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The bear sign thread


Otto
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What makes your heart race in the wilderness? Walking up to a steaming fresh pile of bear poo! There it is, right in the middle of the trail, bear scat! Makes you think about timing, and luck. Bear sign! Let's see some reminders that we're not on top of the food chain! Post up!

 

On the trail to Slab Daddy, Squire Creek Wall

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On a solo day. Still glistening and warm.

 

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The more interesting sequence went this way. I'm going solo out to a secret place and stopped on the trail to pee. Next day there is bear shit in that exact location. Come back a couple of weeks later and there is cougar shit almost on top of the (now desicated and dry) bear shit.

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The heart racing when you're solo is crazy. What can go on in your head! The panic. Ugh. I was bagging Crane Mountain in SE Oregon in mid-April. It was a multi-day solo trip with lots of snow. In returning from the summit, I was hiking back over tracks I had made a few hours earlier. A bear track was right next to mine. I never realized just how fast I could snowshoe.

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At the headwaters of a lake where I was doing a 3 day solo hike. This was just the first print that I saw- they turned out to be everywhere. I really made sure to cook in a different location than where I slept!

 

 

This beauty caught us off guard right around breakfast time. This picture is not zoomed in and the bear was probably 30m away. The bear walked into the bushes just to its left and started scratching its back on a tree. At this point we made sure all the group members were there. One person was missing (taking the kids to school if you catch my drift) but as the bear was leaving his scratching post we noticed where he was!! It was only later that I noticed i caught him in my photos

 

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(Note look for something yellow in the upper right corner- he is also about 30m away, but was almost caught with his pants down.

 

 

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On a solo day. Still glistening and warm.

 

Bear_Shit_resized.jpg

 

The more interesting sequence went this way. I'm going solo out to a secret place and stopped on the trail to pee. Next day there is bear shit in that exact location. Come back a couple of weeks later and there is cougar shit almost on top of the (now desicated and dry) bear shit.

The bear dropped his knife, too!
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I saw a three legged black bear the other day in the hills east of Mt Vernon.

 

Victim of a leg trap? I saw a very irate black bear in Montana that had a small leg trap (probably intended for coyote) stuck on one of his forelegs. He eventually removed the trap but had a pretty good scar from it.

 

 

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Walking on Bear crap is a very common occurrance anywhere on the West Coast of BC North through alaska.

 

In Knight inlet we camped on the only beach the entire distance of knight inlet. This was also where bears came to dig clams etc. We literally had to scoop the bear crap out of the way to lay down our ground mats in between the ferns.

 

The only real trails in Western BC are bear trails. Walk anyone of them and you will be walking over fresh bear crap every 100 feet or so. Any logging road will have tons of bear crap on them as well. Bears don't like getting their B-hinds wet in the brush when they squat any more than humans do.

 

Likewise burying your crap just means extra work for the bears. If you hike in and out on the same "trail" look at every place you crapped on the way in and its a near 100% guarantee that it will have been eaten by the local bears. T-P and all. I don't bother to even think of burying my crap in the woods in W. BC anymore unless its close to a road/human trail/water.

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Brown bear is one thing; not something you want to be around...

 

In all seriousness, unless the black bear has been trained by the Yosemite NPS to taste test every campsite kitchen it finds (which gives them a badge of honor tagged to their ear), then....

 

...black bears want nothing to do with you. They are predominately ominivoristic (vegetarians) and tend to be extremely skittish around humans; they usually stick to themselves or more likely they run as fast as they can away from you. Unless you startled the bear and had it cornered you'd be lucky to even get a bear near you let alone attack you.

 

I've had many MANY run-ins with black bears; I've been between a bear and its cubs (yes that was a nervous moment), I've had a bear stare me down at 3am wondering why I was sleeping on its trail (mental note, never sleep on a trail, you'll get stepped on by more than just people), I've seen 5 bear in one day and absolutely amazed at how fast and powerful they can tear through a forest like a bulldozer trying to run away from you....

 

Unless you're in grizzly country, leave the guns and mace at home, they just add weight and make other people nervous....

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