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Some of those black bears are pretty smart. In a Tahoe NF campground my daughter watched a sow check all 4 doors on a car without damaging it. The bear went over to one of the bear proof steel food lockers, calmly opened it, helped herself and closed the door. She told the ranger and his response was "so that is who is stealing food from the lockers." That sow was an expert thief. She never bothered anyone and found out if she just sat there and posed people would feed her. If someone tried to shoo her away she would go to another campsite. No fear of humans. She was pretty much considered a camp pet.
Had a very large one up in the high country above Yosemite NP invade a one-tent camp. Tore the place to shreds, while we watched. Banging pots and whatnot from 40ft away, it wasn't the least concerned with us. On another occasion, years earlier, had a big male (I think) tear into an early '70s "lead sled" vehicle. Tore a door right off the hinges, entered, emptied the big ice chest full of dogs and buns, and then skedaddled. All while we watched. Couldn't do a thing to shoo him away. Both knew they were in "safe spaces" in Yosemite, and that people somehow were constrained against going after them. It was open-season on campsites, though, from the bears' perspectives. Great place to grab lunch.
 

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Had a very large one up in the high country above Yosemite NP invade a one-tent camp. Tore the place to shreds, while we watched. Banging pots and whatnot from 40ft away, it wasn't the least concerned with us. On another occasion, years earlier, had a big male (I think) tear into an early '70s "lead sled" vehicle. Tore a door right off the hinges, entered, emptied the big ice chest full of dogs and buns, and then skedaddled. All while we watched. Couldn't do a thing to shoo him away. Both knew they were in "safe spaces" in Yosemite, and that people somehow were constrained against going after them. It was open-season on campsites, though, from the bears' perspectives. Great place to grab lunch.
Do you think that maybe the bears there are accustom to people not being able/ knowing how to get rid of them?
 

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I agree with all said here. Check out bearsmart.com and search the subject on the internet. I assure you I do not work for the website or sell electric fencing. LOL An electric perimeter fence for a small area could be set up around an area where you are working. But bears are very smart and can adapt quickly. Hunters use electric perimeter fencing to protect their campsites while they are out hunting or sleeping. Of course this will not stop an agitated or very aggressive bear, but it could discourage a bear just looking for an easy meal. It may also be used to discourage a bear from a specific area. They are so smart they can even recognize an electric fences by sight. I have seen video where they even use the backside of their paw to check if it is "hot". There are some interesting videos online about this topic. I also agree Moose are very very dangerous. When you have guests, tell them not to use any lotions or perfume/cologne or even chewing gum. Fruit flavors and other scents can smell like food to bears. Hikers wear bells so they will not startle a bear while walking in the woods. I love the idea of a dog. If your family likes large dogs there are many herding dog breeds. I have a 100# shepherd mix from a local rescue that is a true member of my family and is a great watch dog. He is not a trained protection dog but is very alert and does act as a deterrent. When I worked as an armed guard while going to college I found most humans where more afraid of the dog than the guard carrying a sidearm. It is harder to argue with a dog that a human being.
 

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This past Spring while I was filling the Deer Feeder scent became present in the air. The point being, a Bear has a very pungent musky smell.
It came and was very strong in edge of the woods. I heard something in the woods but never saw Him. I would guess the Bear was within 25-30 yards in the foliage of the woods from me. I guess he was watching me or knew I was there. The scent came and then left. About 10 minutes later it came back. I simply turned the Radio on in my truck and the scent went away.

As far as Black Bears, I do know you need to let them know you are present in the area.
Talk, Whistle a Tune or make a little noise.
And certainly you do not want or find yourself close or "between" the Mother Bear and her Cubs!;) They "will become" very aggressive!

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I agree with all said here. Check out bearsmart.com and search the subject on the internet. I assure you I do not work for the website or sell electric fencing. LOL An electric perimeter fence for a small area could be set up around an area where you are working. But bears are very smart and can adapt quickly. Hunters use electric perimeter fencing to protect their campsites while they are out hunting or sleeping. Of course this will not stop an agitated or very aggressive bear, but it could discourage a bear just looking for an easy meal. It may also be used to discourage a bear from a specific area. They are so smart they can even recognize an electric fences by sight. I have seen video where they even use the backside of their paw to check if it is "hot". There are some interesting videos online about this topic. I also agree Moose are very very dangerous. When you have guests, tell them not to use any lotions or perfume/cologne or even chewing gum. Fruit flavors and other scents can smell like food to bears. Hikers wear bells so they will not startle a bear while walking in the woods. I love the idea of a dog. If your family likes large dogs there are many herding dog breeds. I have a 100# shepherd mix from a local rescue that is a true member of my family and is a great watch dog. He is not a trained protection dog but is very alert and does act as a deterrent. When I worked as an armed guard while going to college I found most humans where more afraid of the dog than the guard carrying a sidearm. It is harder to argue with a dog that a human being.
Lemon scented cleaning products are a very good bear repellent as well
 

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Do you think that maybe the bears there are accustom to people not being able/ knowing how to get rid of them?
At Yosemite NP? Absolutely.

Can't say what the comparison is between bears ~300+ mi up the Sierra Nevada north of YNP, but I'd bet that they're not nearly so comfortable around humans and willing to "push."

Fact is, unless your life is being directly threatened, there are all sorts of constraints upon visitors to YNP in terms of the wildlife. People are the low unit on the totem pole, in that park. Been that way for decades upon decades. I'm sure that several generations of bears have learned there aren't real consequences that follow most encounters with people. Stealing food there, for them, seems almost a game. They know people bring food; they know how to pop open cars like birthday packages; they know a solitary tent in the back country is likely to have some food. And they know it's almost unknown for humans to forcibly deny them.
 

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At Yosemite NP? Absolutely.

Can't say what the comparison is between bears ~300+ mi up the Sierra Nevada north of YNP, but I'd bet that they're not nearly so comfortable around humans and willing to "push."

Fact is, unless your life is being directly threatened, there are all sorts of constraints upon visitors to YNP in terms of the wildlife. People are the low unit on the totem pole, in that park. Been that way for decades upon decades. I'm sure that several generations of bears has learned there aren't real consequences that follow most encounters with people. Stealing food there, for them, seems almost a game. They know people bring food; they know how to pop open cars like birthday packages; they know a solitary tent in the back country is likely to have some food. And they know it's almost unknown for humans to forcibly deny them.
Bears around here know that humans are dangerous. Makes sense considering we kill more bears than any other state in the country
 

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I was around big bears in Alaska with no problems. I did not bother them and they did not bother me but I was carrying my shotgun. We had a small orphan cub come into an RV campground near Flagstaff. She was hungry and looking for food. My hand held zapper would chase her away but she came back. She got on top of an RV and did quite a bit of damage trying to get in. She was not a threat to anyone. Ranger finally showed up and tranquilized her. Hauled her off. A lot of entertainment.
 

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My worst parenting moment ever was when my daughter was 5 years old and we stopped in Yosemite to play tourist. We were exiting our truck when our daughter ran out ahead of us up to a group of tourists feeding a lone deer (a doe). Before we could catch up she was at the front of the group offering it food. The deer suddenly reared up on it's hind legs and started kicking at her. My daughter backed up twice and the deer continued to step forward, still on it's hind legs, and kick repeatedly. Fortunately the woman nearest my daughter grabbed her by the coat and pulled her back to safety. No-one was injured. I feel incredibly foolish to this very day. All of the people present were totally surprised at what happened. Long story, but I eventually concluded what provoked the deer. I had found and adopted a mixed breed dog (Looked like a Malamute) some years earlier and she turned out to be a wolf hybrid. My daughter grew up feeding and playing with the dog and a I suspect the deer smelled the faint scent of that dog and perceived a threat of a wolf attack. It is only conjecture on my part, but it makes the most sense of what provoked the deer incident. It is truly amazing the developed sense of smell animals utilize to find food and avoid predators. (Fortunately my daughter has no phobias or unreasonable fear of deer or other wild animals.) That said, there are only 40 documented bear attacks around the world every year and deer are responsible for at least 120 deaths in America alone every year, although most of those deaths are from auto accidents.
 

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Whatever you do, be sure to learn and practice good gun safety. Plus, become efficient with whatever weapon you choose. Practice, practice, practice! I feel for your needs, a 12 gauge shotgun (3-inch chamber) with slugs would be the answer. You could load slug, 00 buck, slug.
 
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