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More Bears this Year?!
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Has anyone heard about increased bear activity in the Upper / Lower Gauley region of WV? I've heard some WILD stories!!!”
“There is always a lot of bear activity here in north east PA. Gotta watch walking in the back yard at night.”
“I have heard some stuff but just chalked it up to early spring activity. Does anyone know why so many sightings in WV this year?
last edited: 5/27/12 6:44:45 AM”
“You can't say there are WILD bear stories and not tell us one. Let's hear 'em!”
“here ya go
sioux lookout is just a little bit northwest of WV”
“...a Canadian with a gun AND ammo! What are the odds? Seems like a little bear spray in the outhouse would've been better for all concerned.”
“That's the problem. I don't know if they're true!!! You know, a friend of a friend. But to cut to the chase, the guy eventually falls out of a tree, breaks his arm, but gets away on a dirtbike! I'm not sure how you drive a dirtbike with one arm, though!”
“I had a friend who was camping at a busy campground and he said the bears were coming up to their vehicles and their campfires THIS YEAR! Now he tells me that one actually went into a tent while they were there but I don't belive him. I have gone camping for over 30 years and not seen a bear while I was camping. I spray my campsite when I get there. That might make a difference”
“ummmm - what do you spray your campsite with?”
“I will probably get some smart remarks about this but I use deer urine...the stuff you can buy at most hunting stores...sounds farfetched but it has worked for me and some other people that have used it...NO BEARS!”
“well at least that is better than what I have heard some idjits doing - I don't know if this is a rural legend but the tale goes that some newb sprayed his tent with bear spray”
“I've heard that one, too Hog On Ice!
For the deer urine, some folks put it on the bottoms of their pant legs... I'm not sure if it works, but 30 years with no bears is pretty good, Nature Boy.”
“Who would spray their tent with bear spray...that has to be a rural legend.
to year round camper- I put it around the tent but I also put in on my cloths and depedning on where I camp, sometimes a lot of it.
I am going Hiking in Kentucky, WV and PA the next couple of months, these bears out a lot up there? Anyone know about the sightings?”
“Bears are all over down here. We had one get into my trash cans last week. I think I have seen more activity this spring then in the last 10 years.”
“Forget the bears, NB. You're gonna get mauled by a 12 pt buck!”
“That is the one thing I enjoy about this website, the open discussion of topics (doe urine on clothing) that would most likely be thrown out or "removed" from other website threads.
However, to add my .02, One thing my fellow hikers have come to know about me is that while completing my journey from Georgia to Maine on the AP, I had many encounters with Bruins and those encounters ranged from cubs up to some significant size boars! The type of encounters also ranged from the quick, chance sighting while comeing around a trailhead to some aggresive sows that apparently were under the impression that I was on that trail only to harm their cubs!
The one constant of my entire trip, after my run in with the sow with cubs (which was reccomended by corporal Lentz with the Georgia Wildlife Department, who my old lady and I cant thank enough) was that, if there is ever any question, (just as "nature boy" indicated), it was to apply a healthy portion of doe estrus to the bottom of your pants legs. I'm sure most will scoff at the notion, but all i can do is confirm my success with it.
Since it has been a couple years I dont recall the exact science/logic behind it, but i believe it had something to do with providing a "calming" effect to the bears vs an unfamiliar perfume or cologne which bruins naturally associate with predators.
I'm sorry for rambling on, but i thought my experiences on the trail might help
“OK, I think I'm going to WV, bears or no bears! AP2008, you sound like you know a thing or two about them... Besides the deer urine, should I have some kind of visible / audible warning, so I don't wander into a pack accidentally? Like maybe a bright jacket for day and a blinking light at night? Or something that makes a sound?
There's all sorts of info. on the web, but I don't know what works, and what's just BS. And I don't want to try them out one-at-a-time to figure it out on my own!!!”
“Just be sure you can run faster than the guy you are with, and you will be fine :)
Every bear I have seen while backpacking has run away from me and I don't smell of urine. At least, I don't think so.”
“bear bells are worthless - if you use carbide tipped trekking poles and talk to your self or others that will be all you need for letting the bears know you are coming - an ordinary head lamp for night is useful but questionable as something a bear would respond to - not sure if bears have color vision or not
bear spray is probably not worth the weight for most places
best bear repellent is a camera - by the time you pull out the camera the bear will be gone”
“Now that we have Eastern Cougars up here if doe urine on clothing still a good idea?
Just askin', eh?”
“What is the "AP"?”
“Our hunting season has been changed which will allow more hunting in areas that them bears can be harversted from. Maybe I can catch me one of them, or at least the dog can have a good chase, maybe even tree one.
last edited: 5/29/12 4:11:33 PM”
“Woke up this morning to a mom and 3 cubs in my yard again. Neighbor told me that they had 2 different males (one smaller and one huge one) getting in his stuff over the weekend.
Muddy, get after it during the season. I want to go on some hikes and I am a bit concerned this year”
“Thank AP for verifying something that has worked for me...I get a lot of flack for using urine. Glad to see others have some success from it...don't be shy with the application of it!!!! you get used to the smell”
“Very funny Hog on Ice! :) "AP" stands for Appalachian Trail. I guess, now that I think about it, maybe it should be AT? I guess when the majority of the people you meet on the trail have that "Maine twang" in there voice a P could be substituted for a T rather easily.
Regardless, "Year round camper" I think you are getting a little too worked up. Especially when you are calling them a "pack" (not trying to make fun) as bears very rarely travel in groups (outside of a mom with her offspring).
To answer your question though, im not sure that the high visibility vest will have the best results for you as bears are synomous for having poor eyesight. That being said, utilizing some of the other things that would quickly get a bears attention (bear bells, or strobe light), while I have not used them first hand, they may work to your advantage. Again, please dont take my post the wrong way, im just trying to offer some advice from my experiences over the last 15 years, while hiking, primarily on the east coast.
“All I'm saying is, getting dryhumped by a big ole P&Y 180 class buck would ruin your whole(hole) day....”
“AP stands for Appalachian Trail
last edited: 5/30/12 5:00:26 AM”
“What if you've got a lot of food at your campsite? I know I could put the food up in a tree, but it seems like the bears will still come by, they just won't be able to get the food. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but now I'm thinking about bears all the time! I remember a ranger in Yosemite once handed me a flyer with a picture of a car that had been ripped open by a bear because there was food inside...
So I guess my question is: What's the complete package for keeping bears away? Maybe I should just buy a camera, like Hog on Ice said!!!”
“I'm in bear country all the time and rarely see them. Been years actually.
If bears are habituated to human food, they will go to great lengths to get it. They can easily get it out of a tree and they don't care about your bear urine. But they don't want anything to do with you anyway.
I think the complete package is to keep all yummy-smelling items in a bear canister. That makes it impossible for them to get what they want and they leave. They won't rip your shirt off because it's got a tuna fish stain. Bear canisters have worked wonders in the Sierra Nevada where they are required.”
“Yeah but out West, you're dealing with grizzlies. Out East it's black bear. Still nothing to sneeze at but not known for ripping cars in half. You'll be fine, as long as you got dat .40 under your pillow....”
“I use the Backpacker Bear Resistant Food Canister. A canister is required in the Dacks and this one is the best. Item # 14097 from www.campmor.com. 69,99 USD.
Also available, but I havenn't seen it: Staying Safe in Bear Country DVD, Item # 83268 at 20,95 USD.
Don't forget to put soap and tooth paste in the canister (and anything else that fits to save room in the rest of your pack).
Hope this helps,
“I don't know about WV, but here in Western Md. I have lived in my home for 30 years and never saw a bear. Until the past 5 years. Since then I have seen about 15 bears and lots of bear damage.”
“normal bears: ordinary bear bagging works
slightly educated bears: PCT method bear bagging will work
well educated bears: a cable system works
very well educated bears: a bear canister works
all bears except for the 0.000001 % that will attack a human: keep you food with you at all times works (aka sleep with your food)
note in the past I have used all of the above techniques and they all work”
“Well said, HOI.
For strat's benefit, the bears ripping doors off cars in Yosemite are the same as those in Arkansas & New Jersey. Most western states have no grizzlies.
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