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Old 07-22-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
brooklynhiker
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WARNING! Flowed Land bear-1, Bearvault-0

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that my Bearvault was successfully opened by a bear at the Flowed Land lean-to last night. No one heard anything during the night, but when I went to get it it the morning it was gone, while our lean-to mates' Garcia canister was there but knocked over. I figured it had been knocked down the hill, possibly in the water, but found nothing. Another hiker found it maybe 50 yards past the toilet (which is pretty far from where I left it). There were hardly any scratches on it besides the teeth marks right on the tabs that need to be depressed to unscrew it. The Bearvault site says that a bear at Marcy Dam had figured it out, but since I never stay there i thought it wouldn't be a big deal. Think this bear travelled or are they teaching each other? Hopefully I can get a refund on the canister. Anyone else have a problem with these?

Jonathan
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #2
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You have been the latest victim of "yellow yellow" (named for the color of the ear tags the DEC gave it) the smartest bear in the country, and the only bear who knows how to open Bearvaults. This bear is well known among High Peaks campers. you should consider yourself honored to have had your food stolen by such a famous bear.

Many, many people have had a problem with this bear. It roams the area between flowed lands and marcy dam. Since this is the only bear known to have figured this trick out, you should have no problems with your bear vault outside of that area.

bear vault has redesigned the lid, just because of this one bear, only to have it figure out the new lid design as well. Bearvault actually has a notice on it's website about this bear. (click "bear vaults in the adirondacks")
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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Oh man this is cool. I didn't know they already knew which bear it was. Honestly it made my trip! After 800 miles of AT from Springer to VA, 200 miles of the LT, and countless trips to the Daks I've still never seen a bear. Now I guess I've met the most famous (well almost). Well I guess it's time to buy a Garcia...
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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This bear is famous. The Ranger at Glacier national Park inquired about it when Doug and I were chatting with him in Montana.

If you could get his autograph (The bears, not the ranger) it might be worth a few bucks.

Incidently I tried using a bear bell, but he wouldn't hold still long enough for me to get it on him.

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Old 07-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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Put the bear vault in the outhouse, bears never bother our dog food we leave in there, ...
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #6
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Put the bear vault in the outhouse, bears never bother our dog food we leave in there, ...
I can't blame them. Maybe bears ARE smarter than we give them credit...

Or maybe they're just persistent...

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Old 07-24-2009, 07:22 AM   #7
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Either this bear has been frequenting the Johns Brook valley or there is another bear that has learned to open Bearvaults because groups have recently had food taken there as well.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:30 AM   #8
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I've been told that bears can wander between all the eastern high peaks locations, not just limited to Marcy Dam and Lake Colden. That's why the regulation covers such a large area. This particular bear wanders everywhere from what I understand.

The safe bet is to not bring a bearvault if camping in the high peaks. The safer bet is to camp somewhere else. lol
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:52 AM   #9
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I was camping in Lake Colden a couple of weeks ago, and that bear made himself known both nights we were out there, found his tracks no more than 15-20 feet from our lean-to in the morning, and then we followed his tracks all the way up the trail towards four corners until it meets the felspar brook trail.

Also don't feel too bad about it, he stole all the food from my bear-can a couple of years ago at Marcy Dam, same story hardly and sign of damage to the can, just claw marks on the lid and food missing.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #10
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I'm surprised the DEC hasn't given the bearvault manufacturer the bear for their testing lab. Removes him from being a nussance, gives him a job (important in this economy), and helps design better cans. Yellow yellow was literally born to do it. Win/win for all involved, especially for the bear whose future is not looking so bright at this rate. They do put problem bears down if they have evidence the bear has lost all fear of humans. Just can't risk him becoming aggressive someday towards people, however rare that is for black bears.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:56 PM   #12
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the brand backpackers is still a good one from what i know...someday when they will learn to carry spare change we are all done.....
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:23 PM   #13
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Black bears can roam up to 150 miles. We have had some black bears in the Catskill Mountains, swim across the Hudson and turn up deep inside Connecticut.

Maybe someone could rig up some bear spray inside one of the bear canisters, that releases once it is opened. The might deter Yellow-Yellow.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:40 AM   #14
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See www.nytimes.com for today's article on "yellow yellow". A star is born.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:10 AM   #15
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On the Marcy Dam trail yesterday I spoke with a ranger who was hefting a long gun that basically looked like a shotgun. I asked him if he was on his way to take care of yellow-yellow. He didn't really think it was funny. I guess he interpreted "take care of" as more permanent than what I intended. He also thought is was kinda silly that yellow-yellow has become a celebrity across the country. Anyways, his mission of the moment was simply to haze (his word) the local bear population. I didn't think to ask him the specifics of his loads. Presumably just blanks for sound effect only.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:59 AM   #16
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Yellow Yellow made the Cleveland Plain Dealer today!! Article says she is a shy, middle aged bear that only weights 125lbs. Apparently she has actually been seen opening one of the vaults. In the article it says that BearVault is working on a new design - again.

I thought one of the features of this thing was that bears couldn't carry it away, let alone open it . If a 125lb bear could do both, even if other bears couldn't figure out how to open it, then certainly they should be big enough to carry it away. If they start carrying these things away, that presents a whole new problem for us and BearVault. Garcia's may not be able to be opened, but they could be carried away as well.

The bear that ripped open my Ursack bags a couple of years ago was a lot bigger than 125lbs.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:48 AM   #17
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Put the bear vault in the outhouse, bears never bother our dog food we leave in there, ...
I hope you're not serious! Leaving food in an outhouse is NOT recommended, and is a good way to get that little shack ripped apart.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:04 PM   #18
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I thought one of the features of this thing was that bears couldn't carry it away, let alone open it . If a 125lb bear could do both, even if other bears couldn't figure out how to open it, then certainly they should be big enough to carry it away.
They can't carry it because they can't get their jaws around it and there is nothing to grab onto. it's not because the bear isn't big enough. I can't imagine how the size of the bear would make much difference. Remember: these canisters are rated for grizzleys. They can handle even a very large black bear.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by brooklynhiker View Post
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that my Bearvault was successfully opened by a bear at the Flowed Land lean-to last night. No one heard anything during the night, but when I went to get it it the morning it was gone, while our lean-to mates' Garcia canister was there but knocked over. I figured it had been knocked down the hill, possibly in the water, but found nothing. Another hiker found it maybe 50 yards past the toilet (which is pretty far from where I left it). There were hardly any scratches on it besides the teeth marks right on the tabs that need to be depressed to unscrew it. The Bearvault site says that a bear at Marcy Dam had figured it out, but since I never stay there i thought it wouldn't be a big deal. Think this bear travelled or are they teaching each other? Hopefully I can get a refund on the canister. Anyone else have a problem with these?

Jonathan


Then how did Jonathan's canister end up far from where he left it?
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:50 PM   #20
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The real question is why it bothered to carry it that far. does the bear like to eat in privacy?

The bear could roll it I guess. but 50 yards seems a long way to roll it. If it was 50 yards downhill, then I suppose that wouldn't be too hard to imagine.

Once it's opened then there is something to grab onto. it could easily grab the rim of the opened can and carry it off.

brooklynhiker, was the lid at the original location, or was it with the can?
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