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Old 04-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
dwegeng
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Nick's Lake & Bears

I'm thinking about camping at Nick's Lake in early August. I'm well aware that bears may be present in any campground in the Adirondacks, however after seeing bears up close at the Limekiln Lake campground a couple years ago my wife is pretty jittery about where we camp.

A couple messages on this forum indicate that bears are pretty common at Nick's Lake. I am wondering how it compares with Limekiln Lake. For example, at Limekiln there was a big sign at the entrance stating that the campground has a bear problem (which definitely bothered my wife). There are also metal food storage boxes at every campsite at Limekiln. Does Nick's have a similar "problem"?

Thanks!
/Don
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:55 AM   #2
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Yes. Lot's of half-tame town bears wander through Nick's Lake campground. But it's probably better than when the dump was open up the road.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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There are no metal lock boxes at individual camp sites. The bears are harmless as long as you take a few precautions with food. If she's that worried about bears then a motel might be a better choice
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine1 View Post
........The bears are harmless as long as you take a few precautions with food.


DWEGENG: If I were you, I would give black bears a bit more respect than the above statement.

I don't mean to be critical Alpine, and I realize the point you were trying to make, but I have had several encounters where my food was not part of the equation. Granted, these did not occur in areas where the bears are considered half-tame, but just the same, black bears are far from harmless, even with food precautions.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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We have a lot of respect for black bears. We've been tent camping in the Adirondacks and elsewhere for 10+ years at places like Eighth Lake, Lake Eaton, and Buck Pond, and never saw a black bear until a couple years ago during our first visit to Limekiln Lake. That spooked my wife a bit (needless to say we'll never go back to Limekiln Lake).

Just going by our past experience, I'd like to think that our Limekiln Lake experience was an exception. We keep a very clean camp, so we don't have many problems with critters.

If Nick's Lake is a "typical" Adirondacks campground with respect to black bear encounters then we will probably go there, but if bear encounters there are more likely to happen than at the other places that we have camped I think we'll look for another place.

Any more thoughts on this?

/Don
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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What is this...? "Ripley's Believe It Or Not"......

Let's see now, and who said what...?

Alpine 1... "The bears are harmless"...

Limekiln... "Lots of half tame town bears"....

Hardy Har Har... I think it's time to pass the jug around... Again

and I think this forum is in dire need of an "Experienced Wilderness Editor", you know... one who can decipher fiction from non-fiction... as far as credibility goes here....

Hey, where's that jug...? And can someone tell me where to get a "half tame town bear" up north.... I'd like to bring one home.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
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What's your point Bluesman?

At Nick's Lake you're likely to see bears that aren't afraid of people. They make their living eating out of dumpsters in town and visiting campsites. As Alpine says they're pretty harmless unless you do something stupid.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:08 PM   #8
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I don't think it worth wasting our breath over. I'd bet the response back will be equally as as the first one!
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What's your point Bluesman?

At Nick's Lake you're likely to see bears that aren't afraid of people. They make their living eating out of dumpsters in town and visiting campsites. As Alpine says they're pretty harmless unless you do something stupid.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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There are no "bear problems". Only human problems.

Education is the most important tool in dealing with bears. If people are properly prepared in how bears behave and most importantly how to behave around bears, it will prevent bears from paying the price brought on by harmful (ignorant) humans.

I've been in proximity to bears many times in my life, black and brown (Grizzly) and have never had a negative experience. In fact all the "encounters" were quite enjoyable. More so then encounters with fellow humans.

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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Redhawk: I hear you, I have had enjoyable moments around bears as well. Never once, however, did I consider them " harmless " as has been stated. That belief does/will/ and has proven to be harmful, to both human and bear alike.

Respect them, get to know them, understand them, enjoy them........ yes

Considering them, heck, considering any wild animal that size, with that equipment, harmless........never

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Old 04-07-2011, 07:53 AM   #11
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what redhawk said,
the people are the problem, not the bears, you have to remember we are in there home out there , were are just visitors.
keep your site clean and your food put away and you shouldnt have any problems,
Ive been to both limekiln and nicks many times, ive seen bears at both places several times but never had any problems, there usually in someone elses site on the table or in there cooler that they left out.
just last yr . at limekiln i saw a bear take a lite citranella candle off the table and walk away with it in his mouth it was pretty amusing to watch,he didnt go very far before he spotted the cooler i never would have beleived it if i didnt see it with my own eyes, a few minutes later there were about 5 or 6 dec officers up there yelling at the campers for leaving food out.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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What's your point Bluesman?

At Nick's Lake you're likely to see bears that aren't afraid of people. They make their living eating out of dumpsters in town and visiting campsites. As Alpine says they're pretty harmless unless you do something stupid.
What's my point..? Harmless, half tame bears you say.... This is supposed to be an informational forum..... not a Ripley's Believe It Or Not....

In the wild, there is no such thing as a harmless, or half tame bear, no matter how you chose to paraphrase it. If you believe there are, then you've obviously watched too many Walt Disney movies...

My point is this: Remarks noted above could prove harmful, if not fatal, to the inexperienced recipient taking your statements as true and accurate... We're talking about bear in the wilds, not a puppy dog...

A bear, in its natural habitat, is a rather unique creature of comfort, with no predators. However, once they infringe on any form of civilization, they become unequivocally unpredictable....

Food and mating are the primary concerns of the Adirondack black bear. To mis-judge their demeanor around dumpsters, or in public campsite's where scraps of food are carelessly left about, could be detrimental to your health, or even prove fatal.

And don't think for one minute that those bears around campsite's are not afraid of you. On the contrary, they are intimidated by your presence, and in some cases will exhibit aggressive behavior as onlookers gawk in amazement, silently approaching for that Kodak moment.... You've got to remember that black bears can live for 35 years and exceed 600 pounds... That's a chitload of bear to contend with people...

There's no disrespect intended here... (My humble apologies if any of you feel that way) but I won't waste time trying to be diplomatic when I read something here I deem utterly foolish, or blatantly incorrect.... This is not a "message board"... it's an informational forum........

To Don and wife... The Adirondacks are home to the black bear, take it or leave it...there''s no getting around it.....and they're here to stay.

Ever hear the term... "You can run, but you can't hide"..... With 10+ years of experience tent camping in the Adirondacks, one would hope that along the way you've taken the time to educate yourselves to the ways and habits of some of the wildlife that surround you out there...more specifically, the black bear. It's their backyard, and as you infringe on their domain, it's relatively easy to co-exist during your stay... There's no need to panic. Just wait till them coyote's come howling at midnight... (Only kidding) Enjoy the wilderness, and all the splendor that comes with it.

Bluesman
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #13
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An appeal to all on behalf of dwegeng:

How about if we compile our bear encounter experiences as it relates to the OP's concern.
We have enough members here to develop an accurate list of DEC public campsites where he would most likely meet up with a bear or two.

My own public campsites experiences are out of date, but here goes:

Forked Lake-many bears, many "problems" until food lockers were installed.

Golden Beach- many bears, many "problems" even after bear proof dumpsters were installed.

I could go on, but again, my NYS DEC public campsite experiences are far out of date.
Anyone want to make a list??
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
How about if we compile our bear encounter experiences as it relates to the OP's concern.
We have enough members here to develop an accurate list of DEC public campsites where he would most likely meet up with a bear or two.

My own public campsites experiences are out of date, but here goes:

Forked Lake-many bears, many "problems" until food lockers were installed.

Golden Beach- many bears, many "problems" even after bear proof dumpsters were installed.

I could go on, but again, my NYS DEC public campsite experiences are far out of date.
Anyone want to make a list??

Apparantly it takes quite a while to train people and bears. Remember the conga lines of bears in the '70's? pad pad,clang..(thats when there were only metal cans, and we rode to the town dump for bear amusement) I only public camp a few times a year on DEC campgrounds and the bear resistant dumpster is the norm.

The bears got habituated and it takes a long time to get them unhabituated. Too many folks think them cute.

That said I would think the survival rate of campers at at DEC campgrounds is near 100 percent and any deaths or injuries due to things other than predatory bears. There may have been injuries due to people stupidly trying to feed them or leaving food out and getting into a possession war.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:42 PM   #15
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As we pulled in to the campground, the ranger warned us that there was a bit of a problem with bears. He told us to be sure to keep any food locked up overnight, and even to cover any coolers. Apparently, the marauding bears knew what to look for and had damaged several vehicles in the previous weeks.
We followed their advise and covered all coolers and food bins with some beach towels.

Sure enough, the 1st night, I woke up to hear heavy foot steps and breathing, then I heard the springs on my old Ramcharger creaking. I heard a screeching sound, more heavy steps, more spring creaks, then nothing. I fell back asleep, not sure if I imagined all that or not.

Next morning, there was slobber and paw prints on both side windows and the rear hatch. There were scratches on both doors and the rear liftgate too. I can still imagine the scene that I never actually saw...that poor hungry fellow peering into my windows to find a few morsels.

That was Rollins Pond, the year, 1995. Is it still the same, I don't know.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebluesman5748 View Post
Food and mating are the primary concerns of the Adirondack black bear.
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
the 1st night, I woke up to hear heavy foot steps and breathing, then I heard the springs on my old Ramcharger creaking. I heard a screeching sound, more heavy steps, more spring creaks, then nothing.
Food or mating? You decide.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
As we pulled in to the campground, the ranger warned us that there was a bit of a problem with bears. He told us to be sure to keep any food locked up overnight, and even to cover any coolers. Apparently, the marauding bears knew what to look for and had damaged several vehicles in the previous weeks.
We followed their advise and covered all coolers and food bins with some beach towels.

Sure enough, the 1st night, I woke up to hear heavy foot steps and breathing, then I heard the springs on my old Ramcharger creaking. I heard a screeching sound, more heavy steps, more spring creaks, then nothing. I fell back asleep, not sure if I imagined all that or not.

Next morning, there was slobber and paw prints on both side windows and the rear hatch. There were scratches on both doors and the rear liftgate too. I can still imagine the scene that I never actually saw...that poor hungry fellow peering into my windows to find a few morsels.

That was Rollins Pond, the year, 1995. Is it still the same, I don't know.
I've been going to Rollins for about 10 years now and have never seen a bear. I've been told they have one once in awhile from the people at the registration booth but I have yet to see any.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:07 PM   #18
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Quite the climbers!

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Old 04-09-2011, 09:51 PM   #19
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I've been going to Rollins for about 10 years now and have never seen a bear. I've been told they have one once in awhile from the people at the registration booth but I have yet to see any.

My point exactly!!
I remember staying at Forked Lake and the ranger telling us that there were no fewer than 6 "problem" bears. I even witnessed myself a bear swimming to an island site where the campers were gone for the day and left all of their food unprotected...a year or two after food lockers were installed, no more bear visits.

As I said before, my public campsite experiences are out of date...


There must be enough members here to update my experiences.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #20
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It's not only food that attracts bears. They can smell a dirty dipper from miles away.
We were car camping two sites away from a couple with a baby. The ranger giving a nature tour mentioned that bears love dirty dippers, so the couple put one in the trunk after a changing at night - not a good time to go to the dumpster - bears were bouncing on top of it - and a bear took a bite right through the side of the car. Tooth went through the medal. Couple left that morning. Bear never bothered us at all.
BTW - a good way to check if there's any bears at a public campground is to check the dumpster. Lid all bent up, claw scratches, footprints inside the dumpster.....
Leaving food out is simply dumb. It attracts mice, raccoons, crows, flies, everything.
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