs for a few grubs for breakfast. Bear could put the hurt on me.

    When in Ak I trained on a 375 H&H for brown bear. and carried a 44 mag.- at all times esp when placer mining. Now in NH we have black bear that live in the apple orchard and get with in feet of us with out a care as the sow raised them here in the orchard . I still keep a close eye on them. At the home farm I kicked a small bear that had gotten in to the hives. Then chased it out of the field. I've been charged by a brown, then walked up to a sow and cub...way too close. And am still here to tell the stories. And the bear are still out there shitting in the woods.
    I call my 44 "life insurance" as it can keep me alive . And "health insurance" as it can keep me from being hurt. I carry them and still haven't had to use them :)
     
  47. mbiraman

    mbiraman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I have to say that the above posts are my experience as well. I've lived in black bear country most of my adult life, some 40 odd yrs. I was fortunate that in my early twenties i had allot of up close and personal experience with black bears and its where i learned allot about black bear behavior and what to do thanks to a few folks i worked with. All wild animals can be dangerous but how they are most of the time is important as well. Its easy to have strong opinions especially in a topic such as bear protection but you have to ask yourself, do you actually have a body of experience?. Seeing a couple of bears at a distance or having one or two close encounters doesn't constitute a body of experience. The most dangerous time here in the BC bush is hunting season.

    bill
     
  48. GeorgeHedgepeth

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    NO ONE thinks most black bears are a problem. Most human strangers are not either...
     
  49. Vipers

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    Indiana
    Quick searching around and I see 3 black bear attacks that resulted in fatalities 1995-2004 in the US.
    - In the same period in the US 489 people died as a result of lightning strikes
    - In half the time (1999-2003) 114 had Lyme disease listed as cause of death but CDC found only 23 were directly caused by it (the rest it was one of multiple factors)
    - 1983-1998 304 deaths were reported as being caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

    Average annual deaths by cause for these overlapping periods:
    Lighting - 48.9
    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - 19
    Lyme Disease - 4.6 (22.8 for it being a factor)
    Black Bears - .3

    Fear the tick! ;)
     
  50. captainamer

    captainamer Scout

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    Well from what I found 3 black bear attacks in usa were fatal since 2010. I am unable to find how many attacked total.

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