At Any Given Time There are 250 black bears, 65 grizzlies in

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Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,194
Location
51st state of Jefferson
As a year round campground host in black bear country, I've found spraying trash cans and dumpsters with ammonia to be a fairly good deterrent to "welfare bears". (Those that make their living on campground garbage). As to the steel bear lockers provided for food storage, a determined bear WILL cave in the doors and rob the contents...
 

BearBio

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
1,826
Location
Eastern Washington
We had a campground bear that would train her cubs to enter the small doors of a "bear-proof" dumpster and pass food out. She also learned to place a rock and push the dumpster so that the wheel would hit it and the dumpster would tip over.

Unfortunately, some "macho man" shot her because he felt "threatened". She hadn't bothered anyone in several years. Very docile bear. First question he asked was "Can I have the skin?"

WE had a guy build a redwood fence around his trash bins. The bear tore it down. So he built another with screws instead of nails. Bear tore it down. Built one of chain link==bear climbed over it. Put a roof over it=====the bear climbed up the adjacent oak and dropped onto the roof. Eventually popped it open.

On one of my "routes" to get radio signals was an apiary. The owner put an electric fence up each year. By about March-April of each year, the bears had torn it down and got the honey. After 3 years, he gave up!
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
Racer9, I assume you know you can NOT travel through Canada with a handgun. Not can you bring bear spray in. They apparently want you buying theirs. You also can not bring your bear spray bought in Canada into the US. What you can do is mail (ship) your gun to someone you know and have them hold it for you. DO NOT ship it to an FFL as you won't have an Alaska drivers license to pick it up. Be sure and pick up a copy of the Mile Post. Very handy book for the trip.
We traveled to Akaska with rifle and shotgun de Jared and secured. Thought we could do same in Eastern Canada. “Sorry sir, no Grizzlies get, perhaps a cranky Cgipmunk or two. Return to Calais, Maine as they have a hardware shop with [email protected] it must hapown all the time. Shipped to son in Fort Collins. Same lovely young woman two hours later “Do you have Bear Spray, and does it have picture of bear in it?” It had picture of bear so we were OK.
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
We had a campground bear that would train her cubs to enter the small doors of a "bear-proof" dumpster and pass food out. She also learned to place a rock and push the dumpster so that the wheel would hit it and the dumpster would tip over.

Unfortunately, some "macho man" shot her because he felt "threatened". She hadn't bothered anyone in several years. Very docile bear. First question he asked was "Can I have the skin?"

WE had a guy build a redwood fence around his trash bins. The bear tore it down. So he built another with screws instead of nails. Bear tore it down. Built one of chain link==bear climbed over it. Put a roof over it=====the bear climbed up the adjacent oak and dropped onto the roof. Eventually popped it open.

On one of my "routes" to get radio signals was an apiary. The owner put an electric fence up each year. By about March-April of each year, the bears had torn it down and got the honey. After 3 years, he gave up!
What a jackass.
 

wolfsong

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
2,579
Location
Sierra foothills, Ca. U.S.A.
Call me brave, call me foolish, call me lucky. I've had one bear encounter up close and personal. While deer hunting in mid October, with about 6 inches of snow on the ground, I heard someone rummaging around just outside of my tent. Then I heard the sound of a Pepsi can being opened. I thought that this was awfully strange, seeing that it was 3:00 a.m. I knew my friend Jerry likes his Pepsi, but at 3 o'clock in the morning? Curiosity got the best of me and. wearing my longjohns and a pair of moccasin slippers, I unzipped my tent and stepped out, only to find a 300+ pound black bear in the midst of raiding our food. Jerry was fast asleep in his trailer (some of you old timer members here might remember "Poocher, the little trailer that could") with his teenaged son; slept through everything.

The sight of a bear raiding our grub on the first night in camp p*ssed me off! I BOLTED out of the tent, yelling and screaming while running at the bear in attempt to scare him off. It worked! The bear took off like a scalded cat, down the side of the mountain and into the forest. Jerry was awakened by all the commotion and came out to see what was happening. Further investigation revealed that the bear had first taken a tub of red licorice ( you know that big container that Costco sells?) out of his the back of his jeep and devoured the entire contents. I guess he wanted something to wash it down with so he dragged a 12 can brick of Pepsi's to the back of the camp and chewed on 7 or 8 of them. Still hungry I guess he came back into camp and broke opened the cube of Pepsi 'a and bit down on a can. This must be what woke me up.

I never thought about being scared. or grabbing my GP100, or anything sensible. I just knew I didn't want to share our groceries with an uninvited bear. Hell no! I was glad he didn't get into any of the coolers full of the good stuff: steaks, eggs, fruit, cheese, cookies, sausage, bacon etc. All we lost was a few Pepsi's and s tub of licorice, along with some sleep. I guess I was instinctively protecting MY territory and MY food source and acted accordingly. I guess I caught the bear by surprise and scared HIM! I don't know. It wasn't until sunrise that my rash reaction and behavior hit me. Not the smartest thing I've ever done, in fact it is probably one of the stupidest things I've ever done.

As it happened, a mutual friend of ours happened to drive by our camp that morning and we told him what had happened. He decided to see if he could track the bear, so we wished him luck and he headed down the mountain after the bear and we headed off up the mountain to begin our deer hunt. When we came back to camp a few hours later our friend was in our camp putting the finishing touches on field dressing the bear. He told us came upon the bear about a mile from our camp. He gave that ol' bear a Texas heart shot and got him up to our camp. I'm glad the bear got a last meal... 😋

Sometimes the bear gets you, and sometimes...

By the way. Jerry's son Shane still has one of the Pepsi cans with the bear's teeth marks in it.
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
A friend lived in Kodiak for many years. An acquaintance went out berry picking. He knew to be wary but was not. He got between mama Kodiak and cubs. Mama came over and I gently pushed him down and sat on him.Cubs ran off. Mama was satisfied and Jeff the scofflaw somewhat bruised, emotionally shaken, and probably in need of a change of underwear

Morale of story: be situationally aware.

But I shall still carry a firearm in bear country.
1. Older son’s Llama was killed and carried off by bear in mountains of northern NM. Said Llama was known to chase bears. Chased wrong bear.

2. Older son from wife’s first marriage had a friend killed and partially eaten by released young cougar near Poajoaque, NM in mid 1970s

Firing in general direction is probably sufficient. They do not like loud noises
 
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173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
Don’t need no stinking gun. Get a bear spear

The Randal Knife catalog used to have an anecdote about their Bear Bowles. A guy around 1940 described a knife he wanted fabricated and Randal designed, forged, finished, and shipped off products. They got a return letter that said basically “thanks, I am leaving this week for Canada (it might have been Akaska) and plan to hand kill a few Grizzlies.”

The Randall catalog ends. “We never heard from him again.”
 

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Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,675
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
Good post. If I get back to Alaska I will have both spray and a gun with me. I heard that some have sprayed the pepper spray around their camp sites thinking it would work to deter bears from coming in, but that after it "settles" it can actually attract them. Anyone no for sure if that is true.
When I lived in Barrow and ran a building supply store, I brought in Bear Spray. Couldn't give it away, because people had tried it, like you are talking about and saw it didn't work that way. They assumed it wouldn't work using it for bear spray at even a curious bear. Up there Polar bears are thick. Biggest issue was trying to keep them out of town.
 

planetcat

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
301
Location
U.S.A.
I know this is a heavily debated topic, but if you've ever shot a bear (black or brown), they rarely, if ever, drop immediately. If you think your Glock 10mm loaded with buffalo bore hard cast ammo is going to stop a charging bear before the 400 lbs of muscle and claws get to you, you are believing everything you think. I hunt with a .338 win mag, carry a Glock 10mm, and am still concerned about losing a fight with a bear while hunting. They run 2 second 40's.
 

badguybuster

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
361
Location
West (by GOD) Virginia
Don’t need no stinking gun. Get a bear spear

The Randal Knife catalog used to have an anecdote about their Bear Bowles. A guy around 1940 described a knife he wanted fabricated and Randal designed, forged, finished, and shipped off products. They got a return letter that said basically “thanks, I am leaving this week for Canada (it might have been Akaska) and plan to hand kill a few Grizzlies.”

The Randall catalog ends. “We never heard from him again.”
I made this one for a bear hunt that got canceled during the original covid madness
20200727_145935.jpg
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
Probably a good idea. Lewis and Clark expedition carried spontoons for Bear protection. Wondered if they still make them and Cold Steel does. Not sure I would trust life to of theirs.

See my above post concerning Randall knife to hunt bear
 

BearBiologist

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
653
Probably a good idea. Lewis and Clark expedition carried spontoons for Bear protection. Wondered if they still make them and Cold Steel does. Not sure I would trust life to of theirs.

See my above post concerning Randall knife to hunt bear

If you are gonna use a knife, a Randall is the only way to go!
 

173rdLRRP

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
199
Location
Colorado
If you are gonna use a knife, a Randall is the only way to go!
Yes, and probably wind up like the guy who never wrote back to Randall after planning to such in 1941.

The Solingen blade Models 14, 15, and 18 we’re only $25 in 1966. A friend list his 18 when he was badly wounded (Medevaced and hospitalized stateside for many months - returned and later retired as SMG in SF) in December 1966. His knife was lost on the evacuation (6 man LRRP team). He is still upset. Another member of team lost the Mk1 Trench knife his uncle had carried with Rangers in WW II. “I can’t go home!” Team #6 was reinserted to di after action assessment and Mk1 was found. I think our CO allowed this to occur and remaining 5 on team wanted to help find knife.

One Model 14 of mine “wandered off” in RVN and second sank in Kelp bed.

Expensive knives do “wander” if unattended. Sticking to Moras now, $25 each

If serious about Bear protection get two trained Karelian bear Dogs and a nice Holland & Holland Dpuble Rifle in .450-500 or .500 Nitro Expresstge word is you fire as required. You and quarry are knocked to ground. First one to recover, retrieves rifle.
 

kmoore

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,340
Location
Idaho
When I read about topics, stats and opinions on a subject, in this case bear encounters and bear spray. I use my experience of reading far to many police shootings. Really none are exactly the same.
We really need more facts asked and answered about the bear spray and sprayer. I would ask a person who used it, what's your training, did you follow it. How did you spray just point and shoot or start spraying high above the bear and wave the can around to create a blanket of falling spray the bear would need to get though. Did you use the full can or just squirt a few short shots, how old is the can, did you shake it up on a regular bases. what's the date on the can. Was there wind and at what direction.
Reasons for failure, say a person has a out dated spray can, never read how to use it, points it at the bear and the spray falls short and below the bear. Wind was blowing hard crossways, maybe none or little spray reached the bear. Never shook the can, so mostly no prepper spray came out just the propellant. Was there any bear reaction from the spray.
Then I am only guessing but, maybe a bear who was sprayed in the past has learned, it did not kill him, so in the next attack he/she will fight through the spray and get their next meal or harm a perceived threat.
If I ever hunt in giz country I will be armed with spray and a firearm. If possible I will spray 1st. I have been close to 3 black bears while out on foot and all of them ran away. We had 6 encounters with black bears at a beach house over 9 years we owned it. They all ran when I opened the door the house door and yelled. Even 1 with a club. I never tried to pet or hug them. Those encounters at the beach house where on my turf, it could have been different if I walked up upon them.
 
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