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Old 06-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
Greeneyezz
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Wondering about the psychology of seeing bears.. It seems fewer people see bears now than we used to in the Adirondacks in the sixties and seventies. Bear sightings were pretty common in campgrounds and of course at the dump.

Has their been a change in bear behavior and has there been a change in people's perception of bear because they do not see them often or actually at all?

No data to quantify this hypothesis.
My guess is an increased awareness of what makes bears come around... food, etc. and doing things to prevent it. Much like I don't remember ever really using seat belts back in the 70's. Also, were there bear cannisters around back then, and if there were, they probably weren't 'required'.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #22
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I think in the seventies or sixties we did not have bear sense..we fed the things!

Now the pendulum seems to have swung the other way...we are really really afraid because we don't know them/have never seen them.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:52 AM   #23
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I routinley run into black bears here in northern NJ while hiking (as well as in my yard). I usually have a bear bell on my pack. The one time I did not, I had a scary encounter when I turned a corner and found a bear with his head down eating blueberries. I attempted to back around the corner and make some noise to alert him to my presence. Either I made some noise or he just picked up his head, I had my head down when he roared and all I remember is him crashing thru the brush. Luckily he took off in the opposite direction. From then on, I made sure all my pack have a bell. I feel it atleast alerts them to my presence and since I still get to see them while on the trail, figure it does not scare them off.
In some areas of the Adk's, I dno't know if it is really necessary since the bear population may not be what it is in other areas.

Cougar bells are another subject entirely
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #24
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I am betting the density of black bear in Northern NJ is higher than the ADKS..all squooshed together.

Back in the late 70's early '80s I remember the bears on garbage put out in Hardyston Twp when we lived there. Thanks for the tale!
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #25
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Defense is decided by the bears behavior. Not the type of bear.
Stephen Herrero is probably the leading researcher.

There are areas where both are found. Rather than try and figure out whether its brown or black I would rather respond based on its behavior.

Sometimes you have no time to defend

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/wire/article/482361/
I read about that encounter. A female jogger, a few years back, wasn't so lucky. She climbed a tree to to escape a grizzly. He followed her up the tree and plucked her out of it over 30' up the tree. She was killed.

I've read Stephen Herrero's books and have also exchanged emails with him. I suspect he would say that you must know whether you're dealing with a black or brown bear. Your defense for one is exactly the opposite for the other.

Taking the offensive with grizzly is likely going to end up badly for you whereas the only option you have with a predacious black bear is to become aggressive with it.

It is fairly easy to determine whether it's a brown bear or not. Look for the defined and distinct shoulder hump which tells you its a grizzly.

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Old 06-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #26
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Or, you could try Troy Hurtubise's approach to bear safety. Google 'Project Grizzly'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUdtF7aG7o
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:46 AM   #27
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I hike quite a bit out west. And, in particular, Glacier National Park. Bear bells are considered worthless out there. Everyone out there makes jokes about them. Make noise and they will move away from you. More often then not, the bears can smell you coming, and will move out of the way. But, that depends upon which way the wind is blowing. According the to NP Forest Rangers, bear spray is 90% very effective. It is ineffective in high winds, particularly if the wind is blowing in your face. Virtually everyone out there hikes with bear spray. When camping, another effective way to keep them away is to open a very small bottle of Ammonia. There sensitive noses hate the smell. And remember, don't cook by your tent, and change your cloths after cooking.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #28
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I hike quite a bit out west. And, in particular, Glacier National Park. Bear bells are considered worthless out there. Everyone out there makes jokes about them. Make noise and they will move away from you. More often then not, the bears can smell you coming, and will move out of the way. But, that depends upon which way the wind is blowing. According the to NP Forest Rangers, bear spray is 90% very effective. It is ineffective in high winds, particularly if the wind is blowing in your face. Virtually everyone out there hikes with bear spray. When camping, another effective way to keep them away is to open a very small bottle of Ammonia. There sensitive noses hate the smell. And remember, don't cook by your tent, and change your cloths after cooking.

How many of us in the Adirondacks when packing actually move away from our tent/lean to to cook their food? And how many change their clothes for bear protection reasons? Not many I would venture to guess. How we store our food is the number one thing that we can do to reduce that problem. While talk about grizzlies is interesting, I haven't heard of any roaming around the Adirondacks lately, so that talk belongs in a different forum. Bushwhacking can make things a little hairier, but most of the trails here are so well defined and pretty open. I was hiking up the falls around Ore Bed Lean to this spring and I will admit I was concerned a little bit about running into something that wasn't expecting me since I was the only one in the area at the time, and because hardly anyone ever goes up where I was exploring. I have read that the scent of a dog is a deterrent and I hope it is correct since I always backpack with mine!!! I have had three bear encounters while backpacking in the Adirondacks, and though one ended with it destroying my Ursasack, and another with it walking right in front of our lean to, I personally have never been in any kind of trouble. I did have one face-to-face grizzly encounter in Alaska, that was interesting!!! Fortunately he didn't like my singing apparently, because after he got down from his two legged stance, he went the other way. My scariest moment was when I crested a ridge in Alaska (same trip), and found myself standing between a mother moose and her calf. As moose have a meaner streak in them then even grizzlies, I thought I was in serious trouble. Backing off and again softly singing did the trick as she did not attempt to do any harm to me as I left.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:41 AM   #29
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When camping, another effective way to keep them away is to open a very small bottle of Ammonia. There sensitive noses hate the smell. And remember, don't cook by your tent, and change your cloths after cooking.
Thanks for the ammonia tip. We are going down the Yukon River and also touring Glacier NP.. While we will camp away from our food, I prefer that the bears not even get to play with the canisters.. A little bottle of ammonia ..hmmm. One of my bear encounters involved a grizzly playing with our food in the Yukon some years ago. He destroyed some bagels..but I would rather Bruin not even THINK about food play.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #30
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The ammonia method works on camps/cabins also. What you do is put some ammonia in a heavy duty zip lock baggie and hang it under the window the bear has been bothering. Staple above the zipper.Some will put a bit of jelly on the outside of the baggie as an attractant. When the bear grabs or scratches the baggie he gets a snoot full of ammonia. Very, is it, Pavlovian!

We regularly put either some ammonia or bleach in our trash cans also.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #31
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Thanks for the ammonia tip. We are going down the Yukon River and also touring Glacier NP..
You will really enjoy the Yukon. I can't wait to go back.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #32
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I will be camping near cranberry lake next month. I was considering using a bell as it is during hunting season. To alert hunters, not bears though. Any opinions on this?
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:40 PM   #33
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I will be camping near cranberry lake next month. I was considering using a bell as it is during hunting season. To alert hunters, not bears though. Any opinions on this?
I'd rather not hear bear bells while hunting. I would like everyone in the woods during hunting season to wear something day-glow orange tho, even just a hat.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #34
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We learned a little about bear bells. They are simply ineffective. Not loud enough to be heard around rapids or in the wind. Some of the literature we got from Yellowstone and Glacier indicated bears might be curious about the delicate sound.

Singing and talking were suggested in lieu of bells as bears better know the sound of a human voice. My singing will scare anything away.

But I got to thinking about making a bear bell like the bells on bell buoys..those are pretty loud.

We saw a number of bears on the Yukon but only in Jasper and Glacier were any in camp. And they were there for berries. We had a far bigger problem with bison. Which to the best of my knowledge have never been seen in the Adirondacks (though someone must have a bison farm).

Now dem is mean. And at this time of the year you really do not want to cross a moose.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #35
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We saw a number of bears on the Yukon but only in Jasper and Glacier were any in camp. And they were there for berries. We had a far bigger problem with bison. Which to the best of my knowledge have never been seen in the Adirondacks (though someone must have a bison farm).

Now dem is mean. And at this time of the year you really do not want to cross a moose.
We also saw many bears on the Yukon, and moose as well. We were cautioned by locals what we already knew about bears and food, etc. What we didn't know was about moose. A bear is most likely only after your food, and will generally otherwise leave people alone if not confronted or provoked, as we knew. Moose, on the other hand, may themselves initiate unprovoked confrontation and then it is only interested in killing you. Camping on islands is not particularly any safer from bear or moose than on the main shore. We tended to camp on bare gravel shoals which were easier to land on anyway. We still saw tracks of bear and moose there.
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